Beowulf vs. Grendel

Topics: Beowulf, Hroðgar, Grendel Pages: 1 (699 words) Published: October 27, 2014

Elements of a Series
Grendel, a prequel to the popular epic Beowulf, provides a look into the dismal life of the unearthly monster. Grendel and Beowulf are clearly similar but also show striking differences in the elements of each story through the formulation of the setting, the portrayal and development of certain characters, and the depiction of motifs. In both Grendel and Beowulf, the stories take place in the land of the Gaets, ruled by Hrothgar. The Gaet people living in the town experience Hrothgar’s gratitude with his providing of Heorot, a town hall. In both stories, the townspeople gather there and drink mead with each other. This hall is the main spot of attack for Grendel, as he attacks the drunken people who are clueless. Since the main characters in the stories are different, the setting does comprise of minor differences. A main, reoccurring event in Grendel is the trek from Grendel’s cave down to the low-lying town of the Geats. Grendel’s cave is lodged in a mountain, near his mother. Grendel walks down the mountain, across a field, and eventually down to the town of the foolish Gaet people. The setting of Beowulf constantly jumps from one area to another. The story follows Beowulf, an epic hero, from Denmark to the land of the Gaets. The story takes place in both Denmark and the land of the Gaets as the narrator constantly jumps time frames to different stories and times. The setting of both stories is very similar in the set up of the town and the importance of Heorot as the attacking spot for Grendel. The constant depiction of motifs and underlying symbols are very prevalent in Grendel but not so much as in Beowulf. John Gardner, the author of Grendel, uses the Zodiac signs during the entire story. Each of the twelve zodiac signs, assigned to a chapter, represent the changing seasons and time periods as well as the changing of and description of characters such as Grendel, Hrothulf, and Red Horse. These motifs show the transition of the...
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