In Beowulf, Grendel the dragon is looked at in a very negative light, as an evil character. This is due to the strong descriptive words that the author uses, such as: “a powerful monster…in darkness…growled in pain” (pg.41 L. ). These words paint a clear picture of Grendel, and it supplies you a feeling for how evil the beast truly is. The epic states that Grendel was “spawned in that slime” (pg.41 L.), giving a very dark image of what he was conceived into. Grendel is a character of true evil.
Grendel was a descendant of Cain who was punished for killing his brother Abel. Since Grendel was born from evil he could never be happy which angered him when he heard all the people in Herot having a good time. 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.”
Many people have read or heard of the epic poem of Beowulf, which spins a tale of Grendel, the monster, attacking the admirable Danes and their king, Hrothgar. Some may not be as aware of a book titled Grendel written by John Gardner in 1971. Gardner’s book tells a completely different account of the more familiar tale of Beowulf, from the perspective of Grendel, the monster. The narrator from Grendel portrays a more plausible, powerful story than the excerpt from Beowulf by drawing the reader in with a more emotional viewpoint from the character Grendel, making him more relatable by giving him humanlike qualities, and clarifying why certain events took place in Beowulf.
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
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. He is portrayed in the poem as a horrendous beast with human characteristics, but looking closer to the text, he is a human out-casted and raised to be a monster. Although Grendel is written as a monstrous villain who kills with no remorse, he is actually a complex human with a repressed anger exploding in bursts.
In Beowulf he is not interested in being Christian or following the Christian morals, Beowulf is stuck in between his Christian backbone to help the people and his selfish prize of paganism. Even though he wants respect from Christians he has a passion and drive for fighting.
The epic poem Beowulf was a story told in the anglo saxon time period. A time when people believed in dragons, monsters, and curses. Many stories told by people of this time talked about the good and evil forces there are in the world and what happens when they collide in battle.The hero in this story has sailed from his home to fight this evil being named Grendel, a monster that has become a nuisance in Herot.
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
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.
Comparing society in Beowulf and society in Frankenstein is like comparing a simple farm to the processing plant; futuristic and totally dissimilar. Although, the core ‘monsters’ are unchanged; grotesque, horrifyingly pagan-esque beings of the dark that strike terror in to the hearts of even the stoutest of fighters and the sanest of men. In the Christian and Medieval world, monsters were human beings with an unnatural birth or a birth deformity (Stitt, 2003). The term ‘monster’ derives from the Latin term ‘monere’ which means ‘To warn’ or ‘to advise’ and ‘monstrum’ which is ‘a sign or portent that disrupts the natural order as evidence of divine displeasure’. The aspect of ‘Divine Displeasure’ is attributed almost perfectly to Grendel, the monster of Beowulf and the terror of Hrothgar. 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.
In chapter 12 of the book Grendel , Grendel’s last words were “ poor Grendel’s had an accident...So may you all ” Grendel’s last words were meant as a curse. When Beowulf ripped Grendel’s arm off and Grendel slipped on blood .The animals , also his enemies were watching him die. Grendel hopes the animals that they will all die. For instance , he said “ Animals gathered around me , enemies of old , watch me die I give them what hope will appear a sheepish smile “ ( Gardner 173 ). In addition , Grendel said “ They watch on , evil incredibly , enjoying my destruction “ ( Gardner 174 ) .
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. The battle between the good and evil was vigorous, but
This time however, he is swept away by a person name the Shaper, who Grendel is ultimately scared of, because of the fact that the shaper is very good at changing the view of people very easily. During this same period, Grendel started to become more violent as well, first by attacking the humans. Grendel didn’t like the way Hrothgar lived and made the Mead Hall and in response, Grendel started to attack it at night. He killed anyone and everything that came into his sight, and even ate the humans. Grendel now became a real threat to the humans, which inevitably changed his status from sinister to pure
The story of Beowulf successfully follows every step of an Archetypal Hero Quest; the hero, Beowulf, answers a call, makes a decision, prepares, faces obstacles, reaches a climax, and returns home. Beowulf is met with three large battles within Beowulf, first with Grendel, then with Grendel’s mother, and his last fatal battle, with a dragon. Each battle carries aspects that add to the Hero Quest but do not fully create one until all are together.
Beowulf is centered around fate and the inevitable results that are planned with any action. Beowulf shows immense courage and bravery which anglo-saxons believed to be his fate. Grendel has never found a harder opponent in battle than Beowulf “.... Had he met a man whose hands were harder....”(167) At this moment