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Grendels View Of Humans English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1106 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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5. The shaper’s songs at first infatuate Grendel with stories of the future and invoke intense emotion in both Grendel and the towns-people. At first these beautiful stories give Grendel hope in coexisting in a world with humans. It gives him faith in humans to benefit the earth, however he soon realizes that like the rest of his interactions with man-kind it is a sugar-coated lie in which the entire society has built their lives off of. During his realization of the shapers’ tales of deceit, Grendel states, “The shaper was singing the glorious deeds of the dead men, praising war. He sang how they’d fought me. It was all lies. The sly harp rasped like snakes in cattails, glorifying death…Bullshit,” (Gardner 54). This realization of the Shaper’s false tales that had built a façade around the obscenity of human existence caused Grendel to lose all empathy towards their race, the world, and transform himself into the monster they wished for in their lie.

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6. Grendel did not kill Wealtheow or Ork when he had the chance, because he never planned on killing them. He simply wished to toy and taunt them to instill a presence of fear and intimidation in the eyes of humans. To kill them he would have lowered himself to the level of the brainless and ravaging human condition. He knows if he wanted to he could eradicate Hrothgar’s entire kingdom, but he realizes that if he does what is he left with? He would have to move and lose purpose in his existence.

7. Gardner injects his description of the dragon with intense and powerful detail to flesh out his physical and psychological traits. In Grendel’s first meeting with the dragon Gardner writes, ” The color of his sharp scales darkened and brightened as the dragon inhaled and exhaled slowly, drawing new air across his vast internal furnace; his razor-sharp tusks gleamed and glinted as if they too, like the mountain beneath him, were formed of precious stones and metals,” (Gardner 57). This description embosses the dragon with an intimidating and respect yielding appearance that grants the dragon the ability to grab Grendel’s and the reader’s attention and teach them of the impurities of mankind. Gardner also relates the dragon’s psychological prowess to that of an elderly man by describing his face as laden with wrinkles. This describes the dragon as a wise and all knowing creature that like an elder member of society has absorbed information and tendencies of mankind over his many years, and now wants to share it with Grendel.

8. Grendel can be considered a “modern” monster, because he shares in the most critical human characteristics. He relates more closely to the humans than he is at war with than the bull that attacked him while trapped in the deadly grip of the tree. He is not a mindless blood lusting creature that attacks with no thought and acts on instinct alone. His actions are all caused by his mental state; he lets you in on his anger, sorrow and pain. He tries to understand the humans; however it seems as if Grendel is more enveloped in thought and emotion than the humans are. Grendel can communicate and interact with the world unlike his mother who could be considered a more conventional, instinctual conventional monster.

9. Grendel creates a fate worse than death, by sparing Unferth’s life raid after raid after discovering that his one wish in life is to be a hero. Grendel laughs at this thought of heroism in a scum filled race such as the humans. He denies Unferth the chance to die as a hero while killing all the men that fight alongside him which is all Unferth ever wanted. Grendel does this because he believes that the idea of heroes is flawed. Grendel exclaims this belief by saying, “The word ‘hero’ was beginning to grate. He was an idiot. I could crush him like a fly, but I held back,” (Gardner 89). Grendel humiliates Unferth in front of his men by exposing many truths about him and destroys the one thing Unferth desires in life which is a legacy or lasting reputation of heroic action and noble deeds.

10. Hrothulf can be seen as both a normal teenage boy, and a boy that has been robbed of teenage ignorance and forced to lead a society based upon violence. Physically Hrothulf is viewed as a normal teenage boy when Grendel states, “He hardly spoke when he first came, skinny, pimply, beardless except for the baby hair on his upper lip and chin,” (Gardner 116). He is a normal teenage boy at heart when Grendel first meets him even adding that he, like many other teenage boys, becomes shy in the presence of the teenage girls. However his status as prince endangers his boyhood with his father’s death. He is forced to mature almost immediately this harsh and unforgiving change in his life contorts his view of the world and begins to harbor violence in his heart. Grendel confirms this by adding, “I watched the idea of violence growing in him,” (Gardner 116). This violence in his heart separates himself from the average teenage boy and Grendel picks up on this immediately.

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11. Hygmod’s dominant personality trait is his ability to hide all emotion from the observing world. Grendel confirms this by saying, “The young king showed nothing, accepting the joke and the argument as if he’d been expecting them.” (Gardner 99). He shields all emotion from exposing his inner thoughts and motives, allowing him to attain in advantage when dealing with the other men. He appears like a blank slate never revealing his inner thought or desires allowing him to calculate every move and acquire the biggest advantage. His ability to chain his emotion gives him the opportunity to give away his sister, Wealtheow, to keep his kingdom safe.

12. The choice to have Grendel tell the story in a first person point of view adds a depth to Grendel’s character that couldn’t have been achieved in a third person setup. With first person point of view you are able to see Grendel in a different light. You see him as an intelligent, emotional, and thought provoking being. You are invited into his conscience, feelings, and thoughts. Without these additions a third person narrative would have left Grendel as a violent bloodthirsty creature, attacking and terrorizing the humans with no real reason or motive. The first person point of view creates a much more complicated and in depth character and that was the only way to justifiably tell Grendel’s story.


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