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How Does Grendel Build Monstrosity In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an epic poem written in Old English encompassing the mythical tale of the eponymous character of Beowulf. The tale includes his heroic struggles with monstrous beings such as Grendel, Grendel’s Mother, and an avaricious dragon. The primary of those, beast Grendel, serves as the protagonist of a philosophical novel of the same name, Grendel. Written by Anglo-Saxon Scholar John Gardner, the novel presents the fictitious tale of Grendel in the world of Beowulf as he struggles to find meaning and purpose in its life. Grendel is a bastard of man and monster. Yet, he feels himself separated from both. This lust and yearning for purpose sets out on his adventures. His purpose is to find purpose. Now, naturally Grendel is monstrous, but …show more content…
This is telling Grendel to create his own purpose since life inherently has none. As such, these draconic teachings breed monstrosity. Furthermore, the dragon states: “Why? Ridiculous question! Why anything?” (Gardner 72). He reinforces this by saying: “…do as you think best” (Gardner 72). This sort of nihilism and void truly embodies monstrosity. It is the absence and lack of anything, especially good. Existence itself is good, and the void, the null, is the lack of existence, incapable of being good. Grendel sees himself as all that there is. He states that: “I alone exist.” (Gardner 22). He seems to revel in his perceived condition and celebrates it. But, his self-conception of nothingness and void is what makes him monstrous. It quite literally sucks the soul out of everything. It is a vacuum, merely taking and remaining empty. Furthermore, this stifling darkness, of which no light can penetrate, envelops the entirety of Grendel. The Dragon’s immolating teachings seared through Grendel’s soul and left nothing but darkness. The Dragon shaped Grendel to be this way. In this way, his entire influence upon Grendel turned him into a void monstrosity. Grendel, through his interactions with the Dragon, crystallizes into a monstrous entity of …show more content…
Throughout his pillaging and murdering, Grendel shows no remorse for anything. Not only are all the actions he performs inherently evil and disordered, but he chooses no good. Even at times willing the worse for another person; this he does with Unferth, a Danish warrior who aspires to be a hero. Unferth follows Grendel to his lair in order so that he may sacrifice himself for glory. Grendel, aware of what Unferth wishes, spares Unferth so that he may live in misery instead of dying in glory. Grendel can only do bad, never good. This is because his emptiness and void can sustain no good. As such, nothing can come of it. Ex nihilo, nihil fit. Therefore, his monstrousness is revealed through the null of his

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