English literature begins with the Anglos and the Saxons. For the first time they expressed their thoughts through the epic poem of Beowulf. In Beowulf, characters play the vital role in every important aspect of the poem. Through literature, they displayed opposing characters and how they affected each other to the maximums of a continuum. When a force in Beowulf acquired joy, the opposing force acquired sorrow.
Best services for writing your paper according to Trustpilot
* All Partners were chosen among 50+ writing services by our Customer Satisfaction Team
Whenever there was music in Herot, Grendel was affected. Grendel lived in the marshes, which was a hell on earth, and every time Herot sang and danced with pleasure and joy; Grendel lurked in the marshes with anger. Lines 2-4 explain his anger, “?In the darkness, growled in pain, impatient/ As day after day the music rang/ Loud in that hall?” The epic poem suggests that the population of Herot lived in happiness, and Grendel waited until his time came. Furthermore, as Grendel lived in his hell on earth, Herot was developing their society. One would believe that the music Herot was playing is not what he wanted to listen to during to his life in the marshes. This example shows how Grendel, the opposing force of Herot, could not even stand anything that came from the hall. These two forces were on the opposite sides of their personalities.
In addition to the music, their overall beliefs contributed to Grendel?s complete hatred to the population of Herot. Grendel seemingly believed that pure carnage and destruction was his only way for communicating. Herot and its people expressed their thoughts, feelings, and personalities through music, laughter, and dance. However, Grendel, whom’s hatred had known no other, had to express his thoughts in his own way. Lines 29-35 showed how the poet concurred this belief, “?darkness had dropped, Grendel/ Went up to Herot?The monster?s/ Thoughts were as quick as his greed as his claws.” This passage from Beowulf expresses and explains how Grendel shows his thoughts differently then the people of Herot. Sure, it was at complete opposites of the continuum, but crazy enough as it seemed to be, that is the way Grendel expressed himself. When he slaughtered those thirty men in Herot, it gave Grendel great joy. However, next morning when the remaining residents of Herot found their lost friends, they were filled with sorrow.
Furthermore, Grendel?s joy from that one night was not enough. He returned the following night and every night after that. He continued to return until the population of Herot was extinct. The sorrow that filled the lord of Herot mourned for the next twelve years as his city was empty. By Herot being silent and no music would be playing, Grendel would finally have his way. He would finally have his lust quenched. However, when Grendel acquired his joy, the Danes were filled with sorrow. So the living sorrow of the lord of Herot continued to fill the air, and Grendel continued to rule over Herot will a joyous sprit.
Beowulf ended Grendel?s joy when he arrived from a foreign land. When Beowulf did arrive, Grendel had been continuing his rule, and the sorrow of Herot still remained within the people of the city that had to flee because of Grendel. The night that Grendel came to fill his hunger, and continued to quench his lust for carnage. When he was about to fulfill it, Beowulf put his fear aside for a second and seized the monster. At this same time it is believed that Grendel joy of slaughtering was denied. At no point during the whole fight, or even the whole epic poem for that matter, were both opposing forces both joyful. In addition to both never being joyful at the same time, they were neither both filled with sorrow at the same time. In lines 272-275 the epic poem is referring to Grendel, it reads, “His mind was flooded with fear ? but nothing/ could take his talons and himself from that tight/ Hard grip.” These lines from the story reiterate how the two opposing forces were never at the same end of the continuum.
After Beowulf defeated Grendel, his joy was not yet over. Furthermore, when Beowulf defeated Grendel, the poem goes on and explains in lines 338-340, “?Grendel escaped,/ But wounded as he could flee to his den,/ His miserable hole at the bottom of the marsh?” This passage from the poem is a detailed description of how the epic hero defeated the opposing force, and how he fled with sorrow filling his heart once again, like the beginning. Beowulf now has been granted a “new glory.” Furthermore, when Beowulf hung Grendel?s arm from the rafters, that showed the reader that there was great joy that filled the whole civilization of Herot. It was so overwhelming of joy, that people from all over the lands came to see the monster?s staggering tracks. This displayed the joy from which the defeat created. It was like releasing a heavy burden that was overcrowding the city of Herot. However, everything has proven that with one?s joy, another one?s sorrow emerges from the shadows. In this case, the sorrow belonged to Grendel, who had carried his corpse-like body back to the marshes.
In all of these cases and instances, one force acquired joy, and the opposing force acquired sorrow. Throughout the entire epic poem, Grendel was angered when Herot played music. The beliefs of the two forces were completely different. Also, when Grendel slaughtered the men, Herot was filled with sorrow. When Beowulf came over and defeated Grendel, they were filled with joy. However, Grendel was filled with sorrow. Finally, when Beowulf hung Grendel?s arm, they were joyous. Fortunately in the end, it was Beowulf and Herot that were joyous and not Grendel.
THE CONTINUUM OF BEOWULF
I. Introduction ? Thesis: When a force in Beowulf acquired joy, the opposing force acquired sorrow.