Influences on Grendel’s Life Essay

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Influences on Grendel’s Life
The epic poem Beowulf was the first ever poem wrote down on paper in English. In this poem Grendel has been attacking Hrothgars kingdom for 12 years. Every night Grendel goes to the mead hall and eats 30 men. Beowulf hears of the troubles and decides being the epic hero he is that he will take care of the problem himself. So he and 14 other men get on a ship and travel to where Grendel is. When he gets there he does not want to seem to Hrothgar that he thinks Hrothgar can’t handle the problem alone. So using one of his heroic qualities he gives a speech about how it is for his pride and his reputation. One night when he gets there he acts asleep as Grendel comes into the mead hall. Beowulf ceases
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Throughout the story Grendel struggles to find his place in life and where he fits in. Two people in the book he goes to for guidance are the dragon, and the shaper. To begin with, Grendel goes the dragon for guidance in the book. There is a difference in opinions about the dragon though. The first opinion is that the dragon is an actual dragon and Grendel physically goes to him for advice. The second opinion is that the Dragon is in Grendels dreams. Critics who support this use the line “I made my mind blank and fell, sank away like a stone through the earth and sea, toward the dragon”. (Gardner 56). The dragon gives Grendel advice about life. He tells him basically life is meaningless and there is no point to it. It is a very sad pessimistic point of view known as nihilism. The dragon tries to instill in Grendel that he is the only thing that matters and nothing else matter. In some ways you actually see this rub off on Grendel when he refers to himself as the great destroyer of men. However, Grendel does not fully buy into that idea. This is demonstrated when he has a chance to commit the ultimate act of nihilism by killing the queen but he decides not to. The Dragon is all about taking care of ones self before anyone else. He makes that clear when he tells Grendel “my advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.” (74). What he is trying to tell Grendel is to get what you want then just sit on it because

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