Revenge is a major motivating factor among the various characters featured in the poem. They are majorly keen to ensure that they can pay back for the wrongs that other people have done them. Grendel and his mother are part of the characters who are keen on entering revenge. Grendel, on his role, is keen on advancing revenge, to all mankind, as a result of the heritage that he has had to pick up. He is, therefore, keen on raiding Heorot as it is it symbolizes everything that he does not like about men. It is a representation of the success of men, their joy, their glory as well as the favor they have found in the eyes of God.
The revenge exerted by Grendel’s mother is, however, more specific. She is angry by the fact that her son has been killed. She is, therefore, keen on exercising revenge against all those people who had played a role towards the death of her son. Grendel’s mother is, however, smaller and less powerful compared to her son. She is, however, motivated by the mother’s fury. She is, therefore, aware that she can manage to outwit Beowulf and make him face the wrath of killing her son. She also gains an advantage when Beowulf goes to fight her in her territory. She drags him below the lake with great fury as she is aware that Beowulf is the same man who murdered her son. It is only the courage and skills of Beowulf as well as the assistance of God or magic that can save him from harm.
The poet also goes on to depict revenge a way of life in the land. Revenge characterizes the many feuds that people have in the land. The Germanic tribes shown in the poem are deemed to be more concerned with the acts of exerting revenge to the point that they are willing to follow through some of the wrongs that are conducted against them. The poem also shows that old enmities that develop among the tribes rarely die. People in the subsequent generations are, therefore, likely to be keen on exerting revenge for the heinous acts that were conducted against their ancestors. The poet also notes that the process of sticking to the long-standing feuds. When Beowulf returns to Geatland, he suspects that there is a feud between the Heathoboards and Hrothgar’s Scyldings. Heathobards is a tribe in the southern parts of Denmark. Hrothgar is, thereby, hopeful that he will be able to make peace between the two tribes putting his daughter up for marriage to the rival tribe. Beowulf is, however, highly skeptical of the plan. He, therefore, suspects that it will not be long until the feud between the tribes is renewed. The fears are, actually true as the Heathobards, later on, burn Heorot, although the poem does not mention the events. The audience may, however, recognize the story. Another situation where revenge overcomes peace is depicted in the Finnsburgh section.
The final battle that Beowulf had with the dragon is as a result of the need for revenge. The fire dragon plans to exert revenge because a runaway slave has stolen a valuable treasure from its hoard. The dragon, in need to exert revenge for the theft, flew over the village, causing destruction. It burned Beowulf’s house down in the process. Beowulf decides to go after the dragon on his own.