Comparing Beowulf And Beowulf Essay : Free Will And Fate

1310 Words Oct 19th, 2015 6 Pages
Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” Unlike Roosevelt’s quote, though, is Grendel really just a prisoner to his mind, or is it wyrd that destined Grendel to be the vicious monster he is? It is the controversial discussion between free will and fate, and which are prevalent in Grendel, written by John Gardner, and Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel. Both stories include this theme of free will against fate, which is still a debate that can pertain to today’s society. Beowulf and Grendel share their differences on the outlook throughout the book, but both the epic poem and the novel have similarities in their take on the epic hero archetype and the Anglo-saxon culture. Both stories share a similarity on the archetype, but Grendel has a focus on the nihilist point of view, while Beowulf lacks that. While Grendel and Beowulf both include a theme of free will versus fate, and share similarities in their view point on the epic hero archetype and Anglo-saxon culture, Grendel is more highly focused on Nihilism while Beowulf focuses elsewhere.
The discussion between free will and fate are prevalent in both Grendel and Beowulf. In Grendel, the question about whether he chooses to be a monster, or if he does not have a choice, is shown throughout the book. Grendel might think he is deciding his actions, as shown in this quote: “I changed my mind. It would be meaningless, killing her. As meaningless as letting her…

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