Beowulf Epic Monster Essay
In Beowulf, there is a strong contrast between good and evil developed through the characters Beowulf and Grendel. Both characters are a vital part in further analysis of good and evil epic situations in our real world. While Grendel is a modest example of evil in the times of Beowulf’s victories, there are several modern examples that reflect Grendel’s personality exhibited in our everyday society. Aileen Wurnos is a current and accurate example of similar characters in society of Grendel’s judgment. Wurnos and Grendel share the trains of infamy and love of power that lead them to their fall.
In the article “Aileen: Portrait of a Serial Killer”, by David Sterrit, shows several examples that reflect similar traits of Grendel and other modern monsters. Sterrit begins the analysis of Wurnos’ decisions by explaining the publicity received by her actions. She was recognized as an “Unlikely celebrity” (Sterrit 1), which gains her infamy. Like Grendel, who began his lead, was recognized as “Grendel’s name was echoed in our land”, which granted him fame and attention. Although both characters did receive recognition for their devious choices, it was granted by pure disgrace and disgust, rather than a congratulatory word of mouth motion. Both characters were spoken of harshly and downgraded due to the actions that had given them their initial attention.
In the second article, “Why Aileen Wurnos killed-and died”, by Sue Russell, Russell explains more empathetic and emotional circumstances leading to Aileen’s motives for her multiple murders. A direct motive that causes the continuation of Aileen’s criminal activity explained in this article is the lust for power over her victims. The author begins to explain, “Certainly, Lee, liked the power of holding a man’s life in her hands” (Russell 2), further explains Wurnos’ gain from feeling superior from her victim’s struggle. Alike Grendel who exhibits this trait in Beowulf when “He stopped… his heart laughed as he relished the sight, intended to tear the life from these bodies by morning”. Here Grendel also reveals his thirst for power, and the satisfaction it gives him. Aileen and Grendel alike feed off of power of their victims.
“In my youth I engaged in many wars” (59), Beowulf boasts to his warriors, which is certainly true. Throughout his life, he faces many deadly foes, all of which he handily defeats, save one. His story focuses on the most challenging, as well as morally significant of foes, Grendel and the dragon. These creatures reveal much about society as well as Christian virtue at the time. Even ...
Grendel and Aileen both use their thirst for power and infamy to their best benefit to help them accomplish their desires and live by the name they have created for themselves. Both characters fiction and non-fiction, share similar humanistic, real emotions that play part in their developing literate personalities. Infamy and thirst of power are two important motives that make Grendel and Aileen who they are, and make them successful at representing modern day monsters.