The character of Grendel.

Essay by askas1High School, 12th gradeB+, February 2008

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

The poem Beowulf and the novel Grendel are based the same stories. Although at first, the poem and the novel seem very similar, they do have its differences as well. Many characters in the original poem make reappearance in the novel. In the poem, the story was written from a third-person point of view while in Grendel, the story was first person. This change in view leads to a much more detail insight into the life of Grendel and his similarities and differences in the two stories.

In the poem, Grendel is just one of the three monster that Beowulf battles and slain. The poem pays little attention to his characteristics, saying nothing more other than his past and appearances. Although he may have raw instincts and a grotesque appearance, he seems to possess a little bit of human emotions. We first learn that he is a member of Cain’s clan whom the almighty creator had outlaw and condemned as outcasts and was exiled to the swampland.

From this information, we gather that he was a descendant of a figure who symbolized malice and hatred. As a demon from hell, Grendel preys on the warriors of Heorot and thus in the poem was portrayed as a monster that needs to be destroyed. In the poem, he has a really no other role except to be a monster that Beowulf was send to kill.

In Gardner’s novel however, the title character here has become the main star. He is still just as violent, cruel and ruthless but now we gain a lot more insight into his past live, his relationship with the queen and his intelligence. In the novel, we learn that he speaks a similar language to the human and what’s even more important, possess human emotions. This was...