In the book, “Grendel,” by John Gardner, Grendel is some sort of supernatural creature that kills the humans and eats them after he is done. So Hrothgar’s men fight to defend themselves against this supernatural creature. However, we see in the book that Grendel has feelings and emotions towards humans. Grendel states in the novel that he thinks Hrothgar’s men are animals and that they waste lives. However, the humans think otherwise, they think that Grendel is a supernatural monster that is here to kill them. So, due to circumstances I think the humans were the monsters and Grendel was not. In the novel Grendel was not mistaken when calling Hrothgar’s men animals. In the novel the men did some things that made them animals. For example Grendel …show more content…
I cringe, clawing my flesh, and flee for home” (Gardener 14). This shows that Grendel has such a disgust and hate towards humans because they are able to turn tragedy into triumph. This happens because Grendel sees the humans burning up bits of the lost men that Grendel has killed. Another example, is when Grendel states, "Neither Breca nor you ever fought such battles," he said. "I don 't boast much of that. Nevertheless, I don 't recall hearing any glorious deeds of yours, except that you murdered your brothers. You 'll prowl the stalagmites of hell for that, friend Unferth—clever though you are" (Gardner 162). This clearly justifies the fact that Grendel is not a devious and destructive creature. In the quote Beowulf is boasting and smack talking and Grendel doesn 't do this much at all. So this is clearly conveying in my opinion that that Beowulf has a chance to stop the fighting and madness but he continues to boast and stir Grendel up. The final reason that the humans are the real animals is that in the novel it states, “All the bands did the same thing. In time I began to be more amused than revolted by what they threatened. It didn 't matter to me …show more content…
Always we portray Grendel as the monster and destructive character. However, in the novel by John Gardner that is a different case. We see Grendel as a emotional and sympathetic character. For example, Grendel states, “It wasn 't because he threw that battle-ax that I turned on Hrothgar. That was mere midnight foolishness... It wasn 't until later, when I was full-grown and Hrothgar was an old, old man, that I settled my soul on destroying him—slowly and cruelly” (Gardner 30). This quote is justifying that fact that Grendel is not such a monster and his actions were mere foolishness. So to elaborate even though Grendel maybe destructive he doesn 't do the things he doesn 't do these things for fun or to be devious he is just foolish. He really doesn 't want to actually hurt anyone. Another example that Grendel is not a monster is that he states in the novel, “And so begins the twelfth year of my idiotic war. The pain of it! The stupidity!” (Gardner 5). This quote is very straightforward and simple although we can get so much from it. For instance, this quote is conveying that Grendel hates fighting with the humans and he is suffering from it. This is because the war causes him to have so much pain with the humans. The last example that Grendel is not truly a monster is that Grendel states in the novel, “I would feel, all at once, alone and ugly, almost—as if I 'd dirtied myself—obscene.
When Grendel came to Hrothgar’s Kingdom, he brings a major change in life for Hrothgar and his people. Before Grendel came, Hrothgar’s men were joyous and merry. However, “…sorrow heaped at [Hrothgar’s] door by [Grendel’s] hell-forged hands” (63-64). When Grendel accomplishes his first murder, the entire kingdom falls into a deep misery.
He explains how they are truly enemies and how Grendel despises them. Another form of which Grendel is proclaiming that animals are to be cursed is that he is talking about how the animals are watching him. “ They watch with mindless ,indifferent eyes as calm and midnight black as the chasm below me. ”(Gardner 173)
Using a monster to help us examine what it means to be human is how the novel helps readers to make that distinction between humans, and monsters. Indeed, aside from Grendel’s horrible appearance and nasty eating habits, very little actually separated him aside from the humans such as Hrothgar or Wealtheow. Even his extreme brutality was not unique. The author, John Gardner, stresses man’s inherent violence many times throughout the novel. Additionally, Grendel’s ethical journey was a very human one, its urgency intensified by his status as an outsider.
