Beowulf's Dark Side
In Beowulf, Beowulf, the great warrior, encounters three supernatural creatures that reveal the true dark side of human kind. Beowulf encounters these creatures with the driving force of greed and heroism. All of the monsters go through some events that cause them to change their behavior. Beowulf trying to fix all of those problems falls in the same "dark side" that the monsters did. The motivation of there battles reveals the dark side of man - jealousy, revenge, and greed.
At the beginning of the book, Grendel attacks Herot because of jealousy. He is woken by the songs that Herot sings when the town is completed. He then becomes jealous because of the idea that everyone has friends except him. Grendel was believed to be one of the pair of monsters that was a descendent of Cain, banished by God, forever punished for the crime of Abel's death. "?Since Cain had killed his only / Brother, slain his father's son / With an angry sword. God drove him off, / outlawed him?" (Beowulf, 1261 - 1264). Grendel envies the fellowship and happiness he sees in Herot. He hates not having anyone and being excluded from the company of men. He is jealous of the pleasures that men have. That is why Grendel kills the people of Herot for twelve years. Eventually, the news that Grendel is attacking Herot reaches King Hygleac in Geatland. Beowulf tells King Hygleac that he will sail to Hrothgar's kingdom to offer help. Beowulf is received by Herot's coastal guard who then takes him with King Hrothagar. As soon as he gets to the Danish shore, Hrothgar's coastal guard awaits them. Beowulf tells the guard who he is and states his reason for coming. The guard takes the Geats to Herot. Arriving at Herot, King Hrothgar asks Beowulf why he is there and Beowulf answers him that he is there to help him. Hrothgar asks him why he thinks he can do this job. Beowulf tells Hrothgar that he has had experience in combat against water-monsters.
?They have seen my strength for themselves,
Have watched me rise from the darkness of war,
Dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove
Five great giants into chains, chased
All of that race from the earth? (416 - 421).
Although Grendel shows his "dark side" by killing everyone because of the jealousy he has of not having any friends, Beowulf also shows this jealousy when he brags about himself. " '?Grendel is no braver, no stronger / Than I am! I could kill him with my sword; I shall not?" (676 - 677). Beowulf starts saying things about himself on how he is the best warrior in the world and that he could be the only one who could kill Grendel. Beowulf probably thinks that there could be someone better than him that is why he does that. He might be jealous that he is not the best. At the end of the poem, Beowulf demonstrates the contrary. He is not jealous that Wiglaf was better than he was, because he killed the dragon. He even tells him that he will be the heir of his kingdom. "?Wiglaf, lead my people, / Help them; my time is gone?" (2800 - 2801). Probably when Beowulf was young, he did not notice that he could also demonstrate those kinds of bad values, but since he is now old, experienced and mature he notices that he must forget about himself and think about others.
The Danes thought that they could sleep peacefully for the first time in twelve years. They were wrong, what they did not know was that Grendel's mother was furious at the death of her child and was planning revenge on the Danes as they celebrating and relaxing. "But a monster still lived, and meant revenge. / She'd brooded on her loss, misery had brewed / In her heart, that female horror?"(1257 - 1259). She wanted only to bring the Danes sorrow. Although she was a monster, she still was a mother. Revenge is considered something bad, but when someone kills your own son nobody thinks about what is right from wrong. "And her greed, drove her from her den on the dangerous / Pathway of revenge?" (1277 - 1278). She hated the Danes so much that she would fight with all her strength just for the murder of her