Grendel: Human or Monster 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.
Grendel was a being sung about in the songs of the shaper, who twisted tales to fit his own means. In the song Grendel was made out to be a wretched monster, without intellect, who only sought to kill. This wasn’t the case entirely. Grendel was determined to enter society, to be a part of their gatherings, instead at every turn he was chased away, cursed, and attacked. He was only a monster to those in the mead hall, a beast who could never be a part of them.
Whereas, Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon. He knows that the dragon was truly a monster without any human characteristics. Whereas, Grendel possess human characteristics such as a human form and share mutual values such as a place to meet, meadhall. Grendel simply represent an alternative darker side of humanity, which is reflected in his underwater sea cave. Compared to the dragon, Grendel is more human than monstrous.
Always we portray Grendel as the monster and destructive character. However, in the novel by John Gardner that is a different case. We see Grendel as a emotional and sympathetic character. For example, Grendel states, “It wasn 't because he threw that battle-ax that I turned on Hrothgar. That was mere midnight foolishness...
In the poem Beowulf, there is a contrast between good and evil. This distinction is presented through the monsters Grendel and his mother, in parallel to the hero Beowulf. The themes of evil and monstrosity are therefore used in the story, as a way to create the notion of Grendel and his mother as monsters. Beowulf therefore appears as a character representing good. Although Beowulf shows traits of abnormal power, like Grendel and his mother, his motifs are interpreted differently.
Up until the end of Chapter 7, Grendel’s actions are influenced by the dragon. He believes nothing matters, there is no good or bad, and everybody eventually dies. The people of Heort know Grendel as a monster and a killer and he lives up to his reputation.
Grendel remains in an inner conflict with his beliefs throughout the entire story. He is directed by two compelling desires in which play a role in introducing him to the divergences between good and evil. The Shaper convinces him with his meaningful music, whereas the dragon persuades him through his ideology of nihilism. Both the Shaper and the dragon play a part in influencing his views on the human society.
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.
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.
It leads gradually to his increasing isolation (Gardner par. 15 line. 1-2)”. Since Grendel can not talk to his mother because of her speech impairment nor the dragon because of the intelligence gap and the dragon’s dark philosophy he has no one to turn to after his peers and society reject him. This leads his murder spree and eventually his
Grendel believes he has no role in this world and he's always on the outside of everything, and he doesn't really know why he exists. Gardener wants to portray Grendel as an angry, lonely monster at the beginning to give the readers a good understanding of the main character. As Grendel continues his
From the start, humans show Grendel nothing but cruelty and blind hatred in the form of darts and yelling, and all because they cannot communicate with him, and they are frightened. Grendel experiences rejection from a species he seems to be most connected to, and he is shown the same meaningless violence
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. ‘Monster’ characters have always been a target of both folk tales and pagan myths since the dawn of humanity, the very concept of a monstrous creature harkens back to the primal fear instinct of facing a dangerous predator that presents a danger to humanity. Grendel from Beowulf is the perfect example of this hysteria and
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