Manifestation In Grendel's Isolation

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“I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings! But also, as never before, I was alone.” (Grendel, p. 80) Grendel says this depressing statement when he learns that the enchantment placed upon him by the dragon has left him unable to be harmed by the Scylding's weapons. He vainly basks in his new-found glory, but he soon has the realization that his imperviousness has now separated him even more from the place he yearns for among men. In a flash of insight, Grendel recognizes that his condition has not improved, but has instead become much more hopeless as he seeks a place in this world. "Why can't I have someone to talk to?" I said. The stars said nothing, but I pretended to ignore the rudeness. "The Shaper has people to talk to," …show more content…

He asks the cosmos for someone to talk to, but of course receives no answer. Despite his aspirations to philosophical introspection, Grendel is essentially a lonely child looking for a friend. He envies both the Shaper and Hrothgar their companionship, even though he is constantly complaining about their self-deception and futility. Grendel sees the companionship of another as something higher (at least at the moment) than some abstract set of principles by which to live his life. So much for heroism. So much for the harvest-virgin. So much, also, for the alternative visions of blind old poets and dragons. Grendel, p. 90 Unferth's failure to prove his heroic ideal a reality puts Grendel in an even more cynical mood than before. He considers the Scyldings' tales of amazing feats and superhuman bravery to be little more than fables, barely fit for little children. However, Grendel is not ready to embrace the dragon's philosophy either. He sees the Shaper's fantasies and the dragon's pragmatic existentialism as opposing views, but embraces neither one. Grendel is looking for something between the two, which will allow him his dark realism but will also give him free will in an admittedly mechanistic universe. I have not committed the ultimate act of nihilism: I have not killed the queen. Grendel, p.

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