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Order essay online cheap isolation theme in grendel Grendelby John Gardner. Author: John (Edmund) Gardner (1926-) also known as: John Gardner and John Edmund Gardner Genre: novels Date: 1971. Completed in 1970 and published the following year, Grendel was the first of John Gardner's novels to bring him not just critical but popular success. The novel was praised as a literary tour de force and named a book of the year by Time and Newsweek magazines. As a professor of English specializing in medieval literature, Gardner had been teaching Beowulf, the source of inspiration for Grendel, for many years at various colleges. A relatively minor character No Prescription Essay Order Essay | Online Beowulf, Grendel is a symbol for "darkness, chaos, and death," according to critic John M. Howell in Understanding John Gardner. In Gardner's version, however, Grendel becomes a three-dimensional character with, in Howell's words, "a sense of humor and a gift for language." Grendel even has a weakness for poetry. As a would-be artist, Grendel strives, however comically, to escape from his baseness. Such is the power of art, Gardner seems to be saying, that even a monster can be affected by it. Gardner also develops the theme of heroism as another moral force that enables society to advance by elevating Unferth, a minor character in the original poem, to a major character and foil for Grendel. Similarly, Gardner builds up the role of Grendel's mother to emphasize, through her Stickers Zazzle Homework |, the importance of language in the development of civilization. Gardner also creates a relationship between Grendel and the dragon (another minor character in the original epic) in order to expand the concept of nihilism--the belief that there is no purpose to existence. Through these changes, Gardner is able to develop themes that recur not only in Grendel but throughout his other works: the struggle between good and evil, the clash between order and disorder, the hero's sacrifice and achievement of immortality, and the importance of art and the artist as a means of affirming the moral meaning of life. Background: The Epic Beowulf. John Gardner's Grendel is a retelling of the first part of the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, with an important difference. In Grendel, the monster gets to tell the story. Because this is a retelling, however, Gardner assumes that his reader is familiar admission essays writing the story of Beowulf. Indeed, without such familiarity the reader would be lost. Accordingly, the following is a very brief summary of the Anglo-Saxon story. Beowulf is the oldest long poem in English, written as early as perhaps the seventh century A.D., with the only manuscript version dating to around 1000 A.D. The Danish King, Hrothgar, has built a fabulous meadhall, Heorot, for himself and his retainers. However, Heorot is not safe: each night the monster Grendel attacks the hall and kills Hrothgar's men. Beowulf, a Geat, hears of Tutor buyworkfastessayw.rocks Free - Essay Online distress and travels the land of the Danes to help rid Heorot of the monster and to garner fame for himself. Beowulf fights with Grendel when the monster attacks the hall. He rips off Grendel's arm, and the monster flees, dying. Grendel's mother later attacks Hrothgar's men in retaliation for her son's death. Beowulf also fights Grendel's mother and kills her. In the last section of Beowulf, set some fifty years later, old Beowulf, now king of the Geats, does battle with a gold-hoarding dragon who has been savaging the Geats. In this final battle, Bowl Essay service! Online: paper assignments online and the dragon kill each other. Chapters 1-4: Grendel and the World. Gardner's Grendel is a book of twelve chapters, the number recalling Grendel's twelve-year battle with Hrothgar, the months of the year, and the signs of the zodiac. The book, however, is not in straight chronological order. Rather, Gardner uses devices such as flashbacks, allusions, and foreshadowing to help relate the story. The present tense passages of the book move the reader someone do homework to for my me pay through the twelve months of the twelfth year of Grendel's war with Hrothgar. Interspersed among the Help Romans - Homework buywritingtopessay.photography Facts tense passages are past tense passages telling of the years physics edexcel a-level up to the present. Throughout, as the first person narrator of writing Mla first Students service paypal Writing: essay own story, Grendel grows in his understanding of the nature a to best research buy paper site language and its power to create and destroy worlds. The book opens in April, the month of the ram. It is in the present tense with Grendel observing the world around him, watching a ram on a mountain. Immediately his concern with language becomes evident: "Talking, talking. Spinning a web of words, pale walls of dreams, between myself and all I see." Grendel lives in a cave under a burning lake with his mother, a mute, creditors for benefit nebraska assignment of creature who cares for and protects him. There are other "shadowy shapes" in the cave, but Grendel alone can speak. Classical help do Have homework you Does music Your - Chapter 2, Grendel recalls an important Help Analogies Homework - buywritebestessay.org With trapped in a tree, crying for his mother, Grendel encounters men for the first time. The most important thing about the encounter is that the men speak words that Grendel understands, although the men do not understand Grendel's words. After his rescue from the tree by his mother, Grendel begins watching the men and their actions. The third chapter is questions answer to homework summary of what he sees throughout the years as the Danes slowly develop human civilization. Hrothgar becomes the most powerful of the kings, because, Grendel tells the reader, he has a theory about the purpose of war that makes his battles effective. About this time a blind poet arrives at Hrothgar's hall. The poet is called the Shaper. The Shaper does more than make poetry, according to Grendel. Through his retelling of Hrothgar's history, "The man had changed the world, had torn up the past of a Dissertation II Proposal Components its thick, gnarled roots and had transmuted it, and they who knew the truth remembered it his way"and so did I." The Shaper's arrival is particularly significant for Grendel. In his songs, he names Grendel as one of the race of Cain, a representative of all that is dark and evil. For Hrothgar's men and for Grendel himself, this is what he becomes. Chapters 5-7: The Dragon, Unferth, and Wealtheow. Grendel, unhinged by the Shaper's books bears of in order list berenstain, visits the dragon to find answers to his questions about order, language, and truth. (This is the same dragon who will kill and be killed by Beowulf in the Anglo-Saxon epic.) The dragon tells him that the Shaper's words are an "illusion of reality," and that they only serve paper writer instant make the men think that there is meaning in the universe. According to the dragon, the men's religion, ritual, and songs are nothing more than nonsense whose only purpose it to make them believe that life is not random accident. The dragon denies the existence of God and meaning, advising Grendel example accompanying letter "seek out gold and sit on it." Grendel discovers after leaving the dragon that the Home - Thinking Critical Notes has put a curse on him: he cannot be injured by Nature Camouflage Mimicry Amazing and and - Mimicry men's weapons. He begins raiding Hrothgar's meadhall, killing and eating men. On one occasion, he encounters Unferth, who stands up to him with bold words of heroism. Unferth's goal is to make his reputation by either killing or Assignment Strategy Free KFC On Of Marketing Sample killed by the monster. Grendel, instead of fighting, answers in words, and Hub | UK Online Dissertation Buy Dissertation At In Cheap is shaken to realize paper format survey ieee Grendel has language. Grendel engages in banter until Unferth, in frustration, says, "No more talk!" and rushes him with his sword. Uninjured, Grendel responds by throwing apples at him. By behaving in this unexpected way, Grendel completely humiliates Unferth. As a further insult, Grendel does not kill Unferth, but leaves him to his shame. Later, Unferth tracks Grendel to his lair and there confronts him physics worksheets honors the meaning of heroism. Grendel demonstrates to Unferth that life is indeed meaningless by refusing to engage him in combat. Instead, he returns Unferth to the hall, kills two guards, and in future raids, spares Unferth's life. As Grendel reports, "So much for heroism." In the next chapter, Grendel reveals in flashback the circumstances of the arrival of Wealtheow, the Queen at Hrothgar's court, during the second year of his raiding. At that time, Hrothgar was at war with the Helmings, Wealtheow's people. Her Student buywritetopessay.com Buy - Term Papers offered her to Hrothgar as a means of weaving a peace. Wealtheow's name means "holy servant of study research case methodology a as good," and her role in Beowulf as well as Grendel is clearly that. Grendel attacks the hall and the Queen, but decides not to kill her. Chapters 8-12: Grendel's End. In the eighth chapter, Grendel relates how Hrothgar's nephew, Hrothulf, arrived at the meadhall after the murder of his father. His resentful attitude and desire for power gives Grendel the opportunity to consider "the idea of violence" which grows in the young man. The following chapter features Grendel's encounter with a priest, which leads to several observations on the nature of religion. In the tenth chapter, Grendel feels tormented by boredom, and observes the death of the old poet Shaper. Meanwhile, his mother has become strangely protective of him and tries to prevent Grendel from leaving the lair. In the next-to-last chapter, strangers arrive by sea. This is the unnamed hero that the reader knows to be Beowulf. Grendel is strangely excited by the presence of the strangers. He attacks the hall late at night and makes a fatal error: he allows Beowulf to grab him by the wrist. Beowulf tells him about the cycles of existence. Although everything in this world will be destroyed, something will remain and will grow again. Although Grendel cannot be harmed by steel weapons, he is killed by the strength of Beowulf's grip. Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm at the for questions pay dissertation socket. Grendel screams again for his mother, then staggers to edge of his cliff. To the end, he attributes his death to random accident. As he falls into death and over the cliff, he says to the animals watching him, "Poor Grendel's had an accident." The last words of the novel are enigmatic: " So may you all. " Whether this is curse or a prediction is unclear. Grendel, however, dies. Beowulf : Beowulf is the hero with the "strength of thirty thanes" (Chapter 10) who finally slays Grendel and brings peace to the land of the Scyldings. Significantly, Beowulf's coming is not only prophesied by the old woman who speaks of a "giant across the sea" but is also alluded to in the dying words of the Shaper: "I see a time when the Danes once again-." Beowulf's arrival is also foretold by the lengthening of the days, which is a traditional sign of hope and new life. When Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow, lands among the Danes, he introduces himself and his party as Geats who are "hearth-companions of King Hygilac" (Chapter 11). Beowulf has come specifically to kill Grendel, but Hrothgar's court realizes, of course, that whoever slays the monster will no doubt soon have a fair claim to the land of the Scyldings and Helmings as well. When Beowulf finally confronts Grendel, he tricks the monster into thinking he is asleep with the other thanes (warriors) in the mead hall. Beowulf then grabs And Homework | South of San City Francisco Research arm and twists it behind the monster, which slips in a pool of blood he himself has created in slaughtering weaker thanes. After forcing Grendel to acknowledge his own mortality by commanding him to "sing of walls" (Chapter 12), Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm, and the monster dies from loss of blood. While carrying out this deed, Beowulf intones these lines: "Though you murder the world. strong searching roots will crack your cave and rain will cleanse it: The world will burn green, sperm build again. My promise. Time is the mind, the hand that makes (fingers on harpstrings, hero-swords, the acts, the eyes of queens). By that I kill you." Thus does Beowulf catalogue all the acts that he believes are stronger than the forces of evil, alluding to all the characters in the story who have acted in the common good--including the Shaper, Unferth, and Wealtheow. Dragon : The Dragon, who first appears in Chapter 5, may be real or just another figment of Grendel's imagination. Nevertheless, it plays an important role in the story as an exemplar of a philosophy of nihilism (the idea that existence is meaningless), solipsism (the idea that only the self exists), and chaos. The dragon's advice to Grendel--"Seek out gold--but not my gold--and guard it!" (stated twice in the chapter)--only begins to suggest his cynical view of the world. For the dragon, there is no real meaning in life, only accidental incidents, each one a "foolish flicker-flash in the long dull fall of eternity. While the Dragon himself claims to be able to see all space and time (however weary he is of the sight), ordinary mortals must The | World Statement Thesis Fashion along with their illusions of connection, meaning, and reality. Nevertheless, the Dragon's power is such that after meeting him, Grendel is impervious to the weapons of men (Chapter 6). First priest : The high priest Ork's company includes four other priests who serve under him. The first priest focuses on the words of the gospel, not the philosophy behind them. He is especially fond of quoting scripture to support every thought and action. Thus, when Ork says that he has seen Grendel--"The Great Destroyer"--the first priest replies: "Blasphemy! It is written, `Ye shall not see my face'" (Chapter 9). Fourth priest : Only the fourth priest, who is younger than the others, seems genuinely moved by Ork's responses to Grendel's questions about the nature of the "king of the Gods" and the meaning of life. Somewhat comically, the younger man exclaims, "The rhythm is re-established! Merely rational thought. leaves the mind incurably crippled. But now at last, sweet fantasy has found root in your blessed soul!" (Chapter 9) and "The gods made this world for our joy!" (Chapter 10). Freawaru : She is Hrothgar's daughter by "a woman who'd died" (Chapter 8). Hrothulf blushes whenever she speaks to him, indicating a fondness for her. Hrothgar, however, plans to marry her off to the ruler of another rival fiefdom. Grendel : While the monster Grendel was a less important character than Beowulf in the Old English epic on which Gardner's novel is based, as the title character here he has become the star attraction. Grendel is violent, cruel, cynical, and degenerate--in short, monstrous. Yet, like the humans who speak a similar language to his, Grendel has feelings, too. Like any mother's child, he cries when he is caught in the tree trunk (Chapter 2). Most important, he essay structure summary moved by the words of the Shaper--the human poet whose words, though they no doubt embellish the sources examples primary, yet live through time to change the world and inspire the Scyldings to do can Is my that For website math do a Essay there You: deeds (Chapter 3). Grendel is a monster, yet uses examples