Beowulf – Reading for Religious Context

When he describes his intention to rid Heorot of Grendel, Beowulf declares,

…hand-to-hand/ is how it shall be, a life-and-
death/ fight with the fiend. Whichever one
death fells/ must deem it a just judgment by
(lines 438-441)

A common religious preoccupation in literature is good versus evil. Explore this idea in your essay by addressing the following items:

  1. Discuss what the narrative discloses about the society from which it came.
  2. Explain how this central conflict of Beowulf is imbued with the religious convictions of the Middle Ages.
  3. Identify good versus evil and/or religious allegories within Beowulf.
  4. Analyze the notions of good versus evil in the figures of Grendel and Beowulf.

The paper must be three to four pages in length (excluding the title and references pages) and formatted according to APA style. You must use at least two scholarly sources other than the textbook to support your claims. Cite your sources in text and on the reference page. For information regarding APA samples and tutorials, visit the Ashford Writing Center, within the Learning Resources tab on the left navigation toolbar.

*Greenblatt, et al. (Eds.). (2012). The Norton anthology of English literature (9th ed.). New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company

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