Essay on Medieval Monsters

Published: 2021-08-18
1165 words
5 pages
10 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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In the story, The Green Knight of Sir Gawain, the monster appears during Christmas at the court belonging to King Arthur where all the ladies, gentlemen, and the knights had gathered to feast and celebrate. However, the King refuses to eat until something out of the ordinary happens. Just then, a gigantic and mysterious stranger in green clothing and skin, riding on a giant green horse enters the hall while carrying with him a decorated ax. Apparently, in the story of Grendel of Beowulf, both Grendel and his mother are monsters without any considerable ration of humanity. Also, Grendel was considered a demon due to his habit of feeding on Danes after tearing their limbs into different parts. Although in traditional, monsters were viewed as evil, some are known to be in possession of good characters as shown by Green Knight in the story and therefore should not be judged using bad behaviors from other creatures of the same kind.

The monster is in possession of green skin color as well clothes and horses in the book "Green Knight of Sir Gawain." Apparently, the greenness is linked to his relation to nature. Besides, the character has a face that is as fierce as fire with sturdy legs that are firmly standing with an excellent physical appearance that resembles the power of the man himself. With the knowledge of medieval physiognomy, an individual would conclude his character based on the way he appears. Also, Green Knight is viewed as strong, brave, and knowledgeable because he is aware of the ceremonies performed at the king`s court. Grendel of Beowulf, a lonely and man-eating creature who desires to destroy everything that is good in the human world, is trying to understand the world around it. One can tell that the beast is not knowledgeable about the ways of the people he is trying to attack. The curse is believed to have been inherited by Cain in the Bible after murdering his brother, Abel whereby he was later thrown away from human beings and God by the creator.

In the story, the Grendel of Beowulf, the monsters are Grendel, his mother, and the dragon that later killed a hero by the name Beowulf. The three characters aimed at destroying humans by creating havoc. Apparently, the concept used in Beowulf is similar to the one used in the Old Testament involving sin committed by Cain when he killed his brother Abel. Grendel was a colossal beast who stayed with the monsters since the day he was thrown away by the creator. God separated him from the humankind due to the sin committed by Cain. As a result, his desire to destroy all the good in the world, which he could not be part of, was fueled by hatred. Grendel`s dam returns for vengeance when Beowulf fights and thereby wounds Grendel. She is driven by hatred as she yearns to destroy the human kinds who are responsible for the death of her son. Consequently, several years later, the dragon attacked the kingdom belonging to Beowulf and claimed the lives of many people. Beowulf, later on, saves his people but dies after suffering from several injuries. In essence, the monsters in Beowulf are viewed as murderous.

On a similar note, the Green Knight is a gigantic monster who is covered in green skin as well as clothing. Apparently, the people in the state were celebrating Christmas, although the King refused to eat until something that was not ordinary took place. Just then, a huge green monster emerged inside the room scaring everyone. The Green knight monster issued a challenge to anyone who was courageous to cut his throat and was accepted by Sir Gawain although the beast did not mean to pose any harm. Apparently, Gawain tries to slice off his head but he is unable, and hence the giant suggests repeating the challenge during the following year. Ostensibly, a year later, Gawain travels to fight with the monster as they had agreed. Unfortunately, he does not believe in himself but instead uses a green sash thinking that it would protect him from harm. However, the monster is testing him in secret to see whether he deserves to belong in the king`s court. Apparently, because Gawain was honorable, his life was spared. Consequently, the monster convinces Gawain to put more efforts in his work to be a worthy member of the king`s court. In essence, Grendel is viewed as a murderer in Beowulf whereas Green Knight is known for having the intentions of pushing Gawain towards offering best services to the king.

Notably, Green Knight and Grendel are termed as outsiders because they are different from the rest of the characters in the poem. Ostensibly, Grendel is a descendant of Cain whereas Green knight is a foreigner to the characters in the story. Grendel is described as being ugly and evil whereas Green Knight is a little bit subtle in that were it not for the green color, he would fit in the group of people. However, unlike Grendel who is evil, Green Knight is strong, brave, and knowledgeable about the rituals in the king`s court. Although there are Christian themes connected to the two stories, the characters are believed to be pagan instead of Christians. Grendel is termed as an evil creature that moors and roams feeding on people whereas the Green knight due to the green color of his skin is linked to the wild environment. They are however alike due to the non-human qualities in their physical attributes.

In the two stories, different monsters with different characters are used to show that one`s behavior should not be used to judge people who are alike. In the first story, Grendel is an evil monster who does not want to see the good in people, and therefore he desires to destroy anything that is good. Apparently, the character obtained the curse from Cain who killed his brother Abel. Also, the creature is described as a lonely and man-eating creature that is not knowledgeable about the ways of the people it is trying to attack. On the other hand, Green Knight is described as a character with a face that is as fierce as fire with sturdy legs that are firmly standing. Apparently, with the knowledge of medieval physiognomy, an individual would conclude its character based on the way it appears. Also, Green Knight is viewed as knowledgeable because he is aware of the ceremonies performed at the court as well as being brave and strong. Notably, Green knight did not have any evil intentions by challenging Gawain but instead wanted to know whether he deserved to be part of the king`s court. In essence, it was trying to bring out the best by making him offer the best services to the king. Apparently, not all monsters have evil intentions, and as a result, human beings should strive to know a person before making conclusions.

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