The main conflict in "Beowulf" is the battle between good and evil, embodied by Beowulf and the monsters he must defeat. The poem is rooted in pagan beliefs, and the monsters that Beowulf battles are seen as demonic creatures that threaten the social order. These monsters, such as Grendel and his mother, represent chaos and destruction, while Beowulf represents order and heroism.
Additionally, there is a conflict between Beowulf's desire for fame and glory and his duty to his people. This conflict is exemplified by his decision to fight the dragon, despite knowing that it would likely result in his death. Beowulf's desire for fame and glory ultimately leads to his downfall, as he is mortally wounded in the battle with the dragon.
One quote that highlights the conflict between good and evil in the poem is when Beowulf is described as "the prince of goodness" who "fought and destroyed the monster" (lines 156-157). Another quote that illustrates the conflict between Beowulf's desire for glory and his duty to his people is when he says, "I would rather not use a weapon if I knew another way to grapple with the dragon and make good my boast as I did against Grendel in days gone by" (lines 2516-2519).
Overall, the conflict between good and evil, and the conflict between Beowulf's desire for glory and his duty to his people, are the two main conflicts in the poem. These conflicts drive the plot forward and provide a framework for exploring the themes of heroism, fate, and the struggle between order and chaos.
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