Essay on Poor Misunderstood Grendel By John Gardner

998 Words Sep 17th, 2015 4 Pages
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 101). Grendel is described as “an enemy from hell” (100) in the story Beowulf, because he mutilates and murders drunkenly helpless men for fun. 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…

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