Grendel's Nihilism In Beowulf

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Many characters in Grendel define themselves throughout the book. Beowulf spends time glorify his name. Unferth and Beowulf labeled with hero status. Wealtheow spread positivity and displayed her selfishness. The shaper used his imagination to believe in a higher power; on the other hand, the dragon believed in nihilism. Grendel, who could not find his purpose, searched for the higher powers. John Gardner portrayed Grendel as a person who depends on others. Grendel's ignorance created further tensions. In Grendel, the isolation that Grendel endures creates friction between mankind. Grendel experienced positive and negative influence in the end. On Grendel's first search he internalized, "I understood that the world was nothing"(21). As Grendel awakened for the first time he saw mankind. "...I found I understood them: it was my own language, but spoken in a strange way"(23). Although, Grendel shared a common language with mankind Grendel is forced in a bubble. Grendel then encountered the red-golden dragon. The dragon rationalized with Grendel telling him that his theory was absurd. Pieces of Grendel's ideas did not make sense to the dragon. The dragon elaborated and told Grendel death will not heal his pain "Cold, sharp outlines, everything around me: distinct, detached as dead men. I …show more content…

The dragon influences Grendel to believe killing would solve his problems. The effects turned negative and caused Grendel to pave his death. Grendel ditched the Shaper's theories and wholeheartedly followed the dragon. "I no longer remember exactly what [the Shaper} sang"(77). Grendel became enraged by the Shaper's song. He became irritated with other theories but his own. Grendel left what happiness he had and ditches it for nihilism. The Shaper gave Grendel a perspective of life, but the dragon turned Grendel's life around. Instead of believing in humanity, Grendel recented

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