Grendel Analysis

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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Grendel Short Answer Open Response Essays How does Grendel create for Unferth a fate worse then death? Why does he do this to him? By denying Unferth death, the ability to die in battle for a noble cause, destroys Unferth's purpose in life. "Except in the life of a hero, the whole world's meaningless. The hero sees value beyond what's possible. [Even when it eventually kills him.]"� Unferth has the belief that he as purpose because he is willing to die to protect the king and his people. By accepting this fate makes him honorable. It makes his life's struggle worthwhile.

Grendel, after his meeting with the dragon, is becoming more cynical and ceases to see meaning in anything. Grendel doesn't see meaning in heroism "[Heroism] breaks up the boredom."� is his reply to Unferth's explanation that heroism gives meaning. What Grendel doesn't see is that by breaking up the boredom heroism gets its meaning.

So the reasons why Grendel sees it meaningless is the same thing that gives it meaning.

How does Grendel's telling of his own story affect your response to him? How is this response different from the way you thought of him in Beowulf? The response to Grendel's story in respect to Beowulf is that Grendel is portrayed as more of a humanized monster in the fact that he has feelings and has conflicting feelings over his actions. He is not the totally ruthless killer pictured in Beowulf. In Grendel you are shown what he went through. The decisions he made and why he made them. In Beowulf Grendel appears as this unfeeling killer who is driven by some demonic force. In Grendel you see how the conflicting thoughts he feels towards humans makes him act somewhat odd.

"I resolved, absolutely and...