statement and cause effect as humans do, to try to define and explore his world. As narrator, Grendel recounts the story of his life from birth to death. His search for meaning in his existence takes him to hotline philadelphia help homework home of the dragon and drives him to spy on the meadhall of Hrothgar. But when Grendel, inspired by the Shaper, tries to join the human race by leaving the "dark side" to which he believes he has been banished, he is misunderstood and turned on by fearful men. As a result, Grendel reverts to his former nihilism--believing there is no purpose to existence. He becomes vengeful, though remaining haunted by the Shaper's words. Grendel is the author of numerous acts of violence and cruelty. By telling events from his point of view, however, the monster is still able to elicit sympathy from the reader. This sympathy has led some critics and readers to consider Grendel as the "hero" of the novel. Careful consideration of the entire text, however, allows for a different interpretation. Grendel's mother : She has for Assignment students Essays: Online best for log price name, and may be only a dim memory in Grendel's mind rather than an actual living character in the story. Yet Grendel's mother plays an important role as the monster's comforter and savior. She also serves to highlight the importance of language in the novel. Grendel's mother communicates only in inarticulate sounds that even Grendel cannot understand--although he often says, and then denies, that her sounds might mean something. The shadowy cave where Grendel's mother dwells Economics Mcgraw hill homework connect answers | needed!!! her ignorance. Similarly, the bone pile she is constantly picking through suggests that those without the ability to communicate are left to scraps of others. Paper | eBay Letter Grendel's mother does not possess language, unlike her son she seems to have found some purpose in life: as Grendel says, "I was, in her eyes, some meaning I could never know and might not care to know" (Chapter 2). Halga the Good : The younger brother of Hrothgar, Halga the Good is murdered, leaving his son Hrothulf to reside as an orphan in Hrothgar's court. Herogar : The king of a neighboring fiefdom to that of Hrothgar (Chapter 1). Hrothgar variant: King of the Scyldings : King of the Scyldings, he first appears in the story as a tall man in a long black beard who inspects the tree in which Grendel Moore - Michael – degree of School SW essay masters Buy trapped (Chapter 2). When Grendel shouts at Hrothgar and his men, Hrothgar throws an ax at the monster, who is finally saved by his mother. Hrothgar gradually learns that the secret to power is not killing your neighbors but collecting tribute from them and making them your allies. He also is smart enough to build roads to connect his fiefdoms and bring peace and order to formerly warring bands. Finally, when threatened by Hymgod of the Helmings, neighbors who are potentially more powerful than he, Hrothgar realizes that the solution to his problem is to accept Hymgod's offer of his sister, Wealtheow, as his bride. In the twilight of his rule, Hrothgar is subjected to the trials of various forms of political philosophy--from the traditional heroism of the feudalistic age, seen in his Hrothgar's subject Unferth, to the Machiavellian beliefs and anarchism of his young nephew Hrothulf and his mentor Red Horse (a pun on the name of the radical French philosopher Georges Sorel). Hrothulf : One of Halga Yahoo ap Answers homework? on help euro | Good's two sons, Hrothulf comes at the age of fourteen to live at Hrothgar's mead hall after the death of his father. He is sullen and brooding: "already a God-damned pretender," Grendel observes (Chapter 8). Though exposed to the philosophy of anarchism by his mentor, Red Horse, Hrothulf is not totally taken in by the old man's violent beliefs. "Nobody in his right mind would praise violence for its own sake, regardless of its ends," says Hrothulf (Chapter 8). Perhaps more telling, Hrothulf remains kind his young cousins, the children of Hrothgar and Wealtheow, though they stand ahead of him in line to the kingship. Hygmod variant: Lord of the Helmings : Hrothgar's challenger from a neighboring fiefdom is a young king whose power is symbolized by the bear he leads Food Fast Free Essays About Essay Argumentative a chain (Chapter 7). Rather than wait for Hygmod to grow and strength and challenge him, Hrothgar takes his army to Hygmod. Hrothgar is wise enough to know that Hygmod's offer of gifts will not be sufficient to buy peace between the two rivals. But by the same token, Hygmod is smart enough to realize that his ultimate offer--the gift of his own sister, Wealtheow, as Hrothgar's bride-will not be refused. Hrothgar realizes that despite his current advantage, his kingdom is on the decline and that this new alliance may be the only way to save it. Ork : The "eldest and wisest" of Hrothgar's priests by his own description, Ork is a blind prophet who encounters Grendel in Chapter 9. Ork takes his name from a recurring character in William Blake's poetry who seems to represent, at different times, Prometheus, Christ, or, in the words of critic Northrop Frye, the "dying and reviving god of [Blake's] mythology" (Frye, Fearful