Comparison Of Beowulf And Grendel From The Two Stories Beowulf And Grendel.

953 words - 4 pages

In the novels Beowulf, translated by Benton Raffel and Grendel by John Gardner, there is a character that is vividly portrayed. This character is the monster Grendel, a non-human being portrayed in two separate ways. The Anglo-Saxon's view Grendel as evil; there's no arguing that point. However, when the reader sees the story portrayed through Grendel's perspective he starts to empathize with Grendel rather than fear him. In the beginning of BeowulfGrendel is presented as "a fiend out of hell . . . haunting the marshes, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens. . ." (B ). Grendel is an evil monster from hell. However, in the novel Grendel the reader sees Grendel trying to befriend the humans and even talk to them "'Mercy! Peace!' The harper broke off, the people screamed" ( G). Grendel tries to be nice to them, but because of his appearance and size the people automatically fear him and try to hurt him. They are taught to be fearful of all things associated with hell, so just because Grendel is of Cain's clan they shun him and automatically label him as evil. This in turn makes him upset and lash out against others in his desperation.One of the most over looked aspects of Grendel in Beowulf is that he has feelings, "It harrowed him to hear the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall . . ." ( B). Grendel was distressed and upset by the music of the hall, and therefore, capable of having feelings. However, throughout the rest of the novel, Grendel is characterized as being inhuman and having no feelings, which shows that the Anglo-Saxons contradict themselves. It is blatantly obvious in Grendel that Grendel has many feelings. He greatly wants to be accepted by the people of Hrothgar's kingdom, but because the people label him as evil, he is turned against himself and lashes out. All that Grendel wants is someone to talk to, "Why can't I have someone to talk to?" (G). Grendel is desperately searching for acceptance and love, and he just does not understand why he can not be loved and why the people do not accept him.Even after Grendel goes to the Dragon and talks to him about humans and is told that humans are insignificant idiots who have not the slightest idea what they are talking about, he still has no intentions of killing the Thanes, "For all the dragon's talk, I had no intention of terrifying Hrothgar's thanes for nothing" ( G). Nonetheless, in Beowulf one can see the Thanes as automatically portraying him as evil, ". . . for one night later merciless Grendel struck again with more gruesome murders. Malignant by nature, he never showed remorse" (B )....

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