The Evil Within

1151 Words3 Pages

In Both Grendel and Beowulf, there is conflict. The conflict is betwixt the themes of light and dark, Paganism vs. Christianity, and Man vs. Beast. Grendel, the main character in Grendel and the secondary character in Beowulf, faces external battles but the most important battle take place internally. John Gardener recognized the basis for Grendel’s predicament which is “his [Grendel] stubborn cling to skepticism and cold, hard reason. . .” (Grendel’s Geis). Though there are many different themes present in both stories, there is one theme that remains consistent throughout out both. This theme is the lack of acceptance. Grendel’s in-acceptance is rooted in his lack of understanding of the world and its functions. As a result of the many things that have taken place in Grendel’s life, he is perceived as evil yet, not because he wants to be. He is misunderstood and not accepted. Much of Grendel’s evil wrongdoing comes as a result of lack of acceptance, lack of communication, and his ignorance.

In the beginning of the novel, we find that that a mysterious creature attacked Hrothgar, the king of Danes and his army. In response to the situation, Hrothgar decides to call Beowulf who happens to his nephew. In this account of the story Beowulf is the hero to the Danes. He defeats the monster and it's mother. In contrast, in the novel Grendel, Grendel tells the story from his perspective. He describes to the how he wanted to be friends with the humans. In hi attempt to communicate, he is unsuccessful and finds himself being attacked. After trying several more times to befriend the humans, he deices to carry out his plan of being what society ‘wants’ him to be.

Grendel is seen as the Other. In the beginning chapters of the book, Grend...

... middle of paper ...

...erstanding of why things are happening the way sees them is due to the lack of communication from the humans, the lack of acceptance from the humans, and his very own ignorance. The three elements have taken him on a journey that leads to his death. Grendel saw past the religious aspect of the story and tried to clear his name from the records because he wanted to be accepted. In Grendel’s mind, the humans and himself have a lot in common.

Works Cited

Gardner, John. Grendel. New York: Random House, 1971. Print

Heaney, Seamus. Beowulf. New York: Farrar, Stratus, Giroux, 2000. Print

Landsack, Carl. Grendel’s Geis. The Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland. Royal Societies of Antiquaries of Ireland. Print

Tubbs, Cecil. John Gardner's Grendel-Examining Eteran Values. 1 January 2011 .

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how grendel is perceived as an evil monster in both beowulf and grenfell.
  • Analyzes how grendel cannot be understood by the humans, yet he can understand them. in beowulf, the shaper told the people in hrothgar’s mead hall that 'grendel is evil'.
Show More
Open Document