Grendel's Tension In Beowulf

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Grendel, written by John Gardner, describes the life of a monster in first person. The main story and conflict are created as humanity expands and Grendel questions himself, making Grendel attack the humans as he tries to make himself useful in a world that he sees as meaningless. The book is set on a mountainous coastline, which helps create a large scale feel, adding to the insignificance of the world that is felt by Grendel. This world makes Grendel feels even smaller in turn, adding to the tension as he try to find meaning in the world. The setting may add tension to the story, but the tone relieves some of the tension because a satirical feel, as he constantly makes fun of human society. This contributes to the creation of a deeper plot…show more content…
In the final winter of the war, Grendel and his mother begin feel dreadful about something of unknown origin, and his mother tries to warn him about the future but cannot get out her warning, only saying “Warrovish,” which Grendel later translates to “Beware the fish.” Fifteen men called Geats arrive, and they are led by a mysterious man, Beowulf. Grendel follows them to the mead hall and becomes increasingly intrigued by Beowulf. When everyone falls asleep, Grendel bursts in, only to find them all asleep. He decides to eat them and after devouring the first man and moving onto the second, he finds that Beowulf wasn't asleep. Beowulf defeats Grendel with his bare hands, ripping his arm off. Grendel then flees, and eventually falls, becoming surrounded by animals that once feared him. As he dies, Grendel promises, “Poor Grendel’s had an accident. . . . So may you…show more content…
Neither Grendel nor the humans tried to understand the other, and they hated each other because of it. This is an idea that everyone can connect with as people act first and do what they think is best without trying to understand how others may feel. For example, Athens attacked a small island called Melos in 415 BCE. Athens took over during war to gain a strategic advantage, and this was very much the start of the debate “might over right.” Now, many think that Athens did not take into account the opinion of Melos when they conquered them. Today we do many of the same things, attacking and conquering others, like the American Indians, without seeing anything wrong with it. This is the true power of the book as it tries to inform the reader that you have to fully understand something before you make a brash decision to
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