Compare and Contrast How Grendel Is Portrayed in Grendel and Beowulf

Topics: KILL, Beowulf, Hroðgar Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: December 11, 2005
In Grendel, the story is told from Grendel's point of view. Therefore he is not viewed as a killing machine. In Beowulf however, it is the exact opposite. Grendel is seen as a monster who is terrorizing Hrothgar's people. The way Grendel is portrayed in Grendel is different from the way he is portrayed in Beowulf regarding his initiative and purpose. Grendel is portrayed the same in both stories when it comes to his actions and his nature.

Grendel's initiative in Grendel is mainly self defense. Grendel was the one who was mistreated first by the humans. It started when he was simply observing the humans and he got caught in a tree. He was then attacked by a bull and several humans. He did not act on the humans first. They automatically assumed that he was there to cause them harm. So it is the humans who started terrorizing Grendel, not the other way around. In Beowulf, it is the opposite of this.

According to Beowulf, the start to all the killing is when Beowulf emerged from the "swampy lowlands" and killed everyone in the mead-hall. From this night on he continued to come into the mead-hall, which Hrothgar had his people build, and kill everyone who was in it. "So Hrothgar's men lived happy in his hall till the monster stirred, that demon, that fiend, Grendel, who haunted moors, the wild marshes , and made his home in a hell not hell but earth." It is said that he was angered by the Shaper's song and that was his initiative for attacking but the Danes were unsure. "How Grendel's hatred begun, how the monster relished his savage war on the Danes, keeping the bloody feud alive, seeking no peace, offering no truce…." This is just one of the differences in how Grendel is portrayed in the two stories. Another difference is Grendel's purpose.

Grendel's purpose was very obvious in Grendel. He is merely trying to get the humans to stop destroying him home. This is a war that they started and Grendel was just trying to finish it. Grendel is Beowulf is portrayed...
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