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...
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...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.
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 .
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John Gardner’s Grendel brings a new perspective to the the way the story of Beowulf is told and interpreted. (Grendel’s ability to be influenced by the multiple sources around him changes his outlook on life. It also changes the reader’s ideas of who Grendel is as a character as he develops and changes in the book.) Grendel’s ability to be influenced with ease by multiple characters throughout the book shows his true adolescence and nature to follow others. These multiple characters such as the Dragon, the Shaper, and Wealtheow all are able to use their propaganda to instill into Grendel a new value or trait. Grendel’s adolescence therefore results in multiple sources of propaganda being so influential on him as a character. (is the reason why propaganda from many different sources influences him so heavily.)
It is the jealousy of Unfurth to Grendel, the hatred of Unfurth to Beowulf, and the conflict between Beowulf and Grendel that give the book Grendel and the poem Beowulf the theme that everyone has a story. All their differences tie the characters together and when things connect it creates a good balance in the story. The amount of tension that is caused by these characters creates the makings of a good story.
Beowulf begins with Grendel attacking the Danes out of vengeance and hatred. Grendel is the relative of Cain which means that he is outcast to eternal darkness as punishment for the crime of Cain killing his brother Abel. Therefore, when Grendel hears laughter in the hall named Heorot, he is angry and a little envious, so he goes on a killing spree in order to put an end to the warriors’ happiness. Because of Grendel’s attack upon the Danes, Beowulf arrives in order to put an end to the killing spree: “And now alone I shall settle affairs with Grendel the monster, the demon” (Donaldson, p.8). The author offers no other solution to solving this issue with Grendel but battle, and after the battle is fought and Beowulf wins, Grendel’s hand is preserved as a trophy. Beowulf is rewarded with gifts for his courage, and now the Danes are at peace.
We humans have evolved a lot during time, and have been through so much. Some literary works were done and made in different views on how we have evolved and how we see things. During the medieval times where everyone saw bad people as evil and good people as well. There wasn't enough evidence to put down why that person is why they are; in the epic Beowulf and in the motion picture, Beowulf and Grendel. In the epic, Beowulf is the protagonist and Grendel is the antagonist. Not always do things seem to be the way it is. There is a reason why that person is the reason why they are who they are. In the epic Beowulf they very lightly explained Grendel's background to the extent in which you fully know the character. all you know about Grendel is that he is a “monster” and just want to kill anything and is very heartless. In the other hand, in the motion picture Beowulf and Grendel, they show why Grendel was upset, and why he wanted to get revenge on Hrothgar.
It was a dark time and the devastating effects of war had taken their toll. Many had given up hope entirely that things would ever get better, that the land of present day England would cease its bloodshed. From the conquests of the Romans, to the Germanic tribes, to the Vikings, the people of the British Isles had been battered. They needed a hero, someone who represented strength, decency, and bravery. So came the story of Beowulf. Beowulf is a fictional hero of this time. He is not only a hero, but also a man of faith. His exploits are described as events that are ordained of God to bless the people. Beowulf is an instrument of God, an instrument of righteousness called by God to perform His will for the Danes. In stark contrast to his good, is the enemy, Grendel, the incarnation of pure evil. He is an enemy of the people, and according to the text even an enemy of God. Grendel is a destructive and murderous "creature" that is completely opposed to all that is good. From certain passages we can see that the writers or editors of Beowulf intended to draw a religious parallel between these two characters of Beowulf and Grendel and the religious ones. The premise of good versus evil is quite easy to surmise, but the writers intended to use the Bible to elevate the tone of the story to a more spiritual than natural one. There are a few passages that this can be seen in. The first is passages describing Grendel and his beginnings. The second is selected dialogue from the Danes and Beowulf.
Rudd cites various sections of the poem, describing Grendel as a “night-monster of the border lands” (Rudd 3), and the translation of the poem says that Grendel was, “...Conceived by a pair of those monsters born Of Cain, murderous creatures banished By God…” (Raffel 42). Rudd also gives evidence for Grendel being seen as demonic, and reasons that Grendel attacks the Danes out of “...not mere thirst for gore, as we might suspect… but rather… envy of the Danes’ happiness- and envy was a chief characteristic of the medieval devil.” (Ruud 5). He then ties this devilish persona to Grendel’s humanistic aspects, stating Grendel has a heathen soul, and therefore he must be human. Ruud also notes, however, that there are critics who question the validity of portraying Grendel as this three-sided figure, asking questions such as, “How can Grendel be a devil when he has a physical body? How can he be a man when he is so manifestly bestial?” (Ruud 7). Ruud believes that the original poet of Beowulf is doing this for effect rather than consistency, but a more reasonable explanation that encompasses all three characteristics is that Grendel represents the evil in
The story begins with Grendel taking the lives of countless innocent men. It seems to all that there is no one who can face this great monster who lives down in the swamp. The king, Hrothgar, becomes concerned for the health of his country and seeks out help from someone of great strength. In hearing this, Beowulf sees it as an opportunity to increase his popularity and fame. Upon arrival, he is anxious to come face to face with the great beast. In addition, he declares that he will fight Grendel without any weapons to prove who is truly the strongest. After his victory, Beowulf gets his fame and becomes king of another land for fifty years.
