Grendel as a Sympathetic Character Essay

Can you imagine being born and automatically being considered evil? This is what happens to Grendel. Throughout the book everyone’s feelings towards Grendel is that of a bad person or creature. In Grendel my sympathy for Grendel fluctuates. Grendel starts out as a sympathetic character because he is an innocent curious child with a mother who doesn’t talk, and lives in a cave. As the story moves on Grendel is misunderstood then starts to make decisions that makes my sympathy for him decrease.

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Throughout the book there are three stages to Grendels’ life. The first stage starts off with his childhood, which he spends exploring and questioning. He eventually finds the lake of firesnakes and the land after it is his introduction to a larger world full of danger and knowledge. The second stage starts when a bull attacks Grendel; this teaches Grendel that the world is full of danger and makes him question the meaning of life. Grendel tries to figure out the meaning of life by observing how humans go through life and it interests him.

While Grendel is trapped and getting attacked by a bull some humans intervene and see him trapped. Grendel tries talking to the humans and ask for help, and all of a sudden they attack Grendel because they do not understand him and fear him because of his appearance. Grendel’s mother comes to the rescue to save her son. How could one be a monster yet be saved by his mother? This is an example of my sympathy for Grendel who is a misunderstood creature.

Grendel eventually sees how Hrothgar treats other humans and decides that he does not like what he does to them. He eventually attacks the people in the mead hall all of the soldiers, which makes me lose sympathy for him but I could see why he does it. It is a personal feeling Grendel has towards Hrothgar. Grendel is a character that goes through many stages throughout the story, but to be born from evil does not necessarily make you evil. He was just a curious little creature who was still babied by his mother in the beginning and then learns of humans and does not like the way that they treat each other and eventually is killed by Beowulf.

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