Grendel : Evil Essay

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In the novel, Grendel by John Gardener, Grendel is a human-like creature capable of rational thought as well as feeling emotions. Early on in the story Gardener depicts Grendel as being very observant, critical and somewhat spiteful of the world around him. He describes himself as a murderous monster who smells of death and crouches in the shadows. Grendel watches the humans from the shadows of the trees and at first it seems as though they are the real monsters, slaughtering and pillaging all for the sake of their leaders and for power. This light that the humans are put in gives Grendel a certain charisma about him, making him seem like the one to side with in this novel. Later in the story, however, things change. Grendel seeks out the…show more content…
Grendel initailly is frightened by him, discovering how the humans must feel in his own presence in the following passage: "My throat convulsed and I tried to get my breath to speak, but I couldn't ... 'Now you know how they feel when they see you'" (59) as their conversation continues they do not make much ground with each other, instead just adding fuel to the fire. Eventually they reach a breaking point in the conversation when Grendel asks, "Why is it fiddlesticks if I stop giving people heart attacks over nothing? ... You improve them, my boy! Can't you see that yourself? ... You are, so to speak, the brute existent by which they learn to define themselves. The exile, captivity, death they shrink from" (72) This sticks with Grendel throughout the rest of the novel. Next Grendel is outside the meadhall when he hears the Shaper's song and it enrages him, when he hears a guard behind him and is attacked. Yet nothing happens to the beast, as the dragon has put an invulnerability charm on him, his arrogence reaches its peak. The major turning point, the change, the evil that the dragon instilled in him awakens in the following reading: "I bit his head off ... and, holding the jerking, blood slippery body in two hands, sucked the blood that came like a hot, thick geyser from his neck." (79) The charm eliminates all of his inhibitions as he begins raiding the mead hall on a daily basis. Gardener intends to show how quickly evil influences ones

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