The Between The Monster Grendel And The Old Testament

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Allusions to the Books Genesis and Wisdom: The interconnection between the monster Grendel and the Old Testament Beowulf displays Christian influences in the description of Grendel especially through the allusion to the Old Testament. Initially, Grendel is presented as a monster that simply kills without any justification in why he decides to act in such fashion. However, as one alludes to the Old Testament specifically to the Book Genesis and the Book Wisdom, the reasoning behind Grendel’s actions become clear. Grendel’s tendency to kill out purely out of rage, provides a parallel to the biblical story of Cain and Abel, which explores the preposterousness of Grendel’s human aspects. The monster Grendel, who is heavily influenced by Cain’s…show more content…
The interconnection between Grendel and Cain shows the human side of Grendel, although Grendel’s nature is a monster, he displays human traits of emotion which are exaggerated to the extent of irrational behavior reinforced through “It was no long wait, but the very next night he committed a greater murder, mourned not at all, for his feuds and sins-he was too fixed in them” (Beowulf 134-37). This results in their fates being intertwined in the way they carry their burden of being condemned by god, reinforced in Grendel’s hints of human emotion when “He went away wrenched, deprived of joy, to find his place of death, mankind’s foe” (Beowulf 1274-75). Ultimately, the biblical story of Cain and Abel in the Book Genesis explores Grendel’s character and motive though the expression of human emotion as well as the evil nature rooted in the origins of Cain’s sin of fratricide. Grendel, besides the heavy influence of Cain and his sin of fratricide, is also portrayed as a representative of God’s anger towards the Pagans caused by their lack of piety. Neidorf argues that Grendel’s presence after the extinction of the giants caused by the flood links Cain with postdiluvian monsters, implying God’s failed attempt to eliminate the evil that originated from Cain. Neidorf presents that Grendel alongside other monsters is part of the battle between the evil monsters and God himself. Scholar, Daniel Anlezark similarly argues God sent mute animals such as Grendel,
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