Theme Of Storytelling In Beowulf

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Register to read the introduction… Storytelling not only is signified by the one telling the story but is also signified by how the story is told and with what techniques. Gardner does this by the conventional method of a story seen through the eyes of Grendel himself. The story starts with a twelve year feud with the Danes and ends with the heroic Beowulf fending off Grendel. However, the use of flashbacks of Grendel’s life shows what Grendel came to learn and understand growing up. This portrayed him as a curious and naïve animal, as opposed to the monster depicted in Beowulf, until he breaches the surface where he sees the rise of Hrothgar’s kingdom. A key thing that Grendel learns while exploring in his early years is that the human race revolves around violence, particularly when he encounters the bull that is constantly trying to thrust his horns at him. The theme of violence occurs now and again in many classical works, “we see men and women placed in a situation in which violence always threatens to spiral out of control and not only destroy them but also force them to act in ways that de-humanize them” (Norton 101). This theory is then solidified when he is attacked and almost killed by Hrothgar, at an early age, and other Danish warriors. When Grendel comes to the realization about the world, he understands life has a meaningless value and that it revolves around “brute” violence. Referencing Grendel’s encounter with …show more content…
In Gardner’s Grendel, the use of storytelling through the Shaper contrasts with that of the dragon in helping Grendel find his identity and meaning in life. In Virgil’s Aeneid, as well as in Homer’s Odyssey, it is to define the protagonists Aeneas and Odysseus and elucidate who they are through what they’ve done in their journey. There are clear similarities amongst all three pieces of literature in the essence of how significant storytelling is in personifying the protagonists. Gardner’s use of storytelling in Grendel relates to Homer’s The Odyssey and Virgil’s The Aeneid in a historical sense since the earlier works of literature are founded upon the use of storytelling as instilling moral values of the protagonist and what they have done to define themselves. Grendel understands his meaning of life, through beliefs of the Shaper and philosophies of the dragon, and ultimately discovers his

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