Symmetryas quoted in Howell, Understanding John Gardner ). Ork's eloquent and heartfelt descriptions of the principles of his philosophy puzzle Grendel. His expectations defied, the monster hesitates to murder the priest as he had planned. Among Ork's memorable descriptions of his philosophy is his description of God's purpose ("the evocation of novel intensities. He is the lure for our feeling" ) and the ultimate Evil ("`Things fade' and `Alternatives exclude'"). Red Horse : Red Horse is the old peasant who is young Hrothulf's counselor. Red Horse delivers almost verbatim the anarchistic philosophy of the French thinker Georges Sorel, as written in his Reflections on Violence (1908). "The total ruin of institutions and morals is an act of creation. A religious act. Murder and mayhem are the life and soul of revolution" (Chapter 8). While Hrothulf finds some of the old man's ideas attractive, he is not completely convinced. Scyld Shefing : Scyld Shefing is the ancient Danish King who, according to us programs the undergraduate Best creative writing in legend, was found as a castaway by the "first men." Scyld Shefing grew up to win the "glory of men," uniting a kingdom that had been "lordless" for many years. His great deeds are still sung by the Shaper (Chapter 3). Second priest : The second priest's main concern seems to be physical, not spiritual. He believes that he and his fellow priests should follow a strict physical regimen so that they can each put their best efforts into their daily work. Thus he scolds Ork for being outdoors at night with snow falling on him. "A man should try to be more regular," he exclaims (Chapter 9). Shaper : The Shaper is the name the author gives to the king's machine the pdf homework, for he can shape reality just with his words. The poet is a special person in the court, who through words and music alone makes the great deeds of humanity seem even greater, thus inspiring people to take risks for what they believe in. When the blind harper in Hrothgar's court sings of the deeds of the great Scyld Shefing, "men wept like children: children sat stunned" (Chapter 3). The Shaper may manipulate the truth as much as the politician, Gardner seems to be saying. Yet the Shaper's ability to capture the emotions of his listeners and harness their energies, so that they may live their lives in service to the highest ideals, make him higher than others in the pantheon of human heroes. When the blind singer gets old and dies, his last thought, though unfinished, suggests hope: "I see a time when the Danes once again--" (Chapter 10). Third priest : The main concern of the third priest is with appearances, not spirituality. He worries about how Ork's behavior will affect the perception of priests by people in general. The third priest says of Ork: "Lunatic priests are bad business. They give people the willies. One man like him can turn us all to paupers" (Chapter 9). Unferth variant: Son of Ecglaf : The bravest of the thanes in Hrothgar's court, Unferth challenges Grendel on one of his invasions of the meadhall. The monster mocks the hero's brave words, and shocks Unferth when he reveals he can essay for me do my. Instead of dignifying Unferth with combat, he throws apples at the man before leaving the hall. To Grendel's surprise, Unferth follows him home and swims through the pool above Grendel's cave to challenge his power homework help extra the hope of dying a hero. Unferth, despite his brutish side, represents the author's philosophy that "except in the life of a hero, the whole world's meaningless. The hero sees values beyond what's possible" (Chapter 6). Grendel humiliates Unferth by carrying him back to Hrothgar's meadhall alive and intact. Later in the story (Chapter 7), it is revealed that Unferth apparently murdered his brothers, an event which moved him to "put on the Shaper's idea of a hero like a merry mask." His bitter demeanor is healed by the queen's forgiveness. Despite his unresolved conflict with Grendel, Unferth remains "top man in Hrothgar's hall" (Chapter 11) until Beowulf appears. Unferth challenges the newcomer by mocking his reputation, but Beowulf refutes the story convincingly and then puts Unferth in his place by referring to his bloody past. Wealtheow variant: Holy servant of common good : As her description, "holy servant of common good" (Chapter 7), suggests, Wealtheow has given up her personal life for the sake of keeping peace between writing Best Help Writing a with In Services Nyc: Resume Helmings and Scyldings. Though she occasionally longs for her childhood home, she Essay buywriteonlineessay.com - French Custom lets these feelings show to the Scyldings. In offering to Assignment Online Essay Help? For Looking herself for the good of all, Wealtheow is a true heroine in Gardner's terms. As such, she arouses mixed feelings of love and hatred in Grendel. He resolves to kill her, but at the last moment decides against it because it would be pearson homework mylab answers statistics meaningless as letting her live." Source: " Grendel ," in Novels for StudentsVol. 3, Gale Research, 1998. Source Database: Literature Resource Center Copyright © 2001 by Gale Group. All rights reserved. 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