Growing up we’ve been taught that monsters are generally bad. The hero needs to slay the dragon in order to rescue the princess and protect the land. Immediately it’s straight to killing the beast but why violence right away? Getting rid of the problem isn’t always conquering your fear. Beowulf needs to constantly remove these monsters possibly because he is afraid to face himself. He could be his own ultimate monster but distracting himself by going on all these escapades of murder. Never once does he try to speak with Grendel nor the mother. It’s immediately recognized that they are foes and need to be taken care of.
We can often be afraid of what we don’t understand and that can lead to the ultimate miscommunication. Then as a result, what we don’t understand becomes an enemy and they are in the wrong, therefore they need to be removed. In another class of mine, we are learning about the first Europeans coming to the Americas and how genocide occurred specifically because the Native Americans were labelled different to the Europeans. As a result a measure of brutal control and murder was put onto the Native Americans. Beowulf needed to conquer therefore he killed what he was afraid of and did not try to understand and for him that was the only sense of control.
Fear can be a good thing if you can recognize it within yourself and hopefully learn from it. But Beowulf lives life by blood thinking that killing is conquering fear without recognizing that instead he is burying it deeper and deeper with every corpse he slays. It may be hidden but it still remains.