Friday, February 1, 2008


After reading the lengthy and very hard to understand text of Beowulf, Grendel descriptions from the reading of beowulf sound a lot like the predessors of modern monsters or creatures. The vague descriptions of Grendel give forms to many types of monsters in our literary world: From Wolves to Vampires to Orcs. From The description of too repulsive, a picture of an ogre like shrek pops into your head, yet shrek for entertainment purposes is pretty round and jolly. When the text decribing his thirst for blood, they basically infer a vampire type creature. But when he totally dismembers and devours the men limb for limb a werewolf type creatures comes up. Too Boot he also has an incantation or spell which leaves him immune to all types of weaponry such as swords, dagggers, arrows, spears, pikes, and everything molded from steel. From his ignorance of thinking he was invincible, he played into beowulf's ploy of fighting hand to hand. If he were to be carrying Sword of some sort, i wouldn't think beowulf would gladly fight him unarmored.


Mike Pilato said...

Yes I agree. The Anglo-Saxons had a rich tradition of stories that consisted of monsters of various sorts. What I find interesting in Grendel is that he is a descendent of Cain, who rebelled against God in the Old Testament. Grendel sort of represents this twisted being that was once good. This concept is similar to the nature of the Ringwraiths and even Smeagol in Tolkien's Mythology. The Anglo-Saxons brilliantly blended pagan and christian cosmology in Beowulf.

Doug Simms said...

You'll notice that at the end of the "Sayings of the High One" there is also a reference to runes and spells used to make one impervious to weapons

Zack Ziaja said...

You may also notice connections of arrogance to evil. In LotR, the ever arrogant Boromir was the most susceptible to the ring's allure where as the ever humble, not obtrusive hobbit seems rather unsusceptible. Grendel’s arrogance involving is own strength and invincibility is the downfall that allows Beowulf to get the better of him. It seems that, like any villain in any Bond movie, arrogance and aloofness foreshadow a downfall of evil, believing themselves to be invulnerable and thus willing to make concessions which prove their end.