Comparing society in Beowulf and society in Frankenstein is like comparing a simple farm to the processing plant; futuristic and totally dissimilar. Although, the core ‘monsters’ are unchanged; grotesque, horrifyingly pagan-esque beings of the dark that strike terror in to the hearts of even the stoutest of fighters and the sanest of men. In the Christian and Medieval world, monsters were human beings with an unnatural birth or a birth deformity (Stitt, 2003). The term ‘monster’ derives from the Latin term ‘monere’ which means ‘To warn’ or ‘to advise’ and ‘monstrum’ which is ‘a sign or portent that disrupts the natural order as evidence of divine displeasure’. The aspect of ‘Divine Displeasure’ is attributed almost perfectly to Grendel, the monster of Beowulf and the terror of Hrothgar. 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
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Grendel the “Monster” Do not underestimate the power of a human being. Monsters are everywhere near and far. The sources that will be discussed are Beowulf (2007) film, Printed Cantos and textbook, and the Grendel Excerpt by John Gardner. The portrayal of Grendel in the movie differs greatly from the cantos and excerpt because in the readings he comes off as such a greedy monster, but in the movie he is lonely and in need of help.
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.
One 8 feet tall, put together by multiple people's body parts, the other a giant, angry, man eating monster, the monster from Frankenstein and a monster named Grendel. Grendel is a fictional character first introduced in the novel Beowulf. He is the protagonist to Beowulf, exiled from civilization. Grendel was born an outcast from society then slowly became what he was always told he was, a monster. What makes Grendel such a successful villain is his lack of remorse for anything.
Readers can learn some things about Grendel in Beowulf but in order to dive deeper into the character and who he is, people go to the book Grendel. The book takes a closer look at Grendel and how he discovers the order and disorder of people and the world (Sanchez). Grendel is thought to symbolize the dark side of humanity, or the sins of man (Farrell). It’s easy for readers to sympathize with Grendel at points because he is a natural outcast of society. He is said to be the son of Cain and because of that he was labeled from day one (Sanchez).
This is the beginning of Grendel falling directly into the role that the dragon said he would need to fill. Grendel’s murderous tendencies completely reflect the monstrous side of his personality and the more he kills the more he grows insane, separating from rational, humanistic thought. “I am swollen with excitement, bloodlust and joy and a strange fear that mingle in my chest like the twisting rage of a bone-fire... I am blazing, half-crazy with joy” (168). It is clear that, by the time Beowulf arrives, Grendel has embraced the fact that he is required to be evil, despite the fact that he previously claimed he would oppose that destiny.
Argument Essay: Beowulf and Grendel Many people have read or heard of the epic poem of Beowulf, which spins a tale of Grendel, the monster, attacking the admirable Danes and their king, Hrothgar. Some may not be as aware of a book titled Grendel written by John Gardner in 1971. Gardner’s book tells a completely different account of the more familiar tale of Beowulf, from the perspective of Grendel, the monster. The narrator from Grendel portrays a more plausible, powerful story than the excerpt from Beowulf by drawing the reader in with a more emotional viewpoint from the character Grendel, making him more relatable by giving him humanlike qualities, and clarifying why certain events took place in Beowulf.
Grendel in both stories is described as a vicious "Monster", but is viewed differently. The character of Grendel, in the novel by John Gardner, portrays a different visualization than that of Grendel in the epic poem Beowulf. In the novel the story is told in first person point of view which gives Grendel human qualities while Grendel in Beowulf is told in third person point of view not giving Grendel his standpoint. In both works, the authors give two different perspectives of Grendel. Grendel in the novel is not seen as a "Monster", but as a human that has emotions and is very sympathetic about everything that comes his way.
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
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.
Grendel is classified as a monster due to his outsider status of being an outcast, unreligious, and dishonorable, which establishes him as the antithesis of Anglo Saxon culture. As an outcast of society, Grendel represents the idea that in Anglo Saxon culture unity and cooperation is what holds society together. In a world classified by kinship and strong family lineage, Grendel is “conceived by a pair of those monsters born of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God” (Heaney 22). In a society focused upon blood lineage and strong family ties, to be related to a “monster“ in any form is something sinful, and cause enough for complete hatred.
In the epic poem, Beowulf, there are clear distinctions between an epic hero and a monster. Beowulf is the prime example of a epic hero possessing characteristics such as superior strength, courage, and loyalty. On the other hand, Grendel and Grendel’s mother are characteristized as evil and immoral based off of their actions. These characteristics are presented throughout the poem, and monsters are given grotesque, hideous appearances to further prove that they are evil. After Beowulf kills Grendel, Grendel’s mother reaction revealed how the full presentation of a character can allow readers to react differently than before and even sympathized with them.
He is portrayed in the poem as a horrendous beast with human characteristics, but looking closer to the text, he is a human out-casted and raised to be a monster. Although Grendel is written as a monstrous villain who kills with no remorse, he is actually a complex human with a repressed anger exploding in bursts. Grendel is often described in a negative way. He is reffered to as a demon in the text “from Beowulf”
In the poem Beowulf, there is a contrast between good and evil. This distinction is presented through the monsters Grendel and his mother, in parallel to the hero Beowulf. The themes of evil and monstrosity are therefore used in the story, as a way to create the notion of Grendel and his mother as monsters. Beowulf therefore appears as a character representing good. Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently.
A genuine definition of a monster is an "imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening," but in the poem Beowulf a monster has much more meaning than just an imaginary creature. Monsters were commonly used in stories written during the pagan times. Throughout the plot of ‘Beowulf,' the protagonist Beowulf faces many obstacles that include fighting monsters: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a Dragon. The monsters in Beowulf are present for a substantial reason to contribute towards the story, and they are symbolic of many qualities in the Anglo-Saxon culture.
Accompanying Beowulf is a book told from the monster's perspective titled Grendel by John Gardner. A consistent theme throughout Beowulf and Grendel is the utilization of the heroic code, which strongly values courage, loyalty, honor and strength - all of which Beowulf demonstrates in his