“Beowulf fights a monster that is himself and loses.” This statement suggests that Beowulf is fighting an internal battle with himself and lose the battle or, in other words, give in to whatever force he is actively trying to deny. This is not the case. Although one could read the poem and see that Beowulf is fighting an internal battle, one can also come to the realization that Beowulf did in fact win the battle with said monster.
To understand how Beowulf came to such a victory, one must first understand the battle that he won and determine exactly what or who is the monster that he won against. Now, the monster is describe as being Beowulf himself. Perhaps a more accurate portrayal would be certain traits of Beowulf which are the monster. This would coincide with the thought of this being an internal battle.…show more content… Consider the thought from this viewpoint. In the battle with Grendel, Beowulf acted almost animalistic. This fact is made all the more clear when Beowulf inflicted an injury to Grendel described as “a gaping would opened in his shoulder-joint.”(XII. 816-817). Instead of fighting in a manner more reasonable of a man, Beowulf literally tore off Grendel’s arm. This is extremely similar to a wolf ripping a deer in pieces when devouring it.
What is the cause of Beowulf’s behavior and actions in his fight with Grendel? Beowulf seems to have become berserk, conduct common in Anglo-Saxon men at that time. When one become berserk, they take on animal-like behavior and gain immense strength. Beowulf is also described as “he who was the strongest of might among men” (XI. 789). This is completely consistence with a berserk person having great power.
Beowulf’s traits were common among Anglo-Saxon men. Thus if these traits are monstrous, then perhaps Beowulf’s culture could be considered barbaric as well. Therefore, the monster inside Beowulf could be seen as his cultural