The monstrous proportions in which he is represented are deliberate technical strategies by the poet to enhance his villainous nature and uphold Beowulf’s fighting prowess and bravery. The atrocious nature of Grendel is…
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Grendel’s atrocious actions and the terror he imparts on the city are introduced in the preliminary stages of the poem before the arrival of Beowulf. The sequence of action is designed in a way that prepares the stage for the ultimate encounter between Beowulf and Grendel.
In a way, Grendel represents the antagonistic force that opposes the established good of the society. He was only a human foe who posed some level of threat to the stability of the kingdom and the security of the people. It is natural for the protagonist in a fictional situation to represent itself as the perfect and the good whereas the antagonist is represented as the unyielding villain that is only bent on advancing disaster and ruin (Heaney 13). Both the good and the bad in Beowulf have been cast in magnified dimensions that go beyond the natural. The supernatural powers invested in both Grendel and Beowulf can be considered as equal but opposite for the purpose of illustrating the epic struggle between the good and the bad. In this battle the good must triumph against the enormous odds put in place by the bad. It is normative practice for representation to stretch beyond the bounds of the natural practices in ways that illustrate the continuity of conflict between virtue and vice. In this regard, Grendel is portrayed as an equal opposite to Beowulf. The intention is to multiply his negativity through the monstrous depiction in order to justify his eventual destruction.
Understanding the human nature of Grendel could involve an assessment of the relationship between the “self” and the “other” as illustrated in the relationship between the two characters. Beowulf is captured as the “self.” He is given a voice in order to boast of his powers and capabilities. He wins the admiration of both the reader and fellow characters through the voice that he is given. As such, it becomes important to assess
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