...owards Grendel. Gardner’s retelling of Beowulf reinforces the universal idea that there are two, if not more, sides to every story. It is prudent to remember that what is monstrous to some may be perfectly normal to others and recognizing all viewpoints can help bring about a truth: good and evil are not always clear-cut.
There are many evil people in this world. They are evil because that is how we view them. The country that is being attacked by a terrorist views the terrorist as evil, whereas the country that the terrorist is from views the terrorist as a hero. There are few people that are truly evil. To be truly evil everyone must agree that the person is evil. In the novel, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Roger Chillingworth is truly evil.
The main character, and protagonist, Beowulf is first introduced in the novel by means of ancestral lineage. Born into greatness, Beowulf makes his reputation indisputable through action. With the King Hrothgar as witness, Beowulf declares his intentions to aid the Danes by way of slaying the awesome beast Grendel who has caused havoc among the lands. "Now I mean to be a match for Grendel, settle the outcome in single combat." As every great hero fulfils his boast, Beowulf did not fall short. Though the destruction of Grendel brought relief and rejoicings- a mother's wrath would cause it to fall short. Again, the mighty Beowulf takes on this mighty beast, descendant of Cain. As Hrothgar desperately states: "Now help depends again on you and you alone./ Seek it if you dare."
The story of Beowulf is a heroic epic chronicling the illustrious deeds of the great Geatish warrior Beowulf, who voyages across the seas to rid the Danes of an evil monster, Grendel, who has been wreaking havoc and terrorizing the kingdom. Beowulf is glorified for his heroic deeds of ridding the land of a fiendish monster and halting its scourge of evil while the monster is portrayed as a repugnant creature who deserves to die because of its evil actions. In the epic poem, Beowulf the authors portrays Grendel as a cold-hearted beast who thrives on the pain of others. Many have disagreed with such a simplistic and biased representation of Grendel and his role in the epic poem. John Gardner in his book, Grendel set out to change the reader’s perception of Grendel and his role in Beowulf by narrating the story through Grendel’s point of view. John Gardner transforms the perceived terrible evil fiend who is Grendel into a lonely but intelligent outcast who bears a striking resemblance to his human adversaries. In Grendel, John Gardner portrays Grendel as an intelligent being capable of rational thought as well as displaying outbursts of emotion. He portrays Grendel as a hurt individual and as a victim of oppression ostracized from civilization. The author of Beowulf portrays Grendel as the typical monster archetype as compared to John Gardner’s representation of Grendel as an outcast archetype.
Beowulf outlines turmoil between three opponents: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the Dragon. These separate discords each serve to fulfill different metaphoric purposes. Grendel’s character epitomizes the adverse persona of how an Anglo-Saxon warrior should not be. His mother represents everything that a woman during the time era should seldom be. Lastly, the Dragon embodies all the values that an Anglo-Saxon king should not dare retain. Without a doubt, the symbolic implications of the monsters in Beowulf bring the context to a new level of understanding.
Since Beowulf is the hero of the epic, the words used to describe him are positive and strong, for example, “marvelous tales” (379), “hero” (399) “fine-forged mesh” “gleaming” (400). In contrast, when Grendel is being discussed he gets negative words such as, “gruesome day” (442), “glut himself.”(443) “gorged and bloodied” (447) “gloating with my raw corpse … in a cruel frenzy, fouling his moor-nest” (447-450). This difference in language is done to show that Beowulf and Grendel are opposites of each other and to emphasize that Beowulf is a valiant hero while Grendel is a malicious monster. Another difference in language is that Beowulf is depicted as God’s champion, while Grendel is like a demon who opposes God’s will. Beowulf shows his affiliation with God by using speech like, “Heaven’s dome” (414) and “just judgement by God” (441). His connection with God is shown in the fact that Hrothgar says was sent by God to Heorot to defeat Grendel. Grendel is portrayed as some demonic presence because Beowulf has to “purify” (431) Heorot from
Beowulf starts his first battle against Grendel. Grendel is a powerful demon from Cain. He lives in the bottom of a boiling swamp with his mother. He was raised to be a wicked, cruel demon, but does not turn out to be the heinous monster he was taught to be. Grendel lies in the shadows of the soldiers in the mead hall. He watches over them closely, waiting for the perfect time to attack. Grendel, a ruthless, demonic monster, is not what he really seems to be. Instead, Grendel is actually quite a coward. He is feared by many, except Beowulf. Grendel only attacks during the night when the mead hall guards are sound asleep. Grendel resembles man, but is quite larger, making it much easier for him to defeat men. On the night of the attack, Grendel
In reading Grendel and Beowulf, one can find many similarities in the way the events occur in the books, however because of contrasting points of view, the reader gets insight on the entire picture from two different sides. This allows the reader to better understand each book and its contents, such as their beliefs and the concept of good and evil, and acknowledge the ways the character Grendel can be described.