Point Of View In Grendel And Beowulf

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Through the eyes of an author, there could be many ways to write a story, but their goal is to pick the best way the story would be told. Many times authors who write in the third person perspective, lack major details about how the main character feels; but when written in the first person point of view, it allows the reader to interpret the tone through the character's feelings because the character expresses their thoughts and actions in deeper detail. The book Grendel by John Gardner, engages the reader in a first person point of view, allowing the reader to further analyze the main characters views on society, thoughts on the attack on the mead hall, and the final battle: on the contrary, the epic poem, Beowulf, tells the same story in…show more content…
On the outer shell, Grendel is a monstrous villain who hates mankind, but the reader soon realizes, in reality, he just wants to fit in. Since Grendel knows he will never fit in, he decides to destroy what he cannot have and he "[understands] that the world [is] nothing: [but] a mechanical chaos of casualties, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood, finally and absolutely, I alone exist" (Gardner 22). Instead of criticizing the villain, Grendel makes the reader sympathize with him by saying " [he] alone exist[s]". Thus allowing the reader to interpret the tone better because of how Grendel expresses his feeling. On the other hand, Beowulf gives the reader a generalization of how he sees society. Plain and simple. Beowulf only sees the world as good and evil, black and white, there is no gray area, causing the tone to be bland and boring due to no detail or unexpected turns. Beowulf overlooks society as a horrible place that only " the vicious raids and ravages of Grendel, his long and unrelenting feud, nothing but war...young and old were hunted down by the death shadow" (line 151-160). Although both stories are talking about the same towns, they are told through different narratives conveying a completely different tone. The quote told in the third person lacks feeling and emotion, which plays a big role in conveying a strong
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