Conflict and Beowulf

Ashley Ruhl 9/14/11 Honors British Literature Grendel Essay In the story Beowulf, there are three major conflicts. One of these is the domination of Mead Hall by Grendel. The second one is the revenge of Grendel’s mother after Grendel’s been killed. Last but not least the rage of the dragon, following the theft a guarded item. Most of the conflicts that are written are kept between societies and different groups. There are dual conflicts in multiple sections from the story.

In Beowulf, there are multiple major characters that showed both internal and external conflicts by fighting the villains but still showing the attributes of internal conflicts. In Beowulf, the monster Grendel begins his attack on the innocent people of Herot one may say that this conflict is considered a dual conflict. This is because not only did Grendel begin the external attack on the people, but Beowulf came and decided to show his pride and courage to defeat Grendel. “When darkness had dropped, Grendel went up to Herot…night’s slaughter. (Ln 30-40).

This is one way to show the beginning of an ongoing conflict with Beowulf and Grendel. Following this, Beowulf was called to help Herot with this monster. An example of this would be when, “Grendel came, hoping to kill…rule over men (ln 3-150)” One may say after the fight with Grendel and his mother, Beowulf began showing his internal conflicts. Beowulf shows his courage and pride as he goes back to the king with the news. Finally, the people of Herot, could celebrate the victory of Beowulf. “Then old and young rejoiced, jogged along (ln 144-149). This shows Beowulf’s internal conflict because Beowulf could not go straight to Herod and be humble. Instead he makes it known that he defeated the monster so the people of Herod would get to know him as a hero. Not only does this show he has a lot of pride in himself, but one sees his pride when he fights the monsters without a weapon and with his bare hands. This is definitely him showing his pride but it is also him showing his courage and bravery. Grendel’s mother is showing a different section that shows an external conflict and internal conflict.

Grendel’s mother came to Herod in order to get revenge for the murder of her son. She had killed the king’s best friend, which is the example of the external conflict. This conflict was between not only the people of Herod and Grendel’s mother but also between Beowulf and Hrothgar. Hrothgar shows his emotional side, with this example of an internal conflict, “The wise old king… passed quietly (ln 29-42). ” Immediately following this Beowulf shows Hrothgar his internal conflict by showing his courage by telling the king he would go and fight for Hrothgar.

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Grendel’s mother also has an internal conflict when Beowulf enters her lair. As an example, “And all at once the greedy she-wolf…her wet world. (ln 150-154)” In conclusion I believe that the story of Beowulf is a story of dual conflicts. No matter what character it is, one may believe during every external conflict an internal conflict shows. One may also believe that an internal conflict is a way to have a character become completely vulnerable so the reader gets to know who their real character is.

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