What do the monsters in Beowulf symbolize?

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The epic poem Beowulf is unique in that the retelling of the poem is Christian, but the original version of the poem passed down through oral tradition originates from a pagan perspective.

Because symbols in literature are intended to represent something else meaningful to the reader/audience, the monsters in Beowulf are significant. The monsters inspire fear and cause great suffering, and from the point of view of the pagans, the monsters represent the fear of any dark threat that might interfere with the survival of the people. The monsters in Beowulf lurk in unexplored territories as well as outer edges of places that people might rarely venture; from these areas, real enemies appear, so the monsters in the poem also represent the unknown forces of danger that might come in the future.

From a Christian perspective, the monsters represent evil and separation from God. In the poem exists a direct allusion to the Bible, one that compares Grendel, one of the monsters, to Cain, the murderous...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 879 words.)

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