Monsters and Criminals
There is a story behind every monster.
Grendel's Look For Revenge
The darkness and viciousness of monsters are symbols of a real life crisis in the world. Without the monsters (or crisis), a hero would not be needed in the plot. Therefore, monsters are foils of the hero in order to emphasize the need of justice in the world. Monster traits are very important to foil the hero’s traits. A great example of a monster would be Grendel's mother who uses her “claws [to] clutch him savagely, but could not harm him” (line 27). Although claws do sound intimidating, evil could not harm the heroic figures. The malicious characteristic of the monster contrasts with Beowulf’s hands that were as strong as a “weapon” (line 60). This shows that noble qualities are the only weapon that a hero needs to destroy evil. Christopher Garcia in his article "Axlo-saxon Hero" states, "In Anglo-Saxon culture and literature, to be a hero was to be a warrior. A hero had to be strong, intelligent, and courageous. Warriors had to be willing to face any odds, and fight to the death for their glory and people" (par. 1) This draws to the conclusion that there is no hero without a monster because there would be no one to fight against. In sum, calamity and evil could be overcome by justice in the world of fiction and this world as well. This picture of Grendel looking for revenge shows that monsters foil the hero's act of courage. Monsters are hungry for death, not heroes.
Garcia, Christopher. "The Anglo-Saxon Hero." The Anglo-Saxon Hero. N.p., Mar.-Apr. 2015. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
The Wrath of Grendel
The ballet of monsters and criminals shows how the habit of corrupt behavior seals the heart from sympathy and hinders the mind’s thought process. The continuation of Grendel murdering humans causes Grendel to kill whether the human is harmful or not. In other words, an individual who hates another human slowly causes the individual to hate all humans because the heart was programmed that way. This ties to the theme in a way to reveal why monsters and criminals are cold hearted; feeling bitter about a human caused their heart to become bitter, creating hate wherever they go.
Through Grendel's Eyes
"Epic World History." : Anglo-Saxon Culture. N.p., Apr.-May 2013. Web. 03 Apr. 2016.
Dear Reader Reflection
I now understand Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales in the depth due to all the projects on breaking down the themes and meanings throughout the text. My creativity and artistic talents has helped me create interesting literary pieces for this project. The theme of criminals and monsters has inspired me to excel with my imagination. I have actually looked up Anglo-Saxon culture out of curiosity even before I was aware of the extra credit opportunity, so I found the right information for the theme with ease. One thing that I need to work on and have been struggling with is the ability of expressing my thoughts into words. I want to be read more literary works and break the literature down like I did with these projects in order to understand themes and meanings behind the text.