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Grendel Essay

  • Submitted by: dannykass
  • on March 18, 2009
  • Category: English
  • Length: 614 words

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Below is an essay on "Grendel" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In the book Grendel, by John Gardner, Grendel is portrayed as a lonely character that is misunderstood, and is disliked by everyone. During the course of the story, Grendel meets many people whom change the course of his destiny.   Three characters that have impacted Grendel the most are the Dragon, the Shaper, and Beowulf, each playing a role in either inspiring or destroying him.  
First off, the dragon has one of the biggest impacts on Grendel because he changes his perspective on life itself and also grants him stone skin which makes him impervious to all weapons.   The Dragon talks a lot about space and time. He explains to Grendel that time is like a black hole, that soon everything is going to be destroyed. The Dragon has no hope and is very cold and shrewd in answering questions Grendel had for him.   The dragon tells Grendel, “My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.” (74) In this saying the dragon is summing up everything he had explained to Grendel, which is that in the end everything is going to die and there is nothing Grendel can do about it. Grendel takes everything the Dragon had to say to heart, after being granted stone skin Grendel goes on slaying men and that started the twelve year war with Horthgar’s Danes.
The shaper is a storyteller in Horthgar’s court. He provides the Danes with stories of heroic acts, love, and grace. He also downplays the savage past of Grendel. Even though all of the shapers songs are fake, it provides the Danes with something to hope for and strive for. Grendel knows that his songs are fictitious but find the songs seductive and wishes he had something to strive for. The shaper sang a song about “two brothers which split all the world between darkness and light.” (51) Grendel soon realized that he was the dark side. Even though Grendel was seduced by the Shapers words, they also made Grendel weep for his loneliness. After hearing the song Grendel went to the Danes and cried “Friend!...

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