Grendel Character Analysis

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In the novel Grendel by John Gardner, it tells the story of the epic poem of Beowulf, but from the “behemoth’s” point of view. This story gives a more sympathetic and altered portrayal of the creature known as Grendel. Grendel is speaking for himself and using empathy for his pain. It gives the reader the question of who the real evil in the world is, whether it is Monster or Men. In the beginning of the novel, Grendel is a misunderstood creature. He sees himself as similar to humans, but is immediately marked as an exile. Throughout the course of the book, it can be seen that Grendel is changing; slowly descending into a more brutal manner, embracing his fate as a monster. In the beginning, Grendel’s point of view is that he is a pitiful creature, but no monster. He deserves empathy, or someone to talk to, someone that will accept him. But from …show more content…
Grendel is at first, a creature who empathizes for his pain. It causes the reader to question the good and evil; whether the men are the heroes and Grendel is the monster, or if Men are the true horrors. Grendel is just a poorly misunderstood character, but due to the way society treated him, he slowly grew into the monster known as the Wreaker of Meadhalls. One can see that in the beginning, Grendel is a pathetic creature just looking for someone to understand him and to talk to him. But the men do not give him any of that; they abuse and misjudge him. Their immediate attacks on him cause Grendel to change. He accepts his fate that the Men have shaped for him and embraced his savagery. This story goes to show that one is what others make him to be. Other people are what create each other, without the views of others, there is no identity. Grendel shows the point of view from a pariah, an exile of society. Grendel also reveals some monstrosity in humans, causing us to wonder who the real monster

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