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Evil, Death, Destruction
So the story tells of a being, not human nor animal or creature but that
of a so called demon named Grendel. Grendel portrays a heartless, mindless,
murderous monster who kills for the simplest of all reasons, hate. However,
the hate is not born or bred into Grendel; it is acquired by his lifetime of
dealing with an eternal hate towards him, a hate by the humans, formed by
the fear of Grendel. Grendel's character is defined by his appearance, his
battle with mankind, and by the pain and longing that Grendel feels for his
absence from society.
Grendel's appearance as a, "powerful monster," (line 24) is the
beginning of a series of descriptions that show Grendel to have a much darker,
sinister, pure evilness to him. In line 38 Grendel's description turns from a
monster into, "a demon." As Grendel's killing spree forges on, the story tells of
the bloody feud and how Grendel is seen. In line 96 Grendel is described as
the, "shadow of death." Grendel is seen as, "bloodthirsty and horrible."
Grendel's hate is formed by pain caused by exile because the, "exile was
bitter." (line 45) Grendel would, "growl in pain," (line 24) because he feels an
utmost impatience, for he can hear day after day the music ringing loud in the
hall, "a harp's rejoiceing call and the poets clear songs." (line 26,27) Grendel
longs to be free from exile and live amongst society but when that does not or
can not happen Grendel's hate grows stronger.
"Hrothgar's men lived happy in his hall till the monster stirred." (line 37,
38) Grendel goes up to Herot one night to see what they do in the hall, when
he arrive's he finds them all asleep. Grendel lifts up thirty warriors and,
"smashed them." (line 58) Grendel stalk's back, "so set on murder that no
crime could ever be enough." (line 72) So Grendel rules, "one against many
and won," (line 82) until his battle with Beowulf. In the battle Beowulf, mighty
protector of men, tears Grendel's arm from its socket and Grendel, mortally
wounded, crawls to his lair to die.
In the story of Beowulf, Grendel represents all that is wrong with the
world, all the disorder and chaos. Grendel is the evil in all of us. Grendel is
like a modern day criminal who takes what they want without any regard to
the rest of society. Grendel also represents certain aspects of nature. Grendel
is seen as nature's fury that pillages anything that gets in it's way. Grendel is
looked at on the same level as evil, hell, and even the devil himself.
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Literature, Fiction, Beowulf, Film, English-language films, Monsters, Geats, Grendel, Parallel literature, Hrothgar, Beowulf Grendel, Grendels mother
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