Evil Twins? The Role of the Monsters in Beowulf

Evil Twins? The Role of the Monsters in Beowulf

Bruce, Alexander M.

Medieval Forum, vol. 6 (2007)


When we consider the balanced contrast between Beowulf and the monsters he faces, we might be tempted to classify the poem as an “evil twin” story; certainly example after example points to an intentional highlighting of a Beowulf-monster association. Yet the poet went beyond what we may consider a cliché plot motif to a greater issue: how human beings have a monstrous side, and how at times it is truly difficult to tell monster from human and at times so much easier, because the humans are so much more monstrous.

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