Beowulf: Thematic Analysis
Good vs Evil Through common stories, good and evil are portrayed through protagonist and antagonist views, creating good morals: Loyalty, bravery, honesty, etc. The first thing I think of when I hear “good vs. evil” is a hero and the villain. In the poem Beowulf, Beowulf is the protagonist of the epic. He is a hero who uses good morals and defeats his enemies- the monster Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon.
Common stories throughout a wide range of time portray good and evil through both protagonist and antagonist views in genres such as fictions, science fiction, mythologies, realistic etc. , making the theme of “good vs. evil” a universal theme. It is seen everywhere and even at an early point in life. For example, Ender’s Game published in 1985, is science fiction war story where Ender tries to keep Earth in peace from the Buggers-aliens that try to invade Earth.
At a more recent point in history are the protagonist and antagonist- Batman vs Jocker and Spiderman vs Dr. Octopus. Both Batman and Spiderman, in different stories, battle their enemy to prevent them from destroying their city and hurting innocent civilians. Significant morals are shown in stories made up of good and evil. In our civilization, choosing between good and evil is no dilemma. In almost every story, no matter the genre, good always defeats evil giving the people the morality idea that goodness is way above evil and will always overcome it.
In Beowulf, Beowulf is devoted to articulating and illustrating the Germanic heroic code, which values strength, courage, and loyalty in warriors; hospitality, generosity, and political skill in kings; ceremoniousness in women; and good reputation in all people. The following passage emphasizes the importance of behavior in securing the respect and support of others. Because this warrior society so highly values its heroic code, it highly esteems those who conform to the code’s principles. And a young prince must be prudent like that, giving freely while his father lives o that afterwards in age when fighting starts steadfast companions will stand by him and hold the line. Behaviour that’s admired is the path to power among people everywhere. (Beowulf 20–25) Good and evil represent the two different thoughts that occur through the mind of many people around the world during their lifetime. Throughout many books or movies with the theme of “good vs evil” various people learn good valuable morals that they will use with the mentality that by following those good morals, they can overcome any evil obstacle.