In both John Gardner’s novel Grendel, and the Epic Beowulf, there is one recurring major character, Grendel. While the same in name, Grendel is illustrated in different lights between the two texts. The character exemplifies some of the same traits between the two texts, but is also shown to have some major differences.
The novel “Grendel” by John Gardner can be seen as reconstruction of “Beowulf” an epic tale with the considered beast showing his innocence and loneliness. The novel and the epic are models where there are two point of views on a main situation. In “Grendel” the monster is someone who is lost through the words of the Shaper and the Dragon, and is trying to fit in and make friends. Due to the words of the Dragon Grendel is able to be comfortable with being seen as a monster and takes on the role of a villain. Through the novel one can see how the author express himself after being involved with the death of his brother. John Gardner’s novel, “Grendel” can be seen as a reflection of the author’s life involving the death of his younger brother through the way the characters act and specific details, Grendel’s interactions with his mom, and the ideology and principles.
John Gardner’s Grendel is the retelling of the heroic epic poem Beowulf; however, the viewpoint has shifted. Grendel is told from the viewpoint of one of Beowulf’s antagonists and the titular character of Gardner’s work—Grendel. In Grendel, Gardner humanizes Grendel by emphasizing parallels between Grendel’s life and human life. Through Gardner’s reflection of human feelings, human development, and human flaws in Grendel, this seemingly antagonistic, monstrous character becomes understood and made “human.”
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
Although both books are written about similar topics, it is expression that separates the two. In the novel “Beowulf” by Seamus Heaney, and in the novel “Grendel” by John Gardner, both books explore what it means to recreate ancient english stories. By reading Beowulf or Grendel, one can distinguish the literary difference in each book when it comes to style of writing, format, and common elements in each book, therefore causing the reader to compare the overall purpose of each book.
The story of Beowulf is a heroic epic, chronicling the distinguished deeds of the great Geatish warrior, Beowulf, who travels across the seas to rid the Danes of the evil monster Grendel, who has been inflicting destruction and terrorizing the kingdom. Beowulf is glorified for his heroic deeds of ridding the land fiendish monsters and stopping the scourge of evil, while the monster, Grendel, is portrayed as a repugnant creature who deserves death for its evil actions. However, 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, sets 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 Grendel, once perceived as an evil fiend in Beowulf, into a lonely but intelligent outcast who is actually quite similar to humans, due to his intelligence capacity for rational thought and his real, and at times irrational emotions. Gardner portrays Grendel as a hurt individual and as a victim of oppression, ostracized from civilization. Although the two works revolve around the same basic plot,, the themes and characters in Beowulf and Grendel are often different and sometimes contradictory.
Beowulf is about a warrior who fights a huge monster to show his loyalty to a king that was not even his. It was written in the Anglo-Saxon time period and this greatly affects the way the story is written. Grendel is written from the monster's point of view and this was written many years later.
Let us begin with the book, Beowulf by Michael Morpurgo, published in 1815 at first obviously. In the book this “monster” that no one knows what it exactly looks like but are guessing from the description that Grendle is hideous and likes to tear things up. Grendle is going after this village for revenge of them stealing his prized treasure. The king of Denmark, Hrothgar builds a reign while everyone admires him until he can not fight off this monster. When Grendle destroys the village a brave man of the name Beowulf takes on the challenge to defeat this monster.Grendel slays the
In the Epic Poems Beowulf, by an anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet, and Grendel written by John Gardner, Grendel, regardless of what he does, has been seen as unsafe to man. Grendel, perceived as treacherous, is just misunderstood and an outcast to society. The back story of Grendel is crucial to the reader’s understanding of Grendel becoming a monster. Grendel’s life experiences of his environment, men and meeting a dragon contribute to the drastic change.
First published in 1971, Grendel, written by John Gardner, elaborates on the beast from the classic epic poem Beowulf. Grendel, a large beast in the land of the Danes, has been engaged in a twelve-year long war against the humans. Gardner’s book expounds upon the origins and life of Grendel and why he acted like he did throughout Beowulf. In Grendel, the main character meets and talks to the Dragon, who gives him advice and winds up having a greater impact than either of the two characters had expected. Throughout the book, this conversation between the two characters leads to the Dragon putting a charm on Grendel, Grendel killing more humans, and it helps to illuminate the theme of monsters and humans in the book.
“Then when darkness had dropped, Grendel went up to Herot, wondering what the warriors would do in that hall when their drinking was done. He found them sprawled in sleep, suspecting nothing , their dreams undisturbed. The monsters thoughts were as quick as his greed or his claws: He slipped through the door and there in silence snatched up thirty men, smashed them, unknowing in their beds and ran out with their bodies, blood dripping behind him, back to his lair, delighted with his nights slaughter (Narrator pg. 42 lines 30-40)”. Beowulf is a folk epic translated by Burton Raffel. Its a story about a hero with the strengths of a bear and a wolf called to a desperate town to defeat vicious monsters who have been tormenting them for the past
The story of Beowulf is an ancient one, and one that has been passed down for generations. The ideals and themes are traditional and its message is clear throughout the entirety of the epic poem. Beowulf is told from the third person omniscient point of view, his conflict was always what one would call “the bad guy” or “the villain,” and though he died in the end, he won gold and victory for his kingdom; all bad guys defeated. John Gardner, author of Grendel, decided to take the classical story of good and evil, and tell a new story from the villain’s perspective. Grendel explores varying literary elements which exposes the character of Grendel to readers along with various themes represented throughout each page.
Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon epic poem, and the author of Beowulf is unknown. Beowulf is the The setting of Beowulf is in Sweden and Denmark(the book 1231). Beowulf is divided into three parts in which Beowulf fights a dragon, a monster named Grendel, and Grendel’s mother. The Anglo-Saxon people have many values. There are many Anglo-Saxon values throughout Beowulf such as loyalty, strength, bravery, generosity, honor, and glory.
Beowulf is an Old English epic poem that tells a story of a Geat hero named Beowulf who comes to the aid of Hrothgar, king of the Danes, and agrees to help his people defeat the monstrous Grendel. After successfully ridding the land of the beast, Beowulf eventually becomes the king of the Geats for quite some time until his own demise at the hands of another beast. The story was influenced by both pagan and Christian mythologies as it was written during a
Beowulf and Grendel are two different stories, and characters, who look at the same situation in polarized ways. Each character has their own story that is written from different time periods: the Anglo-Saxon time period and America in the 1970’s. Both of these time periods have different attributes that make them special; the Anglo-Saxon time period consists of the literary movement of the epic poem and America in the 1970’s consists of the literary movement known as postmodernism. Beowulf is shaped by the Anglo-Saxon time period through its use of the heroic code and religious influences and Grendel is shaped by the American 1970’s time period through its use of metafiction and an unreliable narrator.