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.
1. What exactly makes Grendel a monster? The story of Grendel promotes both sympathy and empathy to the reader, instead of the idea of him being a monster from the perspective of Beowulf. With Grendel narrating the story, his behavior and thought processes can be logically explained and justified.
Grendel remains in an inner conflict with his beliefs throughout the entire story. He is directed by two compelling desires in which play a role in introducing him to the divergences between good and evil. The Shaper convinces him with his meaningful music, whereas the dragon persuades him through his ideology of nihilism. Both the Shaper and the dragon play a part in influencing his views on the human society.
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.
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.
Throughout time people have experienced a lot of different things and these different events have built how people think. Though set in the Anglo-saxon and medieval periods the epic poem Beowulf is an Old English poem written sometime between the 500s in Scandinavia, Because of that, the narrator is characterized as Omniscient Despite viewing both Grendel and his mother as very wicked and violent, the narrator uses kennings, imagery, and diction to portray Grendel as anger and violent for no reason while portraying Grendel’s mother as violent and vengeful. In Beowulf During this time period there was a lot of evil and Christianity didn’t exist at the time so people had a different way of thinking. The narrator is a Christian and it is hard for
A monster is not determined by its appearance, shape or form, but rather by its character. A true monster is one that is a ruthless, unemotional being who takes pleasure upon the suffering of others. The two different stories of Beowulf and Grendel portray Grendel, his mother, and the dragon in different ways. In Beowulf, because the protagonist of the story is a human and not a creature, the focus of the story is portraying Beowulf as a hero and his rivals (Grendel, his mother and the dragon) as monsters. No thorough analysis of the creatures is incorporated and they are mainly judged by their frightening appearances.
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.
So before Grendel can be labeled “evil” by the readers, they must first understand that he is simply operating under the label given by Hrothgar’s town, and acting in response to the hatred and rejection he is earlier shown. Grendel is not an evil being, he is merely a creature who is judged early on, and established as an enemy before anything is really known about
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 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 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.
Psychoanalysis is the way the mind investigates itself through consciousness and unconsciousness by bringing repressed fears and conflicts into the conscious mind. It brings better understanding to what shapes our personalities and why people are who they are. Grendel is just like everyone else, the way he grew up influences who he is. By looking through a psychological perspective we can get a better understanding of Grendel by observing him through Freudianism, object theory, and Neo-Freudianism. Grendel is seen as a monster that terrorizes the village in the eyes of the people.
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