Grendel is colossal, yet not brutish. Grendel is a character who is fit for getting the hang of, considering, feeling feelings and conveying. I think the reason Gardner let it know from Grendel's perspective in light of the fact that there are constantly two sides to every story. In the epic, Grendel is depicted as a just creature who is plain abhorrent and has no feelings what so ever. Grendel's surrender has
For example, when Grendel went to the hall to bring the dead body he found, “drunken men rushed me with battle-axes .. I sank to the my knees, crying, “Friend! Friend!” (Gardner 52). Such can imply that Grendel’s relationship with humans is like battling in war.
This time however, he is swept away by a person name the Shaper, who Grendel is ultimately scared of, because of the fact that the shaper is very good at changing the view of people very easily. During this same period, Grendel started to become more violent as well, first by attacking the humans. Grendel didn’t like the way Hrothgar lived and made the Mead Hall and in response, Grendel started to attack it at night. He killed anyone and everything that came into his sight, and even ate the humans. Grendel now became a real threat to the humans, which inevitably changed his status from sinister to pure
Throughout the novel Grendel by John Gardner, Grendel comes across as a ruthless monster who takes pride in murdering others. His actions give the impression that he is an evil figure, but in hindsight he is not as evil as he appears to be. Gardner makes the readers feel sympathy for Grendel because Grendel lives a lonely life, is consistently treated poorly, and attempts to make peace. If Grendel was truly evil, readers would have difficulty having sympathy for him. Therefore, Grendel is not evil and is no different than the rest of humanity.
Grendel was a being sung about in the songs of the shaper, who twisted tales to fit his own means. In the song Grendel was made out to be a wretched monster, without intellect, who only sought to kill. This wasn’t the case entirely. Grendel was determined to enter society, to be a part of their gatherings, instead at every turn he was chased away, cursed, and attacked. He was only a monster to those in the mead hall, a beast who could never be a part of them.
Pointless, ridiculous monster crouched in the shadows, stinking of dead men, murdered children, martyred cows” (Gardner 54). Grendel recognizes that it is the isolation that has turned him into what he is. He has seen how the humans have rejected him and tried to kill him, the first person viewpoint allows us to share this experience with
Both authors paint a grotesque picture of their creations and how they both desire to destroy beauty; Aesthetic Iconoclasm, that is shared between the two figures. However, both authors present their monsters separate to one another in philosophy; with Grendel being a mindless savage and the Monster being more contemplative and questioning the nature of its own creation. ‘Monster’ characters have always been a target of both folk tales and pagan myths since the dawn of humanity, the very concept of a monstrous creature harkens back to the primal fear instinct of facing a dangerous predator that presents a danger to humanity. Grendel from Beowulf is the perfect example of this hysteria and
Grendel was this grim beast who haunted the moors and secluded fens; this troublesome one had long lived with monsters since the Creator had declared his exile. Grendel had been punished and separated from the company of man and God through the sins of Cain. Being a descendant from Cain, Grendel is full of evil and deceitfulness. This fuels his hatred, and a desire to destroy goodness from the world of which he can have no part in. His first night of violent attacks was describe as “The unholy creature, grim and ravenous, was ready at once, ruthless and cruel, and took from their thirty thanes; thence
“He twisted in pain, and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder snapped, muscle and bone split and broke,” (Lines 347-377). It is obvious that Grendel is in pain but, the reader for the rest of the poem does not know what Grendel’s struggles are or how he describes himself. Because this poem is not in first person or even in Grendel's view there is no relationship between the reader or Grendel. “So Hrothgar’s men lived happy in his hall till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild marshes, and made his home in a hell…” (Lines 15-18).
He says he can crush all the men in meadhall in a single night. Grendel states, ”My enemies define themselves...on me” (91). But Grendel starts to question himself and realizes he needs humans as much as they need him. Grendel thinks, “What will we call the Hrothgar-Wrecker when Hrothgar has been wrecked?”
John Gardner depicts Grendel as a pompous and deplorable beast who is, however, akin to humans; Gardner indicates that Grendel is essentially human in form. Based on
Whereas, Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon. He knows that the dragon was truly a monster without any human characteristics. Whereas, Grendel possess human characteristics such as a human form and share mutual values such as a place to meet, meadhall. Grendel simply represent an alternative darker side of humanity, which is reflected in his underwater sea cave. Compared to the dragon, Grendel is more human than monstrous.