Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

When we try to look closely at the tale of Beowulf from Grendel’s point of view, there are many different assumptions that can be made when evaluating and comparing Grendel to Beowulf. In the tale, the sympathy which Grendel holds back represents his innocence and how the audience should not view Grendel as a monster. Most people that have analyzed the tale may feel very sympathetic toward Grendel, more than towards Beowulf, due to point that he is illogical to many actions humans perform.
There are various ways that Grendel represents some sympathy including the reason of retelling the tale of Beowulf from Grendel’s point of view. Gardner uses different reasons of retelling the story from Grendel’s point of view. “Thus this loudly people lived in joy, blessedly, until on began to work his foul crimes a fiend from hell. This grim spirit was called Grendel, mighty stalker of the marches” (page 70). While reading the tale, we can understand how Gardner wanted the audience to visualize what was going on in Grendel’s mind and how Grendel viewed humans as bloodthirsty. Most of the readers viewed Grendel in the same way that Gardner wanted people to view him. However, it was not the case on Grendel’s side because he just wanted to help people, but everything ended up differently than he had expected.
In the tale, Gardner effectively shows how two different issues can be viewed the same as completely opposite. Grendel’s character is viewed as peaceful and confused, because Grendel wanted to know why people kill. He also wanted to know the reason that humans perform actions such as hunting. Gardner instead pushes the reader to view Grendel as a monster without any knowledge, a monster that lives his life by his conscious. However, when Grendel comes face to face with Beowulf, Beowulf already viewed Grendel as a monster but in Grendel’s mind, Beowulf is the opposite of a monster.
In addition, Grendel acknowledged that most humans fear him, and he also realized that people wasted their time and made pointless choices. A mead hall was a place that Grendel always attacked people due to pointing out its stupidity. Grendel said that he does not like the taste of humans, but he hates human action. Grendel was a monster that the readers sympathize for. Readers feel bad for Grendel when Beowulf feels confident for killing Grendel at the end of the tale.

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