From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.



by Christopher Paolini

Good vs. Evil Quotes in Eragon

How we cite our quotes: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #7

"You must be willing to protect yourself and what you cherish, no matter what the cost."

Eragon slammed Zar'roc back into its sheath, shaking his head savagely. "You can justify any atrocity with that reasoning." (47.38-39)

Murtagh's beheading of the slaver Torkenbrand is the most morally challenging part of the book. Usually it's pure evil Urgal versus pure good Eragon and friends. But, when Murtagh cuts the head off a defenseless slaver (which, by the way, is pretty much the most evil profession there is), Eragon is furious. Does the slaver's evil excuse Murtagh's deed? Or has Murtagh himself done something evil here?

Quote #8

I don't know what's right! admitted Eragon, distressed. There aren't any answers that make sense. (48.6)

Murtagh's beheading of the slaver Torkenbrand throws Eragon's whole moral universe out of whack. Still, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Shouldn't we be forced to reflect on why we assign the label "good" to some deeds, and "evil" to others? How might that reflection help hone our own, inner moral compass?

Quote #9

The monsters howled in pain, arms flailing. A torch was thrown […] greasy flames roared up in the opening, engulfing the Urgals in an inferno. (58.5)

Ew. Roast Urgal. We can make that joke because they're "monsters," right? Otherwise, this would be a pretty horrific thing to do to another human being. Do you think that the Varden would have tarred and torched the invaders if they were the human army of the Empire? If so, would that have been evil, or justified?

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...