Beowulf and Grendel

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John Gardner's Grendel gives the character Grendel a personality beyond what is described in the epic Beowulf. The descriptions in this reading outline the emotional characteristics of this creature. The work Grendel fulfills its goal of making Grendel seem more human; however, it falls short of one accomplishment. Regardless of the positive description in the text, Grendel's actions against society, which he committed in the work Beowulf, are certainly not justified. Grendel is decisively evil …

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…his conclusion to his first comment. "Except men, of course" (Gardner 8). If Grendel feels that he is similar to humans, he should not want to hurt them. Gardner does not justify Grendel's murderous nature in these selections from his novel Grendel. Perhaps if the monster had intent when he killed, his actions would have been more justifiable. Under these circumstances, Grendel had no purpose for his actions, and cannot be deemed guiltless for his crimes.