In the following essay, the poem Beowulf is analyzed to determine if Grendel and his mother are humans or monsters.

Essay by tachycardic4uUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, November 2002

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Subject: How Human are Grendel and his Mother?

Although a cursory analysis of the poem may lead one

to see Grendel and his mother as quintessential

representations of a belial and insensate monstrosity

that is in diametrical opposition to ubiquitous

expectations for tellurians regarding affect, indices of

the physicality, etc., closer examination of the text

reveals the astonishing possibility that these

purportedly nefarious and murderous monsters may be more

human than their "civilized" enemies, using violence in

an act of desperation to overcome the hegemonic

hedonists who eschew them and treat them as anathema

while forcing them to abscond to live as pariahs in the

wilderness. Furthermore, I will show by proceeding

apodictically, that Grendel and his mother have an

intrinsic sense of morality and virtue that is rare

among most humans; unfortunately, the stereotypical

generalizations, premature attributions, and

provincialism of this pantheon(qualities which the Danes

and Geats also categorically exemplify, for if a

"perfect being" uses flawed reasoning then, a fortiori,

"mortal men will also?"), frustrates this forlorn family

to the point of taking actions which are antithetical to

their beliefs.

Paradoxically, then, virtue disguised as

evil is destroyed by evil wearing the mask of virtue,two

histrionic vignettes which, if believed, can greatly

alter one's understanding of the story. If one thinks

the foregoing assertions are a stretch, get ready

because if the rubber band of rhetoric ain't malleable,

it's gonna burst! Although God knows that Grendel and

his mother are inherently virtuous and desire to

reconcile their differences with him, he snubs them on

purpose, an orchestrated maneuver to drive them to

certifiable actions so that the faith of the Danes and

the Geats can be tested - he uses them as pawns and, in

the end, they all suffer as they are divested of their

corporeal existence...