In the epic poem Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, faces three “monsters” at different times in his life. The poem begins with Grendel, a monster who attacks only in the dark of night, tormenting the kingdom of Hrothgar. The last two sections of the epic detail the conquering by Beowulf of Grendel’s mother and the dragon. The battle between the monsters and Beowulf represent the theme of good versus evil in the poem, as well as the fusion of pagan and Christian ideals in the changing Germanic society. Grendel’s mother’s actions directly juxtapose the role of a woman in this time period, and the greediness of the dragon with his treasure contrasts with the virtues of what would be considered a good king. In the first section of the poem, Grendel …show more content…
The “Monstrous ogress” was “savage in her grief,” and her actions become even more beastly than her sons (Beowulf 1258-76). Women in this Germanic Warrior society were meek, so the actions of Grendel’s mother greatly contrast with the typical behavior of a woman in this time period. Grendel’s mother’s gruesome actions are beastly in nature, but her emotions of outrage and grief for the murder of her son are human. Once again, Beowulf’s victory of the savage monster shows the overall theme of good winning against evil. The third and final evil Beowulf must face is the dragon. At this point in the poem, Beowulf has been the “ring-giver” or king for half a century (Beowulf 2207). The role of a king in Germanic times included rewarding warriors with treasure captured in battle; however, the dragon keeps his treasure to himself. This greediness is in direct opposition to the qualities of a good king, and the dragon becomes the representation of selfishness and destruction. Beowulf takes on the role of a warrior once again, and defeats the dragon. Beowulf is injured in the fight, and he dies along side his defeated
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Grendel had being killing and terrorizing Hrothgar’s people. The news of Grendel had travel to the land of the Geats and Beowulf had come to provide assistance to Hrothgar. One day after Beowulf and Grendel’s fight, where Beowulf tears off the demons’ arm, the monster’s mother came to vengeance her son’s death. She was also defeated and killed by Beowulf, for which he received many gifts and praise by Hrothgar and his wife Wealhtheow.
The author recalls, “Suddenly then the God-cursed brute was creating havoc: greedy and grim, he rushed to his lair, flushed up and inflamed from the raid, blundering back with the butchered corpses” (Beowulf 126-129). Grendel had no self restraint and was excessive in his killings and tortures. These malicious incidents prompted Beowulf to come to the Danes and set up a surprise attack which would later be the reason of death for Grendel. Although Grendel is the first monster in this epic poem, he can stand for the whole idea of what barbaric elements are and his death can represent how the civilized will always conquer
The Dragon was mad about someone stealing his gem-studded cup, dragons are known for guarding their “hidden” treasures. The Dragon goes to Geatland and starts attacking the countryside, by setting buildings on fire at night. Beowulf goes to fight the dragon when he finds out that he is the one who set fire to the countryside. Beowulf gets into his last battle with the dragon. The reason that this is considered the last battle is because the Dragon kills Beowulf during the battle by stabbing him in the neck with a
Grendel is disturbed by the Danes enjoyment of life and happiness; for revenge he ruins their enjoyment and happiness. Grendel is a descendant of Cain, “he was spawned in that slime, conceived…monster” who was a “ murderous creature banished by God”(19-22). He finds harassing and killing innocent people entertaining. Beowulf comes and vanishes Grendel and stops him from continuing his evil acts. On the other hand, Beowulf and the Danes assume “Grendel`s elimination” is the last monster they will encounter, but “believing that [the] evil has been eradicated” the unexpected happens, “Grendel’s mother appear[s]”(Kardaun 1).
She was unable to be beaten because of her powers. Beowulf falls for her beauty and makes a deal of peace and wealth in exchange for the highly sought after drinking glass. This shows how Grendel’s mother is viewed completely different in the movie over how she was viewed in the poem. Through examining both Beowulf, the movie, and Beowulf, the poem,the similarities and differences reveal what was important to the societies that created them. We are shown how Beowulf is changed from an honorable hero to a man distracted by women, how Grendel is given a backstory to make the viewers have empathy towards him, and how the roles of women have changed over time from being weak to now unbeatable.
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.
The monster in Beowulf, known as Grendel, is a representation of human fear, hatred, and impulse. On page 44, the narrator states, " He found them sprawled in sleep, suspecting nothing, their dreams undisturbed... He slipped through the door and there in the silence snatched up thirty men, smashed them..." Because the Anglo Saxons mainly lived on the coast of England, they feared that vikings or some other enemy will come attack them in the middle of the night. Grendel, this excerpt is a reflection of that fear,where Grendel is the enemy.
In the story “Grendel” by John Gardner, the monster Grendel is portrayed as a beast. Grendel is shown as a villainous monster in the epic poem, Beowulf. Throughout the story, Grendel shows characteristics including jealousy and bitterness. These features substitute Grendel's murderous intentions and turns him into an evil creature. Near the end of the novel, Grendel’s villian trends transforms his life into a never ending battle for acceptance.
Evil Outline Thesis: Grendel is evil because was he isolated by society, neglected by his mother, and had no identity or purpose. Neglect The fact that Grendel’s mother does not show affection towards him is directly linked to why he has developed into an evil being. “‘Why are we here?’
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
By foreshadowing Beowulf’s death when he boasts “for the last time” just before fighting the dragon (2511), the poet insinuates that Beowulf is to become the sort of hero that his people will revere most highly, as death resulting from wounds sustained in battle would have been the supreme act of heroism in Beowulf’s time. It is this particular act of courage in the face of certain death that truly shows the extent of Beowulf’s valor and that he is a hero of the most distinguished sort. Also, given that his heroic death occurred after fighting a dragon rather than some other beast or a human, it is implied that defeating such creature is more valiant than to slay any other foe, just as Tolkien
Grendel is the Anglo-Saxon’s resident bad boy, or is he? Rather than the angry “monkey see, monkey do” type of savage found in Beowulf, Gardner turns Grendel into a philosopher and one who is infatuated with humans. Grendel is fascinated by how they act and how they kill just as much as he, though they are not seen as monstrous. Gardner’s novel, appropriately titled Grendel, is about Grendel’s journey with the humans and how his experiences shape him into the
This paper will endeavor to examine archetypal representations of the female in Beowulf as evidenced through both Grendel’s mother and Wealtheow. Traditional scholarship holds that Grendel’s mother is a monstrous female—either a “swamp hag” or some other form of hideous beast. However, examination of the work of contemporary scholars such as Christine Alfano, as well as a close reading of the original Old English text reveal that Grendel’s mother is not portrayed in monstrous terms whatsoever. While she is depicted as a warrior and a mother bent on revenge, she is not portrayed as a beast. Converse to this active female, lies the passivity of Wealtheow, who is commonly accepted as the archetypal Anglo-Saxon wife, a producer of male heirs and a quiet confident of the aged-warrior king, Hrothgar.
Since an animal is incapable of feeling greed, the reader is left to assume that Grendel, and by extension his mother, are in fact human. This revelation introduces conflict when Beowulf slays them, because it is much harder to justify killing a human than killing a simple beast. The reader feels grief when Grendel’s mother dies, because in a sense, it was simply a mother avenging her lost son. When put this way, it creates uncertainty if the main character is truly “good” or not. By giving Grendel and his mother human qualities, the author has succeeded in creating a narrative that Grendel, or at least Grendel’s mother, had a logical reason to act the way they