Allusions In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an epic poem written by a Christian author depicting the culture of the Anglo-Saxons. However, it is filled with numerous references to Christianity. One illustration of this is the repetitive use of allusions to the story of Cain and Abel. Grendel, the demon that attacks Heorot, is described to be, “condemned [among] Cain’s race” (107), and his mother is equally associated with Cain’s tribe (1261-1265). Why would the author describe Grendel and his mother as progenies of Cain? The author’s illustration of the monsters through these terms is used to highlight the theme of good being in competition with evil, via the juxtaposition of Beowulf and these monstrosities. Beowulf and the monsters occupy different spheres of the Beowulf world. Beowulf is the, “proud warrior” (332) to the king who protects everyone from adversaries. He is the, “dearest of heroes” (1296) who commits, “[deeds] of courage” (959) and is, “the defender of seafarers” (1623). Beowulf is the personification of the concept of “good” for the Anglo-Saxons, such as following tradition. He protects the values of…show more content…
Cain is forced, “far from mankind for his foul crime” (110) just as Grendel is described in terms of solitude and exile. The isolation that Grendel and Cain feel is fuel for their evil. For instance, this comparison is seen in the scene where Grendel enters the mead hall he is pronounced as bearing, “God’s anger” (711) parallel to Cain being upset with God. . This is contradictory to Beowulf being accepted by the mead hall community and is welcomed with warmth. Lastly, while Grendel is forced to be the outsider and look in on the mead hall with jealousy; he never knew, “[the mead hall’s] love” (169) which is similar to Cain being out casted by God for his jealousy and murder of Abel. Jealousy is not a “good” characteristic it is associated with sin and therefore is opposed to Beowulf’s generosity and moral

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