Grendel the “Monster” Do not underestimate the power of a human being. Monsters are everywhere near and far. The sources that will be discussed are Beowulf (2007) film, Printed Cantos and textbook, and the Grendel Excerpt by John Gardner. The portrayal of Grendel in the movie differs greatly from the cantos and excerpt because in the readings he comes off as such a greedy monster, but in the movie he is lonely and in need of help.
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 poem, Beowulf, further explains that Grendel was fated to die, stating “fate, that night,intended Grendel to gnaw the broken bones of his last human supper”(225-259).Providing a clear illustration of how Grendel’s life was guided by fate ,and not free will like others might believe. He was doomed to die as fated by the powers that be when he grew too powerful and ruthless as he did terrorising the Danes for twelve winters ( Beowulf 58-62) . Grendel was banished by God,a direct result of his birth as a descendant of cain. According to Beowulf,Grendel “made his home in a hell, not earth but hell ……...
When Grendel is introduced in Beowulf, he is justified as a monster who is murdering Hrothgar’s men for sport. Relating Grendel to Cain, from the bible. “He was spawned in that slime of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God, punished forever for the crime
Grendel: Human or Monster In the story Beowulf, the character Grendel is highly misunderstood. Grendel was born in the wild marshes outside of Herot. Being raised in such harsh conditions, Grendel grew to hate the Danes and God. As a descendant of Cain, he was banished as a small child and forced to live in exile with his mother.
Grendel was a being sung about in the songs of the shaper, who twisted tales to fit his own means. In the song Grendel was made out to be a wretched monster, without intellect, who only sought to kill. This wasn’t the case entirely. Grendel was determined to enter society, to be a part of their gatherings, instead at every turn he was chased away, cursed, and attacked. He was only a monster to those in the mead hall, a beast who could never be a part of them.
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.
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.
Grendel attacks the Danes because he is an evil creature, and hates the happiness of the Danes in the Heorot hall. All the noise that the men make causes Grendel to become very irritated and does not want them to be celebrating and partying at all. Grendel's attacks kills many Dane warriors. Grendel wants to kill every single warrior that is the Heorot hall. The only thing that can help the men stay alive is if they are not in the Heorot hall.
Grendel’s story is not only from his perspective, but it also starts far before Beowulf enters the picture. Grendel does not even know of man’s existence before he encountered Hrothgar whom he starts to fear when he says “I knew I was dealing with no dull mechanical bull but with thinking creatures, pattern makers. The most dangerous things I’d ever met” (pg 27). His first encounter with these men left him wanting more. He spent most nights watching them in the shadows, trying to make sense of their actions.
This reinforces the idea that Grendel’s mother is also a monster, since put in the same position as the prior one. The two monsters, Grendel and his mother are also associated with the night as a time for action. This reinforces their animal-like behavior, and the monstrosity of their actions because they are not giving fair warning to the humans. The monstrosity of Grendel is also seen through his savagery when killing the men. He is carnivorous and feeds on human flesh.
Grendel was always sinning by murdering every night. In lines 1-2 it backs up my stating of Grendel being evil it says “A powerful monster, living down in the darkness, impatient.” Grendel was smart in many ways. One way Grendel was smart was because he knew when to strike. Grendel killed many of people undetected.
A genuine definition of a monster is an "imaginary creature that is typically large, ugly, and frightening," but in the poem Beowulf a monster has much more meaning than just an imaginary creature. Monsters were commonly used in stories written during the pagan times. Throughout the plot of ‘Beowulf,' the protagonist Beowulf faces many obstacles that include fighting monsters: Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a Dragon. The monsters in Beowulf are present for a substantial reason to contribute towards the story, and they are symbolic of many qualities in the Anglo-Saxon culture.
Being an epic hero, Beowulf was very brave and battled many immortal creatures. One monster he came across was Grendel. “Conceived by a pair of the monster born of Cain, murderous creatures banned by God..,”(44), Hrothgar’s men would say. This is a reference from the Bible, showing the evil portrayed in the monster Grendel. This monster went to Herot and killed thirty men just because he was hungry.
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