Grendel is seen a monster and horrible creature, while Beowulf is seen as a great warrior and hero. Although the characters are portrayed as very different, they also have many similarities. Beowulf’s killings and feats are seen as justified and respected, while Grendel’s are seen as monstrous; however, from Grendel’s point of view, he may have been doing the right thing. Beowulf could have easily written from another point of view showing Grendel as the hero, which reminds the reader that many heroes and villains may not be so different after
In a tale of epic proportions, where gruesome monsters meet valiant heroes, it is a surprise that human nature is a topic that is expressed so excellently in Beowulf. The reader is introduced to multi-dimensional characters that possess god-like strengths, but also typical human-like mistakes. These mistakes are what make Beowulf so relevant and relatable to the common man and are what acknowledge the age old saying that nobody’s perfect. Even Beowulf, the superhuman man who could kill a monster with his bare hands is susceptible to these weaknesses. Human flaws are portrayed numerous times through characters in the poem, by both monster and by man.
Being either humane or monstrous shapes a person or things identity and often the degree of monstrosity can become disruptive. Throughout Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the theme monstrosity vs. humanity is constant. The creature is referred to as a monster but the novel begins to reveal the identity of Victor Frankenstein, making him the true monster. The whole of humanity becomes monstrous in the eyes of its readers; a humanity that can’t see past its prejudices is evident throughout the book. “Am I to be thought the only criminal when all human kind has sinned against me?” As a creator, Victor Frankenstein abandons his creature, and neglects him in ways a creator shouldn’t.
Beowulf Exposition Throughout the story Beowulf is characterized as the hero and the villain. The author uses many epithets to describe Beowulf’s personality and to show what kind of warrior he truly is. He displays Beowulf as a “Killer of souls” (177), but also the “Mightiest man on Earth” ( 217), by interpreting him as a hero and villain at the same time. The ultimate purpose for providing these epithets in the beginning of the story was to provide the reader a chance to fully understand who Beowulf really is. Beowulf was characterized as a man of courage and discipline; he has fought beasts on land and sea, and will now meet his ultimate challenge.
More of this ominous diction that Shelley uses is shown here and it provides very disturbing imagery. The creepy imagery that is used really makes one's stomach turn so they can see the gruesomeness of the monster, and the gravity of the situation that Frankenstein has put himself in. This also helps us know how he must’ve felt in that position! Obsessed with the pursuit of knowledge, Frankenstein ends up destroying his whole life. He now lives in fear that the monster will kill him.
Like any other story when one does not experience the events himself it tends to sway towards the story tellers point of view. In this case that would be from the point of view that does consider the creature a non-human ‘monster.’ Does a non-human creature appeal to it’s creator? Appeal for sympathy is uniquely human, to me, and the creature exhibits this thoroughly. I have yet to hear of or see an example of an animal doing so. This ability to feel emotion is exemplified when the creature says: "Believe me, Frankenstein: I was benevolent; my soul glowed with love and humanity; but am I not alone, miserably alone?
Finally, the monster’s passage of narration is located in the ‘innermost circle’. By structuring her novel in this way, Mary Shelley portrays ‘the humans’ as the most monstrous; as they appear to hold the monster captive and restrict the opportunities he has to narrate and relay his point of view. However, by forming her novel using a ‘dual narrative’ Shelley allows both the humans and the monster the chance to give their viewpoints on the other. If anything, this dual narration makes the humans and the monster as monstrous as each other, as both of them use their piece of narration in order to plot revenge upon the other. In fact, one factor supporting the idea that the monster is more monstrous than the humans is the monster’s reaction to murdering William Frankenstein.
In the story of Beowulf there are many demonstrations of Beowulf’s superhuman strength, but there is one event that stands out the most. That event occurred during the battle of Beowulf and the monster Grendel, in which Grendel finally is defeated. “He twisted in pain,/ and the bleeding sinews deep in his shoulder/ snapped, muscle and bone split/and broke”(105-108). Beowulf is so strong, that he is able to rip Grendels arm off. Grendel is a big, evil monster who would kill humans, so it is no easy task ripping Grendels arm off.
Frankenstein is an ambitious and determined character with obsessive tendencies, and poor judgement but also a character who sometimes lack clear understanding and it is these character flaws which result in his ultimate demise. He is describes as having the appearance of one who’s ‘spirit had been broken by misery’ and having an “expression of wildness…even madness”. In Frankenstein’s first appearance in the novel, he emerges from a ‘very thick fog’. This fog could be seen as symbolic- Frankenstein’s ‘vision’ is clouded and the fog could be considered a symbol of this. He is exceedingly ambitious and acknowledges that it was the knowledge of life and death that he sought.
I had hung between possibilities before, between the cold truths i knew and the heart-sucking conjuring tricks of the Shaper: now that was passed: I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings!" In this quote Grendel is compared to the Dragon, because he is portrayed as villain, which is how the dragon is described. Now we see a switch in Grendel’s personality, because he goes from a lonely and mindless monster to a evil and villain like monster as he is described in