Essay On Grendel As A Monster In Beowulf

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The common characteristics of what makes a monster have remained constant throughout society: evil, isolated, violent. Monsters have no regards for social normatives, and cause chaos and destruction wherever they go. Grendel is no exception. In Beowulf, Grendel manifests every characteristic of a stereotypical monster. He is considered inherently evil, and is an outcast; he roams alone and commits devilish atrocities whenever he pleases. 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. Thus, with no notion of who Grendel truly is, the Danes already believe him to be
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To heighten the conflict between Grendel and religion, Grendel is described as “forever opposing the Lord’s will” (Heaney 28-29). In Anglo Saxon Culture, every aspect of society is focused around God. To be anti-religious is to go against all aspects of their society. Grendel is almost a physical manifestation of the devil, and nothing is able to “quench his lust for evil” (Heaney 52-53). The parallel between Grendel and one of the seven deadly sins strengthens his connection to sins against God, and thus more monstrous toward the Danes. His main goal is to cause harm, yet he is never satisfied with the cruelties he
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