This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Grendel: An Epic Struggle Between Good And Evil

941 words - 4 pages

Part of the development of a human being involves acquiring the ability to classify good and evil as well as distinguishing right from wrong. It has become an inherent trait that is invariably used in our everyday lives. In John Gardner’s novel, Grendel, the main character, Grendel, seeks to find the meaning of life. Through his journey, a depiction of the forces of good and evil is revealed. Aside from being a novel about the search for the meaning of life, Grendel also suggest society’s good and evil have a meaningful and imbalanced relationship where good prevails evil yet facing evil is still critical.
The relationship between good and evil is generally morality against immorality and has a major role in the novel. An action that is life preserving and sacrificial is believed to be “good” in our modern society. King Hrothgar’s wife, Wealtheow, is a complete representation of this concept. When tensions run high between the two kings, King Hygmod offers his daughter as “Wealtheow, or holy servant of common good” to King Hrothgar to preserve their peaceful environment (Gardner 100). King Hygmod’s description of her as a “servant” exemplifies the sacrifice of her personal life for assistance in maintaining peace between the two kings. On the other hand, degradation and hurt and overall suffrage created by one’s activity determines the denotation of the word “evil.” This idea is best resembled by Grendel’s feelings toward a statement made by the Dragon he meets on his journey. He is shocked to find that the dragon “could lie” and “that [h]e was evil enough” to do so (Gardner 71). The lie is what degrades Grendel as a person and he interprets as evil. These antithetical opposites of nature are connected because of their strong effects on a person or event and clearly, these forces are real and affect many effects of events in the novel.
Generally, good and evil are not equivalent in power; rather, good has supremacy with the capability of subduing evil. This is consistently apparent through the actions of characters in the book. A demonstration of dominance of good over evil is portrayed through the rebellious nephew of King Hrothgar, Hrothulf and his encounter with an old wise man, Red Horse. Red Horse becomes his advisor when they discuss Hrothulf’s planned revolution against King Hrothgar. After Red Horse shares his opinion that “[a]ll governments are evil,” it leaves Hrothulf staring “thoughtfully past him” (Gardner 120). Red Horse’s statement indicates Hrothulf’s plan to replace government with another government is pointless because both are evil. Hrothulf gazing “thoughtfully past him” at Red Horse implies Hrothulf’s regard to his opinion and, thus, the good prevails over evil. Further, Gardner emphasizes this notion with the priest, Ork and his definition of...

Find Another Essay On Grendel: An Epic Struggle Between Good and Evil

Struggle Between Good and Evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies

1214 words - 5 pages The Struggle Between Good and Evil in William Golding's Lord of the Flies     Evil is not an external force controlled by the devil, but rather the potential for evil resides within each person. Man has the potential to exhibit great kindness or to rape and pillage. In the novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding deals with this evil that exists in the heart of man. With his mastery of such literary tool as structure, syntax, diction

The Road Between Good And Evil

676 words - 3 pages The Road of Good And Evil During ones life he/she will meet many different people. As he/she travels down life's unpredictable road and enters the work force, he/she will meet both kind and cruel supervisors. Likewise in the Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, Frederick experiences good and evil masters. Although the people Douglass meets are in complete control of his life, he encounters both cruel and kind, only

Contrast Between Good and Evil in Billy Bud

690 words - 3 pages Contrast Between Good and Evil in Billy Bud               Since the beginning of time, there has always been a tenacious struggle between good and evil.  In a particular famous book, The Bible, the continuous clash between good and evil remains evident throughout the work.  In Herman Melville's novel, Billy Budd,  symbolism, characterization, and irony

John Gardner's novel, "Grendel". Gives the reader a new perspective on the classic 'good vs. Evil'

860 words - 3 pages John Gardner's novel Grendel give the reader a new perspective on the classic 'good vs. Evil' plot. From the start of the book the reader can tell that there is something very unique about the narrator. It is evident that the narrator is a very observant being that can express himself in a very poetic manner. The story is one the reader has most likely seen before, the battle between the glorious thanes and the 'evil' beast. In this case

The Battle Between Good Versus Evil

1207 words - 5 pages , Piggy's glasses for the fire, and the conch. Notably, the Lord of the Flies is a character mentioned rarely by name throughout the novel, yet it portrays the battle between good and evil in a religious manner mainly through the eyes of Simon. It all begins when Jack becomes chief and slaughters a pig. He sharpens a stick at both ends, sticking one end of the stick into the ground. The other end is for the sow's head he cuts off and places on the

