Grendel vs Beowulf

Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving pieces of literature from Anglo-Saxon times. The protagonist of the epic poem, Beowulf, uses strength, courage, and bravery to slay an evil man-eating creature known as Grendel. This monstrous monster represents the idea of evil in pagan times.

Grendel proves to be a complicated character in both of these stories. He shares similarities with both Beowulf and Cain but is portrayed quite differently regarding purpose and initiative. Furthermore, while Beowulf simply portrays Grendel as a vicious, gruesome monster–Grendel embodies a philosophical idea about his identity because of what was done to him.

Some people might see Grendel, the main antagonist in Beowulf, as a villain for basically being cold and merciless. He used murder for pleasure and never settled for peace. He had a war-like feud with Queen Hrothgar of Denmark that he would never end.

Grendel was one who had no alternatives and felt removed by society. He needed to kill in order to feel like he had control of his life.

Grendel is a criminal outcast who has never been welcomed within society. He chose his path of evil and crime, even before he was born, because of how badly things went for him when he was still young. Grendel doesn’t have time to live in peace as much as he would like, because it’s something that he has chosen.

In Beowulf, it’s clear that good and evil exist in the world. Grendel is also convinced that everyone in their lives is cursed, being treated as a murderer when they’re not going to go down in history.

When it comes to analyzing Grendel and how he compares to the character, there are many differences. The first is that Grendel in Beowulf has different emotions, while the character of Grendel in Gardner’s novel has a different personality–although he may still be considered monstrous.

In Chapter 1 of The Grendel, Grendel is introduced to existentialism and nihilism. In the first chapter, Grendel is mostly defensive as his main defense comes from existentialism. Then he unleashes his idea of nihilism on The Dragon when he rejected it.

Readers are exposed to a different side of Grendel, one that is stoic and violent. Beowulf, on the other hand, makes Grendel out to be an altogether humanist figure while he is actually quite venomous when he flips his lid.

Grendel immediately parallels the protagonist of Beowulf and Grendel because both situations involve a son who is abandoned by their mother. They also cross a physical boundary into the human world, unaware of the consequences their actions will have on humanity in general.

Grendel is guilty of the same crimes, relentlessly killing and consuming innocent people. The physical depiction varies in the two different tales, though.

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Beowulf is a fictional novel by Grendel. Readers may see a different side of Grendel in different parts of the story. Either that or they see the real Grendel! As readers learn about his terrible actions, he shows them his reasoning for what he does and almost makes him seem sympathetic in some capacity. Whereas Beowulf just completely portrays Grendel as a villain.

As they are two different novels, each has its own worldview. Both include a hero who is celebrated and challenged in their path toward success by a villain. The authors show these perspectives through their actions, which create two contrasting stories that the world is so familiar with today.

Sample Details

Topic

Beowulf,Grendel

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

2

Words

572
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Sample Details

Topic

Beowulf,Grendel

Subject

Literature

Academic Level

Undergraduate

Page

2

Words

572
Download PDF
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