A Comparison of Grendel in Beowulf and John Gardner's Grendel Essay

A Comparison of Grendel in Beowulf and John Gardner's Grendel Essay

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In both works, Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel himself is generally given the same connotations. He is given kennings, called names, referred to as the evil spawn of Cain, and even viewed as a monster; but why? Why in both books is he a wicked, horrible, person who is harshly excluded from everyone? After stumbling upon John Gardner's book, it was halfway expected that some excuse would be made for Grendel; that he wasn't really the inexorable monster the thanes in Beowulf portrayed him as. But all it really did was make him worse. What is the message we are being sent about Grendel?
In Beowulf, we hardly know anything about Grendel. His name is barely mentioned and instead he is given an abundant amount of kennings. In Grendel, we learn everything about him; his life philosophy's, his "family", and even his childhood. But why is it that we get the genealogy for every important character in Beowulf except Grendel? The only outright thing we know about him is that he is the spawn of Cain. It is almost as if the Anglo-Saxon's didn't want you to know how Grendel became the way he did. I...

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A Comparison of Grendel in Beowulf and John Gardner's Grendel Essay

- In both works, Beowulf and Grendel, Grendel himself is generally given the same connotations. He is given kennings, called names, referred to as the evil spawn of Cain, and even viewed as a monster; but why. Why in both books is he a wicked, horrible, person who is harshly excluded from everyone. After stumbling upon John Gardner's book, it was halfway expected that some excuse would be made for Grendel; that he wasn't really the inexorable monster the thanes in Beowulf portrayed him as. But all it really did was make him worse....   [tags: John Gardner Beowulf]

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