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.
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.
To begin with , Grendel seemed to be a creature of free will, there are a number of things to take into consideration ,the first and most important being a matter of his birth .Being born a monster put him at a disadvantage where his appearance was put before almost everything else . Grendel was often judged on his appearance as seen with the reactions of almost everyone who saw him . He often tries to choose his own fate but seems to hold
Grendel is seen as a monster that terrorizes the village in the eyes of the people. He doesn’t fit into their society and has no way of knowing how to fit in. He has no companion, except his mom, and was prone to anger and indiscriminate violence.
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.
Grendel begins attacking the humans, “I eat and laugh until I can barely walk, my chest-hair matted with dribbled blood...my belly rumbles, sick on their sour meat” (Gardner 12). Grendel went from crying for his mother when his foot got stuck in a branch to killing and eating dozens of people. Seeing the events that lead up to this how Grendel did helps us further see the transformation he is making. It’s the isolation from the humans that transforms Grendel, “Not, of course, that I fool myself with thoughts that I'm more noble. Pointless, ridiculous monster crouched in the shadows, stinking of dead men, murdered children, martyred cows” (Gardner 54). Grendel recognizes that it is the isolation that has turned him into what he is. He has seen how the humans have rejected him and tried to kill him, the first person viewpoint allows us to share this experience with
Grendel has been isolated into darkness, causing him to be miserable. For example, “A powerful monster, living down in the darkness, growled in pain,” he chooses to isolate himself from all people because he is a coward (lines 1-2). Grendel represents that Anglo-Saxon theme stating that without companionship, one cannot survive. When confronted in a battle with Beowulf, he becomes fearful, weak, and
The balance of good and evil in Beowulf by Seamus Heaney is apparent in the characters Grendel, Grendel’s mother, Beowulf and Wiglaf. Grendel is a slayer and kills the Danes in Heorot Hall. Grendel’s mother comes for revenge of her son and in the process kills Hrothgar’s friend and adviser, Aeschere. Beowulf does countless acts of selfless deeds, even for those who are not of the Geat clan. Wiglaf comes to Beowulf’s aid when nobody else does while battling the dragon.
Grendel whole existence is shrouded in darkness and mystery, which foster widespread fear among the mass due to their inability to control or comprehend
To begin, when Grendel is first introduced he is alone, watching and casting questions towards a ram and the sky, however he receives no answer. This is a first look into the mindset of this descendent of Cain, Grendel has no one to speak to. Later on, when his mother is introduced, it is revealed that she is incapable of verbally speaking with her son. This lack of communication creates a canyon between Grendel and his mother, one that no bridge can cover. There is no mother or God to guide or teach him the ways of socialization, and so, he is isolated; watching the lives of others through a crack in a wall. He is, as the shaper sings, “The terrible race cursed by God”. (Gardner 51) Similar to how Grendel was abandoned, the Monster of Frankenstein was dealt a similar fate. From the moment the Monster opened his eyes, his creator refused and rejected him. Dr. Victor Frankenstein had created a
Monsters are described as big, ugly, no-feelings creatures. They are also described as creatures of hell or creatures that are not acceptable in the society. This is disagreeable, not all monsters are ugly, and some monsters do have some feelings. The monster Grendel, in the book Grendel by the author John Gardner, shows that he is sensitive and has human's feeling traits even though he is a monster. Different events in the book, prove that the monster is impressionable and afraid.
There are many examples from the story that make Grendel look even more monstrous than he already was, but that’s because the story is at the point of view of the monster. So, we’re able to see the natural habitat of the monster Grendel. Although, the young life of Grendel may be barbaric and monstrous to us, it’s not to Grendel, because that’s his life.
Both Grendel in Grendel and The Captain in The Sympathizer are conflicted in their own ideas as society’s influence on their beliefs corrupts and alters their mentalities. They find themselves in situations in which they cannot choose between themselves and the world. Although both characters are fundamentally different from others in each respective story because of their unique dual natures, they cannot escape the clutching forces of assimilation to the expectations of the world and society. Grendel and The Captain are able to create their own foundations in their own beliefs, but they are challenged in life through the exposure to the world and its expectations. The major problem explored throughout Grendel and The Sympathizer revolves around how each of
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.