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Do the Evil Deserve Sympathy in Grendel or Beowulf? Essay

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According to Dictionary.com Sympathy can be defined as “the fact or power of sharing the feelings of another, esp. in sorrow or trouble; fellow feeling, compassion, or commiseration.” (dictionary.reference.com/browse/Sympathy) Pertinently this definition, as well as the information provided after reading both, The Poem Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel. and the novel Grendel by John Gardner, it appears evident that the character Grendel gains more sympathy from the reader than that of the character Beowulf. Sympathy's definition, as previously stated implies that one, in this case the reader, can share feelings with another, Grendel, most often said feelings are that of sorrow. One instance, when you can particularly sympathize with…show more content…
“Pompous, Pompous ass!” I hissed. But she was beautiful and she surrendered herself with the dignity of a sacrificial virgin. My chest was full of pain, my eyes smarted, and I was afraid-- O monstrous trick against reason-- I was afraid I was about to sob. (100)
In fact, Grendel even sees himself running out to her and groveling at her feet. “ I could see myself leaping from my high tree and running on all fours through the crowd to her, howling, whimpering, throwing myself down, drooling and groveling at her small, fur-booted feet. “Mercy!” ”. It appears obvious to the reader, that Grendel has some sort of compassion with in him, as he knows that Hygmod giving up his sister to Hrothgar appears wrong. Through out the story, the reader constantly questions Grendel's actions, for one moment he seems like the horrible creature, as he maims and kills innocents, for no apparent reason, however at other times he knows he must do the right thing, and not be that evil monster. Such as when he rushes the meadhall, and goes after the Queen, Wealtheow, the same woman he that he saw throwing himself at her feet. "I decided to kill her. I firmly committed myself to
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