Not surprisingly, in the poem Beowulf, the characters of Grendel and Beowulf showed the significant role of religion. Biblical allusions were scattered throughout the poem. The alienated character Grendel was a descendant “of Cain (who was) punished forever for the crime of Abel’s death.” Due to their blood connection to Cain, Grendel’s parents were “murderous creatures banished by God.” God has exiled all monsters; shunned them away from the prosperous lives of humans. This made Grendel an outcast to the society of God worshipers. Unlike the Germanic tribes that roamed the earth above him, Grendel lived with the sole purpose of “opposing the Lord’s Will, and again and again defeated.” Meanwhile, as he was born human, the heroic character Beowulf was considered to be a descendant of the Lord.
Later that night, once everyone is asleep, Grendel enters Herot Hall to kill some of the men, but is instead mortally wounded by Beowulf. Because of Beowulf’s success and bravery, King Hrothgar, ruler of the land, gives him gifts and a feast in his honor. The second main point in the story Beowulf is the death of Grendel’s mother. When Grendel’s mother hears about the death of her son, she becomes angry and vows to avenge her son: “His mother’s sad heart, And her greed, drove her from her den on the dangerous Pathway of revenge.” (Raffel 1276 – 1278). This quote shows that Grendel’s mother most likely cared enough about Grendel that she wants to get revenge on those who killed her son.
His reaction, exaggerated, is very similar to that of a young child, perhaps influencing any sympathy the reader has towards him. This is not Grendel's only close call with death though. In the final pages of the book, Grendel is subject to a very painful matter: his arm is ripped from his body while in battle with the thanes. Critically affected by his injury, and facing his inevitable death, the reader is just left wondering, hoping for his survival. How could one not think back to the younger Grendel in his struggle, now seeing him in a similar, but more intense
Many characters in Grendel define themselves throughout the book. Beowulf spends time glorify his name. Unferth and Beowulf labeled with hero status. Wealtheow spread positivity and displayed her selfishness. The shaper used his imagination to believe in a higher power; on the other hand, the dragon believed in nihilism.
(“Poor Grendel’s had an accident,” I whisper. “ So may you all) (Gardner 174) Was the last words Grendel had to say in his last moments of life to the people watching him die. I believe that Grendel said this in the way of a curse to the people. Since Grendel meets the people at the beginning of the story after his bull attack, he believed that everyone was nice but after being with them for a short period of time he realizes that humans are evil. For example, in the book it states, “You’re all crazy,” I tried to yell, but it came out a moan.
As an example of some of their similarities, both Grendel and Beowulf are preceded by tales of their great strength and power. Beowulf, as a great hero with a great history, is known for his “awesome strength” (418). Yet Grendel, too, possesses an air of legend: Beowulf acknowledges that the “news of Grendel” is “hard to ignore” (408-409). Beowulf, when speaking of Grendel, even adopts a scop-like formula as he speaks, saying, “I have heard...” (433). Beowulf undoubtedly has his own scop, who manifests himself as the narrator of this tale.
We have read the Anglo-Saxon poem of Beowulf and watched the movie of Beowulf and Grendel. These two manifestations of one event have rather great differences in the characteristics and behavior of their characters. The movie seems show the actual events of the tale, while the poem seems to capture the events in an exaggerated and praiseful way towards Beowulf’s actions. In the movie, the poem’s narration is actually by a Geat, one of Beowulf’s men. The tales differ because of exaggeration and lack of presence in some events by the Geat.
There is several scene throughout the movie of this. One particular scene of Grendel expressing this trait was during Beowulf and Grendel's fight. The clashing beast were fighting until Beowulf outclassed his opponent Grendel, as Grendel realise the situation he tried to escaped. During his escaped Beowulf got him pinned in the door. Grendel monster personality and attitude subsided into being a innocent kid.
In the epic, we see examples of Beowulf glorifying himself in the path of righteousness. He is portrayed as being the hero while Grendel is the monster needed to be slain. Good cannot be present without evil. How do you determine who fills each role? We must remind ourselves that there are two sides to every story.
I exist and nothing else” (Gardner pg). Grendel feels like his existence truly does not matter to anyone not even his mother, which adds on to his existential nihilistic crisis. Grendel comes off as self-centered because he mentions how he “[creates] the whole universe”. This trait is said to be common amongst people associated with Taurus, exemplified with Grendel’s Solipsist beliefs about his lack of understanding of the world around him. When Grendel says “The world resists me, and I resist the world” it is proof of his inertia (Grendel pg).