Grendel vs. Beowulf

982 words 4 pages
Grendel One of the most compelling and highly developed characters in the novel Grendel, written by John Gardner, and the poem Beowulf, written by an anonymous poet, is the monster, Grendel. Even though these pieces show two different sides to Grendel they are similar in many ways. Grendel evokes sympathy toward the hideous monster by making him seem like the victim, while Beowulf portrays him as being the most loathsome of enemies. The reasons behind Grendel’s being, his killing, and finally his death make him one of the most controversial and infamous monsters in literature. Grendel is the man-killing monster that Beowulf portrayed him as being, yet he is also the lonely victim of a judgmental world. Grendel is a …show more content…

Even though Grendel possesses a charm that protects him against weapons he is very suspicious of man. Nevertheless, Grendel feels like an almost godlike being that will continue on his killing sprees despite the crafty plans of the men. Grendel’s death is the surprising twist of events that end the novel Grendel, and the first climatic point in the poem Beowulf. In Grendel, the monster is severely injured by the warrior, Beowulf, and then retreats to his mere to die. Grendel was seen in this novel as a thinking and feeling individual whose intelligence is equivalent to many of the men. His death was not only from physical wounds but also from the fact that he would never be a man. Grendel was fascinated with the boasting revelry of the men and wanted to be accepted by them. On the contrary, in Beowulf Grendel died because he was an animal with no set purpose. In this poem he was not thought of as an equal, but as an animal. However, Grendel’s mother avenged his death by going back to the meadhall. Grendel’s mother shows a common animal trait by looking after her kind, which is also very common with man. This similarity shows how alike animals are to men, and how alike men are to animals. The meaning of Grendel’s character in Beowulf and Grendel varies widely and yet is very similar. Beowulf and his thanes may have destroyed Grendel’s evil force but there is no stopping the evil that remains. This refers


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