Conflict between Good and Evil in Bradstreet’s The Flesh and the Spirit

1379 words - 6 pages Conflict between Good and Evil in Bradstreet’s The Flesh and the Spirit          A colonial Puritan minister, Thomas Shepard, nicely summarized the paradox of the Puritan religion when he noted that “The greatest part of Christian grace lies in mourning the want of it.”  Shepard suggests, in this passage, that good Christians should spend their days, indeed their entire lives, exploring and proclaiming their own depravity and sinfulness

The Fine Line Between Good and Evil in Where Are You Going? Where Have You Been? and A Good Man is Hard to Find”

1138 words - 5 pages the nose long and hawklike. ( ) In addition to the pants on Arnold which tight, suggesting that he has very muscular legs, and the fact he could be hiding a tail as well. Satyrs are very muscle creatures, hinting to the fact of how muscular Arnold looks; Satyrs also have a scraggly beard, with hinting of the darkened checks and chin of Arnold. In the short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find” the misfit is shown as an evil that has been unleased

Comparison between A Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving, Fifth Business by Davies, and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by Berendt

1247 words - 5 pages . Dunstan's interaction between other had totally changed his life, his thoughts, and his behaviour toward other characters in the book. Lastly, James, a businessperson in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil tried to influence Hansford's life since he was an alcoholic. James wanted him to be able to support himself and support his family. James and Hansford were introduced in an awkward situation that pitied James of Hansford's situation and invited

"The Devil's Disciple" by Bernard Shaw. (Examining the theme of good versus evil between the characters of Anthony Anderson and Dick Dudgeon)

1189 words - 5 pages American citizens in an attempt to force the Americans back under British rule. Peter Dudgeon has been hanged by the British troops, leaving his illegitimate daughter, Essie, in the care of his brother Timothy's widow. Mrs Dudgeon already has two sons of her own - Richard (Dick) and Christopher (Christy) - and "girls" who remain unnamed. The story begins with the reading of Mrs Dudgeon's late husband Timothy's will. The will reveals that Timothy

Good And Evil

1310 words - 5 pages either lead to something good or something evil, one is given the freedom to act freely. However when is the line between good and evil drawn. If an individual does an evil act just for the fact of surviving then is that deed evil, if so then is it not evil for one to have more than another when one can equally share their resources. This aspect of good and evil leads to the more complicated notion of morality and where humanity draws the line

Good, Evil, and Conscience

1737 words - 7 pages where "here" and "there" is, which cannot be done but introspectively.Our world is a chaotic disorder of good and evil, and neither penetrates the dust to emerge a victor. This is simply because there cannot be an unbalance of good and evil, since each is derived from the other. If there were too much good in the world, humans would gradually alter their concept of evil, making it stricter, and therefore rebalancing their judgments. Likewise

Similar Essays

Epic Battle Between Good And Evil

2210 words - 9 pages The Bible portrays the story of the Devil’s fall from grace as an epic battle between good and evil. The devil faces off against God and the good angels, demanding that he be granted the same power as God. God cast down the Devil and all of his followers for turning away from him and willing for power they were not able to possess. In order to understand what it was that made the Devil turn away from God and what he willed for that was

The Struggle Between Good And Evil/An Essay About Avoiding Homework

626 words - 3 pages The key to any successful college experience is to avoid doing your homework until the last second. Whether you are busy doing extracurricular activities or going to a social gathering, homework should be the last thing you think about. It is an epidemic among "smart" students to finish their homework, and then go out and have a good time. This is just the opposite of what you should be doing. There are many ways to avoid homework all

The Struggle Between Good And Evil; In Macbeth

1014 words - 4 pages are suggesting good and evil as being one. The witches’ line reflects on human nature as there are fair and foul parts to everyone. Shakespeare wanted to get this message across as the main character, Macbeth, is a prime example of the struggle between good and bad within one person. This opening scene is set in a battle field. The scary thunder and lightening is an example of pathetic fallacy; the weather reflects the aggressive atmosphere and

Shakespeare's Sonnet Cxliv Shakespeare Writes About The Struggle Between Two Opposing Forces, Good And Evil

604 words - 2 pages In sonnet CXLIV by William Shakespeare, Shakespeare writes a sarcastic themeabout the struggle between good and evil and how he hopes good will prevail, but inreality he knows evil will. To "two angels" on his shoulder, as the poem at first glanceconveys, could possibly be metaphors for his real-life loves; The man, and the DarkLady. Through the poem Shakespeare explains how his "worser evil" tries to sway his"better angel" from his side, and he