CH 201 - 1109
November 20, 2014
The Symbolism of Evil in Beowulf and The Odyssey One constantly recurring archetype in literature are monsters. Ancient literature has a slew of stories containing monster who terrorize, manipulate, and kill men. What gets overlooked in these stories is the importance of these evil figures that when juxtaposed with the heroes, make the protagonists look so heroic. Heroes usually follow a formula too which lessens their uniqueness and appeal. Monsters however, are tailored to the fears of a culture. In the stories of Beowulf and The Odyssey, the heroes Beowulf and Odysseus must overcome many of these monsters that personify corrupt values, thus ennobling themselves to hero status. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of these stories is the monsters, in both how they behave, their motives and what they symbolize, rather than the heroes these epic poems are about.
It is also very interesting to note that even though these cultures are not influenced directly by one another, they are each able to puts faces to their fears and create these monsters who, in some cases, closely resemble one another. Although man-eating monsters can be found across different cultures, monsters…show more content… Sharing the lineage a man who was cursed by God because of his outrageous contempt, hatred and murder of his own brother gives reason to why Grendel unleashes his wrath upon the Danes. One way that Grendel contrasts with the humans further is that he lives alone, in the swamplands outside of the Dane’s society. Grendel acted out of jealousy, envy and hatred because the Danes are able to celebrate and be joyous. Grendel is a character whose predisposition as a descendant of Cain made him how he is too; he has no way of coping with the feelings he has toward humans and there was no end in sight to his