Honors English 11
4 October 2012
Beowulf vs. Grendel
“The folks own fastness that fiery dragon with flame had destroyed and the stronghold all washed by waves; but the warlike king, prince of the Weders, plotted vengeance (Beowulf XXXI). This statement stated by the narrator tells about the hero, Beowulf, seeking revenge on a dragon. The epic Beowulf was written in England, and translated in 1000A.D. The epic focuses on bravery, the characteristics of a good king, and the battle against Good and Evil. Beowulf is the hero of the Geats and comes to the aid of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes, to help him get rid of a monster name Grendel who was attacking king Hrothgar’s mead hall. This epic is told in third person, and focuses on Beowulf’s point of view. John Gardner’s Grendel is written in the first person and is in the monster Grendel’s perspective. The setting is in Denmark, 1000 A.D., and focuses on lack of communication, isolation, and loneliness. Even though John Gardner’s Grendel is a prequel of the epic Beowulf, they each have some differences and similarities, making one ask: how does the epic Beowulf compare and contrast to John Gardner’s Grendel in setting, perspective, and characterization?
“He was told by the cunning of arms had rebuilt the Old Danish Kingdom from the ashes” (Beowulf). This statement made by the narrator, shows the setting of the epic, which as I previously stated was Denmark and Geatland, which is now Southern Sweden. It was originally written in Old English, but was later translated to modern day English. The epic Beowulf, whose author is unknown, is thought to be the greatest epic of its time. John Gardner’s Grendel takes place in Denmark during the fourteenth century, though it was written well after that. In the novel Grendel, Grendel states “loaded with rings King Finn could not refuse, the Danes the sailed home” (Grendel). This statement shows that both Beowulf and Grendel have the same...