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Grendel: Chapter 8

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by

Skye St. Rose

on 27 October 2014

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Transcript of Grendel: Chapter 8

Relevance
In the previous chapters, Grendel implies that he was disgusted by the humans wastefulness; that they kill eachother with no purpose, but he himself terrorizes the humans with no purpose other than his own enjoyment, thus becoming more like them.
Scorpio
Scorpios are known for their persistence and determination when it comes to achieving their goals; individuals of which distractions have no effect. Their determination can get a bit out of hand and may sometimes cause them to be manipulative in order to gain power. A scorpion is seen in this chapter when Hrothulf, Hrothgar's nephew, arrives. "And so- I watch in glee- they take in Hrothulf, quiet as the moon, sweet scorpion, he sits between their two and cleans his knife (113)." Grendel uses the word "scorpion" to describe Hrothulf.
Heroic Value
A hero is defined as someone with courage and ability, admired by his bravery and nobility, but sometimes there are heroes who are not admired by everyone intially. This pertains to Hrothulf in a sense that he is seen as the threat in this chapter because of his want for power and ruling, but he is in fact a noble man because he is against being violent just for the sake of it. Red Horse's character gives the reader a contrast to Hrothulf, casting a positive light on the "hostile" character.
Gardner's Style
In this chapter, Gardner starts off by imitating the Shaper's style of wording and description. The way Grendel's words flow and the stanzas start to form sort of mock the style of the Shaper and he experiments with more styles. You could say Grendel is trying to reach the art and skill of storytelling. Gardner does this to sort of relate/connect the Shaper and Grendel because they both grow and learn new things from their experiences, which ultimately add to their story.
Philosophy
Hrothulf's arrival brings the Machiavellian philosophy of revolution as well as the body politic, a metaphor in which a nation is considered to be a corporate entity, that of a human body. Although Hrothulf does want to rise in power, he is against the act of unecessary violence, angering Red Horse, but establishing that Hrothulf is perhaps the most noble character in the entire novel.
Grendel: Chapter 8
Grendel senses that Hrothulf is growing increasingly hostile and Hrothgar worries about the safety of the heirs to the throne. This relates to the zodiac of the scorpion because of Hrothulf's obvious dark side tendencies and possible attempts to achieve the throne by eliminating the heirs. This is emphasized when Red Horse, Hrothulf's mentor, introduces Machiavellian ideas of government. Such methods of ruling help mold Hrothulf into said "scorpion".
Grendel is able to send a dream to Hrothgar, and the dream is described as having two trees, wound around each other to become one. The intertwining trees, and Grendel's ability to send Hrothgar a dream, symbolizes how their lives are intertwined and how they've grown mutually dependent on one another.
Hrothulf's development parallels Grendel's. They are both lonely and frustrated with the world in which they live, and try to find ways to explain their own problems. The relationship between Red Horse and Hrothulf greatly resembles the relationship between Grendel and the dragon. Both mentors knock their pupils idealistic characteristics and try to envoke violence upon the two. Grendel feels that the world is meaningless, in which the dragon agrees and suggests that nothing matters. Hrothulf feels that the government is unjust, and Red Horse agrees but suggests that all governments are unjust, and that there should be no government at all. The same way that the dragon is opposed to philosophical systems, Red Horse is opposed to political systems, proving himself to be an anarchist.
This chapter is important because Hrothulf
is the first human in the novel to make an
extended speech. In previous chapters, the
reader can note the advances Grendel made in his style, but in Chapter 8, the first glimpse into a human's inner thoughts is made, which seemingly had no meaning before. At first, Grendel would watch the humans from afar, but now he understands their pyshcology.
Do you think that Grendel himself created all human dialogue in this chapter?
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