Grendel Vs Beowulf

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In life, we have many conflicting ideas in our minds, and the fiend Grendel is no different. There are many contrasts throughout John Gardener’s novel Grendel, providing a mystery of order and chaos, good and evil, hero and monster, all through the eyes on the “monster” Grendel. One contrast Grendel experiences time and time again is that of good and evil. At times he is intrigued by the Shaper’s songs, and feels no desire to kill; while at other times he follows the dragon’s philosophies and ideals, which cause Grendel to go on a psychotic killing spree. Grendel is awed by the words of the Shaper as he “sings the glory of Hrothgar's line,” (Chapter 3) even though he knows they are exaggerated and glorified. After hearing the words of the…show more content…
Beowulf is portrayed as the hero, not only in Beowulf but in Grendel’s recounting as well. Grendel, on the other hand, feels like he is the hero, even though he is seen as a monster. Beowulf comes to save the Danes from Grendel’s wrath, he is known as the man who has the “strength of thirty thanes" (Chapter 10) and also "hearth-companions of King Hygilac" (Chapter 11). Even though Beowulf is viewed as the hero, Grendel feels like he should not be seen as a monster, that is, until after his visit with the dragon. He sees himself as a human, or something like a human, and wants to be a part of their world. The Shaper’s words move Grendel, and he feels the same feelings that humans do. When Grendel cries out for his mother, like a child when he is caught in a tree, “Mama! Waa! Waaa!” (Chapter 2); he displays his obvious human feelings. Because of Grendel’s human like tendencies, with the exception of his violent raids and attacks, Grendel is sometimes viewed as the “hero” of the story instead of the monster. Sympathy is drawn out of the readers because Grendel’s tale is told from his own point of view. Hence, he is seen as the hero instead of Beowulf. In reality though, Grendel is a monster. Throughout his tale, Grendel commits multiple acts of violent, cruel and monstrous attacks. Seeing the story through Grendel’s point of view might make us feel sympathy for him, and possibly view him as a hero, but no one can deny his monstrous tendencies, and Beowulf heroic
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