Theme Of Grendel In Beowulf

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How does point of view affect the theme of Grendel? John Gardner’s Grendel reveals the opposite side of the story depicted in Beowulf by making Grendel the narrator. Grendel, a monster, is the only source of information the reader has, which forces the reader to gain trust in Grendel’s thoughts and memories. Although Grendel and Beowulf share the same storyline, but switch perspectives, the themes happen to change, solely because the reader reaches a deeper level of connection with Grendel by discovering the similarities humans have with him and pities his loneliness. Grendel’s emotions are always emphasized because they define him and often determine his actions, but they are also relatable to the reader and the Danes. The power of the Shaper’s harp overwhelms Grendel, “letting tears down [his] nose, grinding [his] fists into [his] streaming eyes” (51). He even bawls “Waaa!” (51) completely submerged in the moment, letting everything out identical to a human being. In addition, Hygmod presents Wealtheow to Hrothgar, Grendel, watching, feels emotional as “she tore [him] apart” (100) with her beauty and innocence. His feeling of being…show more content…
When Grendel “look[s] up through the treetops, ludicrously hopeful”, he asks “why can’t I have someone to talk to?” (53). He is suffering emotionally and the reader feels his pain, sympathizing for him. The seriousness of his isolation is confirmed when he watches Wealtheow leave her room in the middle of the night and comments “Alone and never alone. Instantly, guards were all around her” (105). Grendel envies this attention, which is why he points it out, wanting what all these humans have while separating himself from other characters. The combination of first person and isolation isn’t used to find common ground, like his emotions, but used to build up pity in the reader for Grendel, which changes Grendel’s character and the themes with
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