In the story of Beowulf, there is a monster named Grendel, who ravages king Hrothgar and the town of Herot. Beowulf isn’t your typical villain. He isn’t brash and is almost unknown. His identity remains a mystery throughout the story, and he uses slyness to elude detection by performing his grueling tasks at night. This villain has striking similarities to that of the recent terrorists attacks. The following quote shows how Grendel’s attack correlates with that of the terrorists. “He found them sprawled in sleep, suspecting nothing, their dreams undisturbed.
The monster’s thoughts were as quick as his greed or his claws: He slipped through the door and there in the silence snatched up thirty men, smashed them unknowing in their beds and ran out with their bodies. ” The previous lines show how Grendel’s attack was similar to that of terrorists. Grendel came along unsuspecting, and he snatched up his victims unknowing. Although the attacks of September 11th are not verbatim to this example, there are striking similarities. The terrorists did come along unsuspecting and were able to reach their target with their victims unknowing.
They accomplished their attack with deception and trickery. Those on the plane didn’t have time to react, much less did those in the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. They never had a chance, almost as if someone had stabbed them in the back. It is evident that the terrorists, who planned and carried out these horrendous events, represents Grendel, because of their cold, dark hatred towards a certain group of people. It is somewhat difficult to point and define whom the modern-day Beowulf is. In my opinion, the modern-day Beowulf is the will and resolve of the American people.
They showed the courage to stand up against these attacks and return to their everyday life. In the months following the attacks, many people were afraid to fly, drive, and travel, but after time common sense and confidence was restored in the American people. Americans soon went back to their everyday lives. In the story it states that, “Hate had triumphed”and “Herot stood empty and stayed deserted for years. ” This represents the recovery time that America had to go through in the months and years following the attacks.
Hate really had triumphed for some time, because the terrorist had succeeded in instilling fear and uncertainty in the minds of Americans. The freedoms of this nation are what most Americans hold central or sacred. This is what “Grendel” attempts to deter. Grendel wants to instill an uncertainty in Herot, and the terrorists do the same in America. The terrorist hoped to attack the American way of life. What the terrorists hate most about our way of life are the freedoms that our citizens have and live by. The terrorist didn’t attack for personal gain but to prove their point.
Which is somewhat similar to Grendel who attacks just for himself, but offers no reparations or solution to end his rampage. The values of Americans are very similar to those of Beowulf. Beowulf displays confidence, willingness, determination, and pride. All things that you think about when you think of Americans and the American dream. Beowulf put aside his own personal life in order to help others. Americans are quick to help other countries and give billions of dollars in aid and relief to foreign countries each and every year.
Americans are all hard working and rarely stray from the task at hand. To defeat the enemy, Beowulf had to go and track the enemy down in its own territory. The enemy in this case, is not going to come to us. We must go out and confront it as Beowulf did to Grendel. In order to defeat a hidden or transparent enemy, you must go the heart or home and rout out the enemy. Beowulf hid in Herot until he had the right opportunity to pounce on his enemy, Grendel. We are taking the right steps to defeat terrorism. We must go out and fight the enemy, as we are in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Working with Middle Eastern countries to increase American perception and goodwill is vital for success. We must take a proactive approach, much like that of Beowulf’s, taking the fight to the enemy. There are many evils in this world, and we must work to rout them out. But it would be ridiculous to say that we could defeat all the evils in the world. That is why we must always be ready to fight and combat any new “Grendel’s” that may appear in our lives. Beowulf didn’t stray away from the challenge when a dragon came to menace his kingdom. Although this was fifty ears after the time of Grendel, Beowulf still rose up and went to fight the enemy even when his allies and friends had fled him. This is similar to the situation that the United States faces when attempting to defeat terrorism in the Middle East. They have very limited support from other powerful countries in the world, with the exception of Great Britain, who in some ways resembles Higlac who saved Beowulf in the battle with the dragon. Higlac comes to Beowulf’s aid in time of need, similar to Britain’s help in Iraq. There are a number of different outcomes that may occur if there is another terrorist attack.
As Americans, we endure much trauma but are always able to recover. The most important part is that we are resilient in the face of evil and able to learn from previous experiences. Allowing terrorist to create fear is unacceptable, but making the best of the situation is important. We are always going to be faced with the threat of terrorist attacks and attacks from various groups. We should look to Beowulf as a positive sign of how to deal with evil and defeat it. If we can be proactive and confident about our future, we can tackle any fears or problems that occur in the future.