Essay about A Comparison of Beowulf and Grendel

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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 …show more content…
Grendel, is thus seen as the descendant of an individual who epitomizes resentment and malice in Beowulf. The author states Grendel lives in exile and is seen as “mankind’s enemy”(Raffel, 22). Grendel is the representation of all that is evil and he is declared to be the “shepherd of evil and the “guardian of crime”(Raffel, 33) by the Danes in Beowulf. The author describes Grendel to be an evil, cruel, apathetic creature who’s pleasure lies in attacking and devouring Hrothgar’s men. The author describes Grendel’s malice by painting a gruesome picture of Grendel’s countless attacks on the mead hall in which he exhibits Grendel as a heartless, greedy, and violent being who mercilessly murders the men at the mead hall by tearing them apart, cutting their body into bits and drinking the blood from their veins. The author describes Grendel’s greed by stating Grendel’s thoughts were as “quick as his greed or his claws”(Raffel, 21). He describes Grendel’s as having eyes that “gleamed in the darkness and burned with a gruesome light”, swift hard claws and great sharp teeth which paints a picture of Grendel’s frightening appearance in the reader’s mind. In contrast to the traditional story of Beowulf, Grendel in John Gardner’s novel, Grendel is not depicted as a monster but as an intelligent creature capable of human thought, feelings and speech. John Gardner portrays Grendel as an outcast
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