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Traditionally light means good and dark means evil This assumption is proven in many instances of Beowulf though in all three battles we also see contradictions to this assumption Sometimes what we see or assume may not always be just that The light and dark imagery used in Beowulf helps to create this ambiguous theme and furthermore makes the contrasts between the battles more evident In the Grendel episode light and dark imagery are very evident Before Beowulf arrives in the Danish kingdom he hears stories of the powerful Grendel and how he never dared to touch king Hrothgars glorious throne This is the first instance where light and dark imagery collide Grendel wouldnt touch the throne because the throne represented glory or light and Grendel represented evil or dark The second occurrence is the actual attack of Grendel He moved quickly through the cloudy nighttoward that gold-shining hall In this imagery we see an obvious light and dark conflict but we also see a good vs evil conflict as well Grendel comes to attack the mead hall at night which reveals that the dark or evil is attacking the light or good in which case the good overcame the evil We notice this in the third example When morning came crowds surrounded to behold the monsters great staggering tracks and watch as his great body was dropped deep in murky darknessas hell opened to receive him Evil was defeated and treasures were given in return In this case the death of Grendel is representative of darkness and the treasures Beowulf received is representative of light After Grendels death Grendels mother seeks revenge against Beowulf for his actions Beowulf dives into the lake representative of the underworld or hell This symbolism of hell is one example of light and dark imagery in Beowulf Its almost like a religious battle that Beowulf is taking on Beowulf represents an ambassador from heaven to defeat the evils
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