Erin Ramirez September 27, 2012 English 4H Ms. Ropas Beowulf Essay Beowulf portrays many themes within the poem. Out of all themes though, Beowulf really portrays personal honor and reputation along with revenge and good versus evil. In the poem many examples are giving to support the themes. For example, Revenge is represented by the character of Grendel’s mother. The poem represents the theme of personal honor and reputation by the main character, Beowulf. Good versus evil is represented by all the battles.
Many themes are exposed throughout Beowulf and examples from the poem can support it. Revenge is well known throughout the epic Beowulf. The reader can experience this theme the most when Grendel’s mom attacks the soldiers once she knows Grendel was killed. “She’d taken Hrothgar’s closest friend” (Littell, McDougal 51). Grendel was her only son and to have that taken away from her she had to do something about it. Her revenge did not work out for her though because she died out of it.
But Beowulf lived and her revenge was never complete. Personal Honor and reputation is the most important theme we have read in the poem. It’s most important because it deals with the personality of Beowulf, which is the protagonist. Beowulf takes his honor very seriously because as an example when Beowulf meets the Danes he tells them of his accomplishments (Littlell, McDougal, 43-44). He adores the attention he gets especially when they are celebrating in Herot.
Beowulf always talks about his accomplishments because if no one talks about Beowulf, his stories will never continue on after he dies. The poet tells us of the virtues of a man with a grand reputation. For example, Beowulf is rightly concerned about how the rest of the world will see him. “The Geats built the tower, as Beowulf had asked, strong and tall, so sailors could find it from far and wide” (Littell, McDougal 66). This quote describes about the honor he receives from all the battles he has won.
He will forever live on because of his reputation and honor. Good versus evil is always represented in the epic Beowulf. We see Beowulf as a hero and he can do no wrong. Beowulf is loyal and courageous and readers see him so strong that nothing can take him down. He fights all demons, dragons and monsters and yet he still lives. “Into a thousand forms of evil spirits and fiends, goblins, monsters, giants, a brood forever opposing the Lord’s will, and again and again defeated” (Littell, McDougal 40). Battles are won and victories are claimed. So the living sorrow of Healfdane’s son simmered, bitter and fresh, and no wisdom or strength could break it: that agony hung on king and people alike, harsh and unending, violent and cruel, and evil” (Littell, McDougal 42). This quote truly represents Beowulf because it means Beowulf is willing to fight anyone and anything. Readers see that Beowulf is just taking a dive into battles left and right, from Grendel to his mother to the dragon who takes his life. Good versus evil is the definition of this poem.