Beowulf - Rodriguez 1 THERES A MONSTER UNDER MY BED T he...

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Rodriguez, 1 “THERE’S A MONSTER UNDER MY BED!” The common fear little kids share is the one of monsters in relation to the mystery of what is hiding in the dark, such as those “under the bed,” “those in the closet,” or even those that “live in the attic.” As monsters haunt the imaginations of children, the fear of the unknown, including these monsters, feast among the minds of creators. Creators such as poets, playwrights, novelists, and filmmakers all have dwelled on the ideas of unanswered questions; and some have even created fictitious answers in order to put their reader’s minds, as well as their own, at ease. Monsters or other non-human creatures resonate in the minds of poets as in Beowulf since imagination has always played a prominent role in literature. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the contemporary, Stephen King’s IT , literature has always stirred up society’s fears as well as its disturbances as a whole. In Christian medieval culture, monster was the word that referred to birth defects, which were always understood as an ominous sign from God—a sign of transgression or of bad things to come. In keeping with this idea, the monsters that Beowulf must fight in this Old English poem shape the poem’s plot and seem to represent an inhuman or alien presence in society that must be exorcised for the society’s safety. They are all outsiders, existing beyond the boundaries of human realms.
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Rodriguez, 2 In many stories throughout ancient times, Monsters have been the focus of the problems in one's society. These creatures of the dark have always posed a certain threat to society. Further, monsters have been connected to features that are non human or primitive animal like features. Beowulf, whose author is unknown, is a poem, which portrays these themes associated with. In this poem, monsters are shown as beings, which exhibit the dark side of man and have features that are animal-like, and later showing how man avoids such beings. Throughout the poem three monsters appear from the darkness. Grendel, a powerful monster spawned from hell, Grendel's mother, a creature that lives in a cold murky lake, and the Dragon, a great beast who symbolizes death. All of the monsters in this poem exhibit these traits of darkness. The story of Beowulf and his monsters is a long and complicated record of terror, blood, glory, and death. The setting draws us to a place and time that's foreign to our understanding. It was a time when hardy warrior tribes fought against one another, when change and death were inevitable, when all that really mattered was not if you died by how and when. By definition, monsters are grotesque, unrecognizable. But the distinction between human and monster blurs easily, when they are in our spaces and faces, bodies and minds, and begin to seem eerily familiar.
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This note was uploaded on 06/05/2011 for the course MMC 3602 taught by Professor Suris during the Spring '10 term at FIU.

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Beowulf - Rodriguez 1 THERES A MONSTER UNDER MY BED T he...

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