Grendel And Beowulf

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Within both Grendel the novel and Beowulf the poem, there are many differences between the two depictions of the main character. Grendel in the novel is portrayed as a more complex character than in the epic poem, Beowulf, because of his ability to comprehend the world, seek out companionship, and his ability to transform as a character throughout the book. Due to the first person point of view in the novel, we are able to get a glimpse inside of Grendel’s mind, which shows us that he is able to comprehend the world as it truly is. It is easy to view him as an intellectual character, which is a stark comparison to the blood-thirsty beast he is depicted as in Beowulf. Grendel is able to show the readers that he is more than a simple character…show more content…
In the book, he shows change over time. His depiction as a character is the novel introduced with a sweet tone yet ends with thoughts such as, “I burst in when they were all asleep, snatched seven from their beds, and slit them open and devoured them on the spot. I felt a strange, unearthly joy” (79). However, in Beowulf, it is easy to understand that the way he is viewed in the beginning in lines such as, “Till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in hell” (16-18). He continues to be portrayed as a one-dimensional viciousness throughout the book, “…There in the silence snatched up thirty men, smashed them unknowing in their beds and ran out with their bodies, the blood dripping behind him, back to his lair, delighted with his night’s slaughter” (36-40). The differences of Grendel within the two writings is more apparent due to the stark contrast in the use of first-person versus third-person. The humanization of Grendel is a direct result of first-person narration. It is when we are able to step into the shoes of a character we have access to their innermost thoughts, feelings, and insecurities. Our empathy is engaged and we are able to personally able to relate to Grendel’s
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