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  • Plain and simple: If there were no monsters, there would be no opportunities for heroism.

  • But that's not the only reason there are monsters lurking in every corner of this poem.

  • More on this motifnext.

  • Besides Grendel, Grendel's mother, and the dragon, in this poem we're also treated to

  • descriptions of troll nests and beasts and horrific creatures from the sea.

  • Like I saidmonsters in every corner. That's what makes them a motif.

  • But what's the meaning of this motif?

  • Well, first of all, you should know that in medieval times, the word monster referred

  • to birth defects, which were considered to be a sign of sin, or a warning of bad things

  • to come.

  • So the monsters in this poem could represent the ever-present threats to the various nations

  • in this poemthe threat of chaos, lurking on the edge of civilization; the threat of

  • evil and destruction lurking on the edge of humanity and community.

  • But perhaps most important of all is the role these monsters play in supporting this poem's

  • theme of heroism. The monsters give Beowulf an opportunity to prove himself heroic in

  • battle. Not only that, but their greed, inhumanity, and pure evil help highlight Beowulf's generosity,

  • humanity, and almost messianic goodness.

  • In other words, their monstrosity reinforces his heroic qualities.

Plain and simple: If there were no monsters, there would be no opportunities for heroism.

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B1 US motif poem beowulf lurking heroism heroic

"Beowulf" MOTIF 3 -- "Beowulf" ... from 60second Recap®

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    Chia-Yin Huang posted on 2016/09/26
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