Time plays a major role in the novel Grendel. Grendel lived in the very turbulent time period of the Dark Ages. The Dark Ages was a time of much fighting and very little intellectual growth by the common people, a time in which the great majority of the people lived in poverty and were slaves in the feudal system; a time when religion and lords ruled the state, a time of much gloom, dispair, and uncertainty about the future by the general population. In a time like this, it is no wonder that heroes were created. They were the only hope and joy that many of the people had in their lives. In order to have heroes, there must also be monsters. That is where Grendel fit in.
He played out his role as his time period allowed and as fate dictated. The dragon explains to the monster Grendel: “You improve them, my boy! Can’t you see that yourself? You stimulate them! You make them think and scheme. You drive them to poetry, science, religion, all that makes t hem what they are for as long as they last. You are, so to speak, the brute existent by which they learn to define themselves. The exile, captivity, death they shrink from–the blunt facts of their morality, their abandonment–that’s what you make them recognize, embrace!…”1 …the men still drinking, getting louder and braver, talking about what they were going to do to the bands on the other hills….All the bands did the same thing….They would listen to each other at the meadhall tables,…and when one of them finished his raving threats, another would stand up and…tell what he planned to do. Now and then some trivial argument would break out, and one of them would kill another one….It was late spring….A man would roar, “I’ll steal their gold and burn their meadhall!” shaking his sword…and I would glide to the next camp of men, and I’d hear the same….Then once around midnight I came to a hall in ruins…The fallen hall was a square of flames and acrid smoke, and the people inside…were burned black, small, like dwarfs turned dark and crisp….Then the wars began,…there had always been wars…1 Grendel’s purpose in life was to scare and torment the humans of his time.
As such, they are found to be better parents than men. However the role of men in child-rearing cannot be undermined. Men are most necessary if children have to be fully aware of the roles of both genders. But women have proved themselves superior parents thanks to their feminine qualities, soft skills, less aggressive nature and their generally better communication skills. From an evolutionary ...
That was his call, his fate, his role in human history. But why Grendel? First and foremost, Grendel was different. He was half human and half beast. He was from the lineage of Cain, the evil older son in the story of Adam and Eve, which meant that he could only be evil. That is what the Shaper said at least. Grendel was needed, definitely not wanted or called upon, but he was needed as a challenge for someone to overcome.
He was an obstacle that had to be mastered. He was something to defeat so that the winner could be looked up to, could be a hero. Such heroes were so desperately wanted. Society of the time lacked any positive contributions to the lives of its people. There was religion, but many of the priests were corrupt, only becoming members of the cloth for money, power, and prestige. The government was a joke. All that the kings and princes ever did was take money and demand military service.
They could have cared less about the suffering of their followers. These were not the people that the general public wanted to look up to. Who, then, was counted as a hero? A hero became the person that slew the evil beast, or the one who protected the public from an invading tribe, or the man who could do unthinkable actions and still survive. Heroes were made at the hands of the storytellers, the Shapers. Grendel, on the other side of the coin, was destroyed by those very same hands. Grendel talks of the Shaper many times throughout the novel, refering to his ability to change the past.
He would sing the glory of Hrothgar’s line and gild his wisdom and stir up his men to more daring deeds, for a price. He told how Scyld by the cunning of arms had rebuilt the old Danish kingdom from ashes, lordless a long time before he came, and the prey of every passing band, and how Scyld’s son by the strength of his wits had increased their power, a man who fully understood men’s need, from lust to love, and knew how to use it to fashion a mile-wide fist of chain-locked steel. He sang of battles and marriages, of funerals and hangings, the whimperings of beaten enemies, of splendid hunts and harvests….I…crept away, my mind aswim in ringing phrases, magnificent, golden, all of them, incredibly, lies. What was he? The man had changed the world, had torn up the past by its thick, gnarled roots and had transmuted it,…1 The Shaper set Grendel’s fate. The Dragon pushed Grendel into this fate. Grendel was a mere pawn in the hands of these two very clever players, and Grendel was angry. He was angry that the humans were afraid of him, despised him.
Heroes of Time After reading an epic entitled Beowulf, a connection between the main character, Beowulf, and another great man in history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , unfolds. Beowulf and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. hold a special place in the hearts of many. Crowds supporting Beowulf acknowledge that there is no greater warrior to rule over men. People speaking about King agree that life in the ...
He was angry that he lived the way he did. He was ashamed of what he was, but Grendel was sucked into his fate set forth by the Shaper due to his actions and his mind set. Grendel could not have changed his fate. Once the Shaper had sung what was to happen, nothing could persuade the eager ears that listened, that what was to come, would not. Grendel was doomed. The Dark Ages created the monster Grendel. The people of the dark ages depended on the monsters to create heroes. Grendel was trapped by his times and by the fate that the Shaper had set for him.
Grendel was a victim of society, of brainwashing, and of the times.