Modern Day Monster

Essay by alexfishburnHigh School, 11th gradeA+, August 2006

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Countless changes may occur in a span of 1500 years, such as the status of empires or the acceptance of religions. With literature, this duration of time is enough to even modernize the archetypical monster. With Grendel in the "Dark Age epic of Beowulf" and the crime lord Tony Montana in the 1980's gangster motion picture "Scarface", it is simple to understand that despite the parallel murderous attitudes, there is a difference in moral values, intelligence, and lifestyle between the two fiends. These differences allow the audience to connect with and feel more sympathetic for the modern-day monster, Tony.

There is a great dissimilarity between Grendel and Montana regarding ethics. Murder seems to be a joyful, or even entertaining, action to undertake for Grendel. After he "snatched up thirty men, smashed them...and ran out with their bodies...back to his lair" he was "delighted with his night's slaughter" (49). In regards to conscience, Grendel had no idea that what he did was wrong.

He actually believed that his homicidal act was right. Readers right away shun the idea of feeling compassionate for this villain. Tony Montana's principles fly in contrast with Grendel's. When faced with the task of assassinating a man and the target's wife and kids get in the way, Tony decides, "We kill this guy alone. No wife, no kids!". Tony's conscience forces him to do the right thing and not kill the woman or children. This morality makes him appear to be kind and sensitive. When they see these human qualities in him, viewers can relate to Tony more than they ever could with the cold, heartless Grendel. Tony Montana's caring personality differs from that of Grendel's merciless mentality.

When it comes to intelligence between the monsters Montana and Grendel, Tony's...