Grendel Is A Symbol Of Evil And Jealousy In Beowulf

May 18, 2022 by Essay Writer

The poem “Beowulf” is an epic poem. One of the characters in the poem is named Grendel. Some people might think that Grendel is a monster, a wicked man, or a symbol of immortality. However, in my opinion, I think that Grendel really is a monster.

Grendel is a descendant of Cain and is described as a grim demon who terrorizes the Danes. Grendel waits until after nightfall and then goes to see how the Danes were settling in, and then he grabbed some of them. “Suddenly then the God-cursed brute was creating havoc: greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men from their resting places and rushed to his lair, flushed up and inflamed from the raid, blundering back with the butchered corpses.” (Lines 120-125) In the morning, the people saw what Grendel had done and they wept and mourned over their loved ones.

Eventually, the news of what Grendel had been doing spread throughout the lands. Beowulf hears about Grendel, and he decides to travel to Hrothgar’s Kingdom and battle Grendel. At night, Grendel attacks again and kills one man. He then tries to attack Beowulf, but Beowulf strikes him first. As the battle goes on, Grendel cannot escape Beowulf’s grip and eventually, Grendel’s arm is ripped off and he runs back to his lair. Since Grendel’s arm was ripped off, he does end up dying and everyone celebrates.

I think that Grendel is indeed a monster because a normal and decent human being would not kill and eat people as Grendel does. He waits until night time and then he grabs these people and basically murders them. He terrifies everyone in the town and shows no remorse for what he has done.

Even though I think that Grendel is a monster, there is a very small part of him that isn’t so evil. In fact, during his fight with Beowulf, he wants to stop and doesn’t want to kill him, he just wants to leave. “The dread of the land was desperate to escape, to take a roundabout road and flee to his lair in the fens.” (Lines 761-763) These lines of the poem indicate that Grendel might be scared because he does not want to fight someone who is better than him.

In the poem, Grendel symbolized evil. He scares everyone and murders people. He eats them and shows no guilt for what he has done. There is one part in the poem where Grendel shows that he might be scared and instead of hurting someone, he just wants to leave. Despite that small part of him, overall I do think that Grendel is actually a monster.


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