Similarities Between Beowulf And Beowulf

1071 Words5 Pages
In both John Gardner’s Grendel, and the poem Beowulf, there are significant differences between characters, and the way they are portrayed in each of the tellings. The interpretation of a hero is usually altered in order to fit the audience, such as, Saddam Hussein in America is made out to be this monster whereas, in his home country Iraq, he is looked at as a hero and idolized by some. In each telling, Grendel and Beowulf have many similarities in how they are described in each writing, but each character is also shown in a different light in each of the writings. In Beowulf, Beowulf 's largest and most talked about quality is the amount of strength that he holds. It is not really seen in Grendel the test of Beowulfs strength until the final battle with the creature. Beowulf’s strength and appearance are seen when it is said "Here. Nor have I ever seen,/Out of all the men on earth, one greater/Than has come with you; no commoner carries/Such weapons, unless his appearance, and his beauty, are both lies." (162 - 165) This gives the reader an idea of how mighty Beowulf was and what others saw in him. On of Beowulf’s other attributes where the bravery that he displayed. In Grendel, only recollections of Beowulf 's missions are seen. Resulting in the reader not being able to actually read about beowulf’s mission, leading to not giving the reader an actual idea of how strongly he would be able to destroy his opponents. On the other hand, Beowulf 's ego is demonstrated well in his poem named after himself, and the very detailed description made by the author when describing the horrific battle between Beowulf and Grendel 's mother. He is made out to be this strong, brave man who cannot be harmed in order to boost his appearance and ... ... middle of paper ... ...n his telling of Grendel. Gardner gives depth to Grendel telling his side of the story through emotion and description giving him human characteristics to make him seem more human like. Gardner’s portrayal of Grendel is quite the opposite of the epic poem, where the poem leaves Grendel to be remembered as only a psychotic monster. In both Gardner’s Grendel and the epic poem Beowulf, both Grendel and Beowulf share similarities in their description in each telling such as the appearance of the character, yet each character is seen differently in the tellings of the story giving more human characteristics to Grendel in gardner’s telling and changing the look on Beowulf. Although Gardner 's novel Grendel is a modern adaptation of the epic poem Beowulf, the similarities between them both the tellings ends with the description of the characters and their role in the story.
Open Document