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Grendel Chapter 6 & 7 Grendel’s New Image

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grendel

Grendel

Chapter 6 & 7

grendel s new image
Grendel’s New Image
  • “Nothing was changed, everything was changed, by my having seen the dragon…I discovered that the dragon had put a charm on me: no weapon could cut me. I could walk up to the meadhall whenever I pleased, and they were powerless. My heart became darker because of that. Though I scorned them, sometimes hated them, there had been something between myself and men when we could fight. Now, invulnerable, I was as solitary as one live tree in a vast landscape of coal” (Gardner 75-76).
grendel s new image3
Grendel’s New Image
  • Charm makes him invulnerable
  • Creates more isolation
  • No more give and take to fights
  • Even more alone and disconnected
the shaper
The Shaper
  • “It enrages me. It was their confidence, maybe- their blissful, swinish ignorance, their bumptious self-satisfaction, and, worst of all, their hope.”
      • Believes Nihilistic view of Dragon
      • Their hope defies that philosophy
  • “He spoke of how God had been kind to the Scyldings, sending so rich a harvest. The people sat beaming, bleary-eyed and fat, nodding their approval of God.” (Gardner 77).
grendel s the brute existent
Grendel’s the Brute Existent
  • “I was transformed. I was a new focus for the clutter of space I stood in…I had become something, as if born again.”
  • “I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings!”
    • Used to only kill outside of hall
    • Shaper’s song enrages him and causes violent outburst
    • Violence now brings him joy
grendel s re birth
Grendel’s Re-birth
  • “As if casually, in plain sight of them all, I bit his head off, crunched through the helmet and skull with my teeth…” (77).
    • Not afraid anymore
    • Denied as a friend, he becomes their enemy
grendel the brute existent
Grendel the Brute Existent
  • No longer trying to fit in with the humans or befriend them
  • He’s discovered his place in the universe
  • Man needs the evil Grendel represents to look better
  • He is himself as he was born to be
grendel s charm
Grendel’s Charm
  • Joy at first
    • “I felt strange unearthly joy. It was if I’d made some incredible discovery…I was transformed. I was a new focus for the clutter of space I stood in:” (79-80).
    • Allows Grendel to feel superior and invincible
    • Gives him meaning
  • Curse
    • “But also, as never before, I was alone” (80).
    • Furthers his isolation
unferth the hero
Unferth the Hero?
  • “…it must be a terrible burden, though, being a hero- glory reaper, harvester of monsters! Everybody always watching you, weighing you, seeing if you’re still heroic.”
  • “But no doubt there are compensations…The pleasant feeling of vast superiority, the easy success with women…” (Gardner 84)
unferth the hero10
Unferth the Hero?
  • “ ‘It will be sung year on year and age on age that Unferth went down through the burning lake…and gave his life in battle with the world-rim roamer’…It dawned on me that he was waiting for me to kill him. I did nothing” (Gardner 87).
    • Unferth is nothing if he does not die
    • Unferth feels the heroic code is something to strive for-it gives him meaning
unferth the hero11
Unferth the Hero?
  • “I picked him up gently and carried him home. I laid him at the door of Hrothgar’s meadhall, still asleep, killed the two guards so I wouldn’t be misunderstood and left.”
  • He lives on, bitter, feebly challenging my midnight raids from time to time (three times this summer), crazy with shame that he alone is always spared, and furiously jealous of the dead” (Gardner 90).
    • Grendel humiliates Unferth
    • Mocks the traditional, heroic code
chapter 7
Chapter 7
  • Style of Narration changes
  • Parallels the growth of Grendel
  • He becomes more inventive and experimental
grendel s meaning
Grendel’s Meaning
  • “Form is function”
    • Grendel does not kill men b/c he would not have anyone to wage war on.
    • “Hrothgar-Wrecker” that is his function
    • Without men to kill, he would have no form
    • He would cease to be the Hrothgar- Wreaker (his function)
    • Different view: he can’t exist without man, he does not alone exist
    • Bound by this identity
grendel s limits and desires
Grendel’s Limits and Desires
  • There is no limit to desire but desire’s needs
    • Desires to kill
    • Must limit the number he kills
the queen
The Queen
  • “the ultimate act of nihilism”
    • “Then at last, moving slowly, as if walking in a dream, a woman in a robe of threaded silver came gliding from the hall….”
  • She is a peace offering
  • Grendel feels she is beautiful and innocent
    • “But she was beautiful and she surrendered herself with the dignity of a sacrificial virgin...She was beautiful, as innocent as dawn on winter hills.”
    • She reminds Grendel that he is a horrible monster

(Gardner 100)

the queen and grendel s mom
The Queen and Grendel’s Mom
  • “She would gladly have given her life to end my suffering…so would the lady below would give, had given, her life for those she loved” (Gardner 102).
    • His mom would save him from restlessness and rage he faces
    • She has mindless love for him
    • Wealthow sacrifices herself for her people
the queen17
The Queen
  • “I changed my mind . It would be meaningless, killing her. As meaningless as letting her live. It would be, for me, mere pointless pleasure, an illusion of order for this one frail, foolish flicker-flash I the long dull fall of eternity” (Gardner 110).
    • Sameness of life and death is a foundation of existentialism
    • Changes beauty to ugliness by his actions
    • If he kills the queen (love & beauty), then he becomes the dragon
    • Not yet ready
grendel18
Grendel
  • “I resolved, absolutely and finally to kill myself, for love of the Baby Grendel that used to be. But the next instant, for no particular reason, I changed my mind…”

(Garnder 110)

    • He’s aware of the change within him
    • Contemplates suicide
      • Sad because it’s the life that was given him
      • He takes upon the role of the cursed race- his innocence knew no better
      • He mourns the creature he could have been