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Character Comparison Beowulf and Grendel

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Bryant Beebe

on 24 September 2012

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Transcript of Character Comparison Beowulf and Grendel

Beowulf and Grendel
Character Comparison Grendel Beowulf Grendel In the Anglo-Saxon novel, Beowulf, Grendel
is depicted as an evil, ruthless killer whereas
in the modern novel Grendel, he is shown as a
lonely and curious outcast. Modern Day Comparison "For its grave: Grendel will carry our
bloody flesh to the moors, crunch on
our bones and smear torn scraps of our
skin on the walls of his den"
(Beowulf lines 448-450) This quote shows the ruthless, killing-machine
Grendel is perceived as by the people of Daneland.
Through these graphic descriptions of him, the reader can tell that he is feared and an enemy among the people.The novel, Beowulf, depicts Grendel in this way because it is written in the point of view of the Geats and the Danes and does not express Grendels own feelings toward the people. "For many month, unsightly monster
you've murdered men as you pleased in
Hrothgars hall........Prepare to fall, foul thing!"
(Gardner pg 83)


While both texts present Grendel very
differently, they both illustrate that humans
think of Grendel as an ugly, foul creature. This
hatred towards Grendel is what motivates them
to fight and attempt to kill him. "Not, of course, that I fool myself with
thoughts that I'm more noble. Pointless,
ridiculous monster crouched in the shadows,
stinking of old men, murdered children, martyred
cows. "Ah, sad one, poor old freak!" I cry, and hug
myself, and laugh, letting out salt tears......
(Gardner pg 6) Through this passage it proves that Grendel
is lonely and depressed; he even goes as far
as calling himself a monster and a freak. Unlike
Beowulf, we see Grendel from his own point of
view and realize that Grendel is not just a violent,
gruesome beast but actual a misunderstood,
miserable creature. "I watched it, season after season. Sometimes I watched from the high cliff wall, where I would look out and see all the meadhall lights......" (Gardner pg 37)

This passage shows Grendel's curiosity and interest in the people. Unlike Beowulf, the novel Grendel shows the reader a different side of Grendel and how he really feels about the people. In this time period I think of Anakin Skywalker from Star Wars as being a modern day character similar to that of Grendel. Like Grendel, Anakin is very misunderstood. At heart Anakin is a good person but after he speaks with Darth Sidius he becomes nihilistic and begins killing other jedis, children and even his own friends. I believe that this is similar to when Grendel speaks to the dragon. The dragon changes the way Grendel thinks and leads to his nihilistic behavior. After their transformation, both Grendel and Anakin are perceived as monsters and people attempt to kill them. Overall, both express nihilism in the way they lose all their values and began killing masses. Star Wars Characters. 2006. fanpop.com. Web 20 Sept. 2012. Grendel Cartoon. 2008. Web. 20 Sept. 2012 Grendel, John Gardner. 2010. sophyanempire.com. Web. 20 Sept. 2012
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