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Monsters in Beowulf

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  1. Grendel and his mother
    1. A description between human and beast
    2. A monster's way of life (opposite to a warrior's and a woman's one)
    3. The other sea-monsters
  2. The guarding treasure dragon
    1. Portrait of the horrible creature
    2. The dopplegänger effect

The Beowulf poem is one of the most important heritages from the historical sources of the Middle-Ages. Unfortunately we still don't know who wrote it, maybe was he a poet in a royal court or an erudite monk-poet. Moreover, we cannot date the text more precisely than between the seventh and the tenth centuries because we don't have any original copies but only copied versions that were available after a long oral tradition. It is a major epic poem which notably promoted the monotheism in an era where England was practicing Christianity. The Beowulf's scenes take place in Denmark and Sweden in Celtic and Germanic traditions, especially in the monstrous foes where Beowulf meets and fights in his adventure. He saves a friendly king from two monsters (Grendel and his mother) who killed a lot of soldiers at night. Fifty years later, a huge dragon who ravages his kingdom after being stolen. They both die of this battle. This monstrousness reinforces the heroism of the main character. Without these monsters, Beowulf would just have been a barbaric warrior of battlefields.

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