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Composed in Anglo-Saxon England the epic poem Beowulf deals with the adventures of a hero battling the forces of evil in the world The monsters in Beowulf personify this evil The universal literary theme of good vs evil found in many epic poems climates in the various battles between Beowulf and the monsters While the monster Grendel represents evil in the Anglo-Saxon tale a human being Adolf Hitler has become synonymous with evil in the 20th century In fact Hitler is often referred to as a monster In this paper I will compare Hitler to Grendel illustrating the similarities between them and why it may be fitting for each to be a symbol of evil in their respective eras In Beowulf Grendel is a ruthless monster in the world who is incapable of personal friendship and kills humans out of hate Grendel 1-2 A powerful monster living down in the darkness growled in pain impatient Grendel18-21 and made his home in a hell not hell but earth He was spawned in that slime conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain These passages show how Grendel is not only incapable of friendship because of his living conditions but also because he was a descendent of Cain Because of Grendels ancestors he was not able to live near man so no man could ever be his friend Hitler did not grow up in hell like conditions but he did grow up in a time when different people were looked down upon Hitler internalized the qualities of the time and took it a step further and because of this he was incapable having friends Hitler might have had an associate or a fellow solider that someone could say was his friend but because of the hateful qualities that he internalized he was incapable of personal friendship Grendel looked at humans and saw something of less value than himself If something has
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