Good and Evil in Beowulf
In the poem “Beowulf,” Beowulf and the monsters proved to be foiled characters as the story progresses. The conflict is between good and evil characters. Beowulf expresses his honor to his men and while fighting the monsters the use of armor was an essential part in many of fights. First of all, Beowulf did not required any armor in his first fight, youth was enough to defeat evil for the first battle. Secondly, the use of weapons and armor was indeed the reason he survived his fight with Grendel’s mother, showing signs of an old Beowulf. Finally, the great king Beowulf for fighting the fierce dragon had to wear armor and a sword. The previous points represent the aging and weakening of a once great warrior.
First of all, in Beowulf’s first battle at Herot, he fought Grendel with honor without any armor or weapons. Youth chose Beowulf to overcome Grendel’s strength in order for Beowulf to be successful in his battle. Youth is expressed furthermore in the quote, “That Shepherd of evil, guardian of crime, / Knew at once that nowhere on earth/ Had he met a man whose hands were harder ;”( Beowulf 432-434). Beowulf youth allowed to overcome Grendel’s strength. Beowulf had a much stronger grip then Grendel would ever have. In addition to the previous quote, Grendel realized, “Now he discovered-once the afflictor/ Of men, tormentor of their days-what it meant/ To feud with Almighty God:”(Beowulf 490-492). Grendel realized he had it easy with the other warriors because they could not fight back. Once Grendel grasped the hand of the warrior sent from God, he then knew his life had come to an end. Youth and bravery had chosen Beowulf to win the battle over Grendel.
Secondly, when Grendel’s mother was acknowledged of her son’s death, she wanted to avenge her son’s enemy. Fate and God would be on Beowulf’s side for the first time. The fate is expressed furthermore in the following quote, “Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy/ Sword, Hammered by giants, strong/ And blessed with their magic, the best of all weapons” (Beowulf 633-637). Fate and God were required for the first time on Beowulf’s side during a battle. Only his chain mail would protect him from the dagger and claws going into him. Only fate could help Beowulf in his dreadful situation. Luck was on his side for having the ultimate sword placed on the wall to kill Grendel’s mother. Beowulf expresses his honor in this battle by stating that the use of weapons was indeed essential to overcome Grendel’s mother in this fight because she could not be killed with bare hands alone.
Most importantly, in Beowulf’s final battle of his life, fate was not on his side. In addition to the previous statement, the following quote expressed the idea furthermore, “I’d use no sword, no weapon, if this beast/ Could be killed without itI feel no shame, with shield and sword/ And armor, against this monster” (Beowulf 668-674). Beowulf had enough honor in which he is not ashamed of fighting the fierce dragon with armor and a sword. In addition to previous quote, Beowulf experiences his last battle at his worst situation is fully expressed with the quote, “His weapon/ Had failed him, deserted him, now when he needed it/ Most, that excellent sword” (Beowulf 734-736). Fate had chosen Beowulf to die in that battle. But Fate did not choose Evil to win, instead had Wiglaf finished off the beast. Fate had decided that Beowulf was done with his glorious victories. Beowulf had fought honorably in all of his battles and his time as King had come to an end.
In conclusion, the almighty warrior Beowulf proved to be no different than any other man when it comes to aging and losing the strength. In the poem Beowulf, Fate is usually on Beowulf’s side. Beowulf did not required any armor in his first fight, youth was enough to defeat evil for the first battle. Secondly, the use of weapons and armor was indeed the reason he survived his fight with Grendel’s mother, showing signs of an old Beowulf. Finally, the great king Beowulf for fighting the fierce dragon had to wear armor and a sword. Although Fate was not on Beowulf’s side in his last battle it must be noted it also was not on Evil’s side either. To finalize, God and Fate always will favor the good deeds over the evil deeds. Beowulf dies fighting the dragon but his victories against the monsters affirm the ultimate triumph of good over evil.