Essay On Grendel's Destruction

390 Words2 Pages
Complete isolation is not the only contributing factor to Grendel’s savage raids and aggressive behavior. The label and detestation that he receives from the humans themselves prove this. Ironically, the society who dubbed Grendel “evil” is the same society that tormented him to the point of consuming humans. The reason that Grendel is even debated to be evil is because of the humans that showed him hatred and brutality. At their first meeting, Grendel narrates, “Darts like hot coals went through my legs and arms and I howled more loudly still,” (Gardner 27). From the start, humans show Grendel nothing but cruelty and blind hatred in the form of darts and yelling, and all because they cannot communicate with him, and they are frightened. Grendel experiences rejection from a species he seems to be most connected to, and he is shown the same meaningless violence…show more content…
Again, the humans place Grendel in a position opposing them, as if expecting him to be a horrible, murderous creature. Hrothgar’s tribe condemns him to a villainous role. Additionally, the dragon encourages the acceptance of this villainous role by suggesting “You [Grendel] improve them, my boy! Can’t you see that yourself? You stimulate them! You make them think and scheme. You drive them to poetry, science, religion, all that makes them what they are for as long as they last. You are, so to speak, the brute existent by which they learn to define themselves,”(Gardner 72). The dragon confirms Grendel’s expected role in relation to the humans, and instills in him that that is his place in the world. 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
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