Essays on Grendel

Beowulf Superhuman Strength
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The world of Beowulf is not like how we see the world today. In today's society Beowulf would be equivalent to a infantry soldier in today's military. He puts his own well being on the line for the greater good of everyone else. His heroics are unparalleled to the gratitude we can give. During this time period there are a different set of cultural values, as well as societal values. Beowulf symbolized the qualities of bravery, being powerful, and demonstrating…...
John Gardner’s novel”Grendel”
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Thesis Statement: In John Gardner's novel, Grendel's representation of social groups is very eminent to the readers than the characters themselves. The portrayal of good versus evil is humans are good and evil belongs to the monster. Gardner also uses the act of heroism to mock the idea of the human's good acts. Gardner uses the acts of philosophy, the point of view depicts from the Monster view and the acts of heroism to show the good versus evil plots…...
Frankenstein and Grendel’s actions
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In their attempts to be one with all the others, they were handed enemies with more hatred they can handle. Judged by their physical appearances, Grendel from Beowulf and Frankenstein from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein are victims of this mistreatment. This dilemma of assuming one's persona based on their appearances is created by society itself. Society's assumptions make and break individuals, which can cause an eternal outlash towards society. Frankenstein and Grendel's actions, although special in their own ways, lead back…...
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Motifs in Grendel
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Throughout John Gardner’s novel, Grendel, there are many literary tools and compositional risks used to support the overall meaning of the story and to show change in the main character, Grendel. One compositional risk that Gardner uses extremely effectively is motif. A motif is defined as recurring structures, contrasts, or literary devices that can help to develop and inform the piece’s major themes. The most effective motif Gardner uses over the course of the novel is the recurring references to…...
Grendel as a Sympathetic Character
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Can you imagine being born and automatically being considered evil? This is what happens to Grendel. Throughout the book everyone’s feelings towards Grendel is that of a bad person or creature. In Grendel my sympathy for Grendel fluctuates. Grendel starts out as a sympathetic character because he is an innocent curious child with a mother who doesn’t talk, and lives in a cave. As the story moves on Grendel is misunderstood then starts to make decisions that makes my sympathy…...
Grendel’s Self Discovery
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Throughout the novel Grendel goes back and forth between the two beliefs nihilism and existentialisms. Through the journey of figuring out the belief in life, he struggles for being a cultural outsider. Gardner makes it tough for Grendel to make a decision because just like Grendel there are other cultural outsiders like the Dragon who shares his philosophy with him. Philosophies of life have a wide variety for people to choose from like in Grendel by John Gardner. The main…...
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Grendel Character as Evil in Beowulf
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In a world of chaos, he who lives, lives by his own laws and values. Who is to say that the death of millions is any worse or better, for that matter, than injuring a cockroach. And in the case of an existing power in the form of God, who is presumed to be all which is good, presiding and ruling an organized universe, why then does evil exist? The prosaic response of "without evil, there is no good" no…...
Good and Evil in Beowulf
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The story of Beowulf was probably composed in England sometime in the Eighth Century AD, and written down circa 1000 AD, by a literate scop (bard) or perhaps a Christian scribe who was possibly educated in a monastery. The poem was created in oral tradition and was transferred to writing over time. It had its roots in folk tales and traditional stories until some very talented poet put it in something very near to its current form. The poem was…...
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Nihilism and Existentialism in Grendel
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Nihilism, as well as existentialism and a host of other philosophies are boldly explored in Grendel, a novel by John Gardner. The antagonist Grendel travels on a journey of self-discovery, eventually becoming a nihilist, only to be gallantly disproved by the hero Beowulf. In the end Gardner proves that the virtues of individuality and meaning triumph over meaningless violence and destruction. While Gardner presents countless philosophies and thoughts in Grendel, the two most prominent are nihilism and existentialism. The monster…...
The Battle with Grendel in Beowulf
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As the Danes slumber, another sinister monster trudges toward Heorot. It is Grendel's mother, who is also dammed to spend eternity in the dark moors. She has passed the day mourning for her dead son, and she comes to Heorot seeking vengeance for his death. When she bursts into Heorot, the warriors awake and grab their weapons. She is not as strong as her son is, but she still is strong enough to devour one warrior and snatch the arm…...
Grendel Analysis
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Grendal is an evil monster, or maybe that is what the poet wants his readers to think. The poet’s use of sensory images, emotive words, and kennings to paint a picture that Grendal is a monster, but this is only an illusion. To begin with, tone helps the poet display Grendal as a monster, not a human. The first example is from lines 407-8, “He strode quickly across the inlaid/floor, snarling and fierce.” This quote shows Grendal making snarling noises,…...
King Hrothgar and Danish Army
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King Hrothgar and his Danish army celebrated their victory in battles in a lavish hall called Heorot. Grendel is angered by the celebration and killed thirty soldiers while sleeping in the hall. For more than a decade, the King could not stop the monster. Beowulf, prince of Geats, arrived in the kingdom one day and helped Hrothgar’s army fight Grendel in exchange for treasures. In a battle that ensued one night, Beowulf defeated Grendel. Unknown to the warriors, Grendel’s mother…...
Symbolism Associated with Beowulf
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Symbolism Associated with Beowulf Beowulf is portrayed as a very loyal character in this poem. He shows his complete loyalty towards the Danes, and his willingness to fight for what his beliefs are. He fights to protect the Danes from Grendel, Grendel's mother, and Firedragon. Beowulf sides with the protagonists to fight evil monsters causing harm towards other men (Wilmot 137). Although Beowulf is a Geat, not a Dane, he still shows his loyalty to help good prevail over evil.…...
Beowulf as a hero in modern society
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In the historic epic Beowulf, its title character, Beowulf, is perceived as an unconventional as well as a traditional hero in current society. Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow and Hygelac's thane, is presented as a fearless warrior to the audience. This acknowledgment of Beowulf causes the readers to instantly recognize that Beowulf is a well-respected man. Beowulf's magnitude is seen at the very beginning of the poem as the narrator states, "The man whose name was known for courage, the…...
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Beowulf: A Comparison between Hrothgar and Beowulf
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Throughout history, kings have been the primary figure in kingdoms and territories. People looked to these authoritative figures for many different things ranging from religion to leadership and guidance. The heroic epic Beowulf takes the concept of kingship and elaborates on it through the roles of two very different characters: King Hrothgar and Beowulf. In doing so, it reveals the differing values instilled within each man. Very early on in Beowulf, it is evident that the German and Scandinavian world…...
Analysis of Grendel’s Character in Beowulf
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When Beowulf is retold from Grendel’s point of view many different assumptions can be made when evaluating and comparing Grendel to Beowulf. The sympathy, which Grendel withholds, represents his innocence and how he isn’t just a “monster.” Due to this reason, readers feel very sympathetic towards Grendel compared to Beowulf due to the fact that he is incoherent to the many actions humans perform. Readers who have read Beowulf notice the different in Grendel’s character from Beowulf to Grendel due…...
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