Essay: Poor Misunderstood Grendel, By John Gardner

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Poor Misunderstood Grendel When thinking about the name Grendel, most people picture in their mind the hideous monster in the epic poem, Beowulf. However, in the book, Grendel, by John Gardner, readers obtain a new perspective on Grendel. They learn about his upbringing and his own personal mindset. Is Grendel the horrific ogre that he is perceived to be in, Beowulf, or is he just a reclusive being? Grendel is considered to be an outlandish beast, but in reality is a misconceived individual attempting to survive and make a friend in his lonely world. In the epic, Beowulf, there is a barbaric monster who goes to the Kingdom of Herot to slaughter the men who are in the great mead hall every night, “Grendel they call this cruel spirit” (Beowulf …show more content…
The people of Hrothgar’s kingdom, Herot are convinced that he only murders them due to the enchanting songs of heroic deeds the bards sing in the magnificent mead hall. The narrator also leads us to believe that Grendel is jealous of all the riches and people that Hrothgar has, that Grendel is deprived of since Hrothgar completely disregarded Grendel as being his son. The details about Grendel in Beowulf show him as a horrible murderous beast without any feelings.
In contrast from the dangerous behemoth, Grendel is depicted to be in Beowulf, John Gardner presents Grendel’s personal perspective in the book Grendel. Grendel is a very lonely and depressed creature in search of a friend, or at least someone to talk to. He has his mother but as Gardner stated in Grendel, “She’d forgotten all language long ago, or maybe had never known any. I’d never heard her speak . . .” (28). This means that he has someone who cares for him but can not
…show more content…
In Beowulf, the whole story leads one to believe that Grendel is a monster because of the killing sprees. On the other hand Grendel is only trying to communicate and have fun with the men.With influences such as the dragon and his father Hrothgar never being around for him contribute to the killings and both could have prevented it

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