Grendel 's Portrayal Of Grendel Essay

1167 Words Oct 20th, 2015 5 Pages
"Ah, the unfairness of everything, . . . " says Grendel after seeing a deer run away from him in fright (Gardner 8). This is only the beginning of John Gardner 's long plight to help readers understand the complex character of Grendel in the novel, Grendel. After reading the original epic Beowulf, many view Grendel as an evil, terrifying monster whose favorite pastime is munching on humans. Readers then learn of the impressive killing of Grendel by the heroic Beowulf, and rejoice in the fact that the wicked monster is dead. And so, this fulfills the archetypal idea that has been in stories for all time, good prevails over evil. However, Gardner 's rendition of Grendel, leads us to a different conclusion about Grendel 's character. While reading Gardner 's novel, readers find themselves able to understand and empathize with Grendel. Because Gardner tells the tale of Grendel from the very beginning, when he was young, to the very end, when he dies, readers are able realize that Grendel was not born evil but rather made evil. When readers first meet Grendel in the epic, their first impression of Grendel is a scary monster, especially with the use of the phrases “snarling and fierce” and “[Grendel 's eyes] burned with a gruesome light” (Beowulf 725-27). The quote “. . . stuffed with rows of young soldiers resting together. And his heart laughed, he relished the sight, intended to tear the life from those bodies . . .” only goes to reinforce this idea that Grendel is only an…

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