Essay on comparing grendel and beowulf

Submitted By brooksrenfro15
Words: 422
Pages: 2

The novel Grendel by John Gardner portrays a significantly

different picture of Grendel than the epic poem Beowulf paints. Grendel is

a non-human being who posses human qualities. In either story it is not

specified what type of being Grendel is, nor does it tell of what exactly

Grendel looks like. The only idea the reader has of the sight of Grendel is

the small hints either author gives. We know he stands on two feet as

humans do, we know he is covered in hair, and we know he is monstrous.

Although there are many significant differences between the two

stories there is one idea that stands out the most when I read Grendel.

That idea is in the poem Beowulf, Grendel is portrayed a large animalistic

beast. This gives the reader the feeling that Grendel is solely driven by

his animal instincts and does not posses the same thought processes as

humans do. For example the line "the monster stepped on the bright paved

floor, crazed with evil anger; from his strange eyes an ugly light shone

out like fire" (Beowulf line 725), proves this point.

In the novel however this point lacks development. Rather Grendel

is portrayed as a confused creature passing through life looking for

answers. Surprisingly Grendel walks the forest in harmony with the animals.

He does not act like the blood hungry beast he is seen as in Beowulf. In

the novel -- Grendel is walking the forest and comes across a doe. He

notices that the doe is staring in fright and suddenly runs away. One would

assume from the