CP English 11
October 28 2011
Purity from Within
Good v. evil played as an extremely important theme in both the Beowulf and Grendel text. In Beowulf, Grendel, the mean bloodthirsty monster, obviously represents evil; killing innocent human lives because of his mechanical animalistic behaviors. Beowulf on the other hand was looked up to as a hero. In the human perspective; he was described as strong, courageous hero. In contrast Gardner portrayed Grendel and Beowulf completely different than how Orwell did. We could see a more in-depth complex view of Grendel, the monster himself. The text explains Grendel’s horrible life and includes the explanations to why he does the evil deeds. Gardner shows readers that even though Grendel killed all these innocent lives, he does show signs of goodness and potentially have purity and kindness in him.
Even though Gardner does show Grendel potentially having goodness in him, there is one characteristic that kept his goodness from developing: his animalistic behaviors. From the beginning of the text, Grendel saw a ram, and he was immediately mad because of how mindlessness and clueless the ram is. The ram represents the mechanical behavior, coming out ready to mate in the time of spring. Readers could see how frustrated and Grendel was when he said, “Why can’t these creatures discover a little dignity?”(Gardner 6). Grendel was mad because he knows he has those mechanical characteristics; he is stuck between an animal and a human. Therefore even though he is able to reason, those mechanical characteristics made him a killing machine. Grendel became frustrated not knowing if he’s an animal or human, he had no one to talk to all his life. His animalistic characteristics made everyone see him as a monster. It made him continue to haunt the lives of Hrothgar people throughout the twelve years. That mindless animalistic behavior kept poor Grendel from developing the goodness inside of him; that he...