Alex Mazer English 9H
Grendel Study Questions #11-29 9/9/14
11. Why would John Gardner choose to retell Beowulf from the monster’s point of view? What is to be gained from such a shift?
John Gardner’s presumable sole purpose of retelling Beowulf’s from the monster’s point of view is to give the reader a different perspective. What goes through the antagonist’s head is often overlooked, especially in a heroic tale like Beowulf. As readers, we don’t know if Beowulf was explaining events truthfully without any bias towards himself in Beowulf, nor do we know if Grendel did the same, but the idea of having two sides to the story allows us to make our own conclusions of the reality in that time period. For example, Beowulf is described…show more content… Let’s start pessimistically, as Grendel would probably do. One thing that enraged Grendel and discombobulated him alike was the tendency of humans to immediately turn to violence. For example, while Grendel was stuck in the tree, it only took one single moan to turn the humans into war-mode. “The king [Hrothgar] snatched an ax from the man beside him and, without any warning, he hurled it at me [Grendel].” (P. 27) Instantly, Grendel became the victim for doing nothing even remotely close to physical. In addition, they would even turn against each other for the most ill-advised reasons. Except, when they do work together, Grendel saw that as a huge strength. They were able to complete much more as a team, such as Hrothgar with the size of his army allowing the Danish imperialistic goals to be enacted. The only issue was that rapaciousness often kept these people from doing anything together. Their egos and reputations hung on their shoulders, and therefore, such as in the cases of Unferth and Beowulf, no help could be accepted. Grendel was able to clearly see the pros and cons of the human community as he observed from a