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GRENDEL THE SAVAGE

Portraying adolescents as false tragic heroes has been a theme explored in literature throughout the twentieth century. In John Gardners Grendel, the protagonist Grendel, portrayed as a parentless adolescent seeking guidance, finds happiness in violence. Grendel continually commits the ultimate act of evilness, murder on Hrothgars mead hall. Gardner creates a character and an environment in, which the reader must feel sorrow for Grendel, in order to have fulfillment by the end of the resolution. However, Gardner uses Grendel and writing in general as tool to communicate his liberal philosophies to a wider audience making it difficult to weep over Grendels death. Grendel is not a misguided youth; he is a monster who willingly takes part in his death by indulging himself in violence. In Grendel, the protagonist spends his ephemeral life attacking Hrothgars mead hall, and Grendel takes the lives of Hrothgars men during the raids. When Grendel encounters the dragon, Grendel turns into a barbaric machine, after his self-realization. After the dragon, Grendel begins his contentious war with Hrothgar. The attacks on Hrothgar are essentially a deranged pastime for Grendel. After the attacks, Grendel feels some remorse, although this could merely be a biological reaction to the tyranny. Even if Grendel feels remorse, it is still no excuse to slaughter. If Grendels attacks are means of survival, then he must surely realize his death is necessary. Grendel returns to the mead hall repeatedly, even after the scenes of sick compassion. Grendels regrets only last long enough for the reader to see another side of him. The side of remorse and regret quickly disappears as he feels the hunger of death again. Grendel is a three dimensional character. At the same time, Grendel can lose his confused frivolous existence and become a bloodthirsty killer. Grendel reflects modern troubled youth. He is lost in a corrupt world and consequently the use of violen...

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