Comparison of Beowulf and Grendel from the two stories beowulf and grendel.

Essay by blahdyblahdyblahHigh School, 11th gradeA, January 2005

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In the novels Beowulf, translated by Benton Raffel and Grendel by John Gardner, there is a character that is vividly portrayed. This character is the monster Grendel, a non-human being portrayed in two separate ways. The Anglo-Saxon's view Grendel as evil; there's no arguing that point. However, when the reader sees the story portrayed through Grendel's perspective he starts to empathize with Grendel rather than fear him. In the beginning of BeowulfGrendel is presented as "a fiend out of hell . . . haunting the marshes, marauding round the heath and the desolate fens. . ." (B ). Grendel is an evil monster from hell. However, in the novel Grendel the reader sees Grendel trying to befriend the humans and even talk to them "'Mercy! Peace!' The harper broke off, the people screamed" ( G). Grendel tries to be nice to them, but because of his appearance and size the people automatically fear him and try to hurt him.

They are taught to be fearful of all things associated with hell, so just because Grendel is of Cain's clan they shun him and automatically label him as evil. This in turn makes him upset and lash out against others in his desperation.

One of the most over looked aspects of Grendel in Beowulf is that he has feelings, "It harrowed him to hear the din of the loud banquet every day in the hall . . ." ( B). Grendel was distressed and upset by the music of the hall, and therefore, capable of having feelings. However, throughout the rest of the novel, Grendel is characterized as being inhuman and having no feelings, which shows that the Anglo-Saxons contradict themselves. It is blatantly obvious in Grendel that Grendel has many feelings. He greatly wants to be...