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That night, filled with excitement, lust, joy, and also fear,Grendel raids the meadhall. He bursts with the heavy front doorto find all the guys asleep. Madly prankish, he ties a tableclothapproximately his neck favor a napkin and also proceeds to eat one resting man.Grendel grabs one more male by the wrist, just to uncover that itis Beowulf, who has been silently watching him in order to see howhe operates. With a stare as intense as his grip, Beowulf twistsGrendel’s arm around in the socket, causing him pain unchoose anyhe has ever felt. Grendel has a suractual, wonderful vision of themeadhall coming to life, and also he sees a pair of wings sprouting fromBeowulf’s back. Reminding himself that Beowulf is only a male, Grendeltries to reacquire his senses and also plan a logical assault. But just thenGrendel slips on a puddle of blood, and also the accident allows Beowulfto take the upper hand also.
Beowulf starts whispering madly in Grendel’s ear. ThoughGrendel tries to stop listening, he is helpmuch less. Beowulf beginsby quoting the dragon’s summary of the world as a meaninglessswirl of dust. Laughing and spitting flames, Beowulf speaks of anapproaching duration of renewal in the civilization. Grendel refusesto be taken in by Beowulf’s words, which remind him of all the talkhe has already heard. Slipping in and also out of his visions, Grendelwhimpers and bawls for his mommy. He clintends that Beowulf has actually gainedthe top hand just by taking advantage of an accident: if Grendelhad not slipped on the blood, he would certainly be winning. Beowulf hurlsGrendel against a table and also then a wall surface, demanding that Grendelobserve the hardness of the wall. He proceeds to smash Grendelagainst the walls, breaking his forehead open up. Then Beowulf demandsthat Grendel “sing of walls.” After some resistance, Grendel singsa short verse about man’s wall surfaces crumbling through the passage of time, leavingnothing but the shining memory of the town.
Grendel proceeds to firmly insist that Beowulf is insane, andthat his victory is only an accident and no proof of the truth ofhis words. Grendel is amazed once Beowulf manperiods to rip his armoff at the shoulder. Suddenly realizing that he will certainly die, Grendelstumbles out of the hall and also right into the darkness of the night. Theoutlines of everything roughly him appear remarkably unique. Grendelcalls for his mommy one last time. He finds himself standing atthe edge of the exact same cliff wbelow he stood in Chapter 1,staring dvery own into its bottommuch less depths. Something inside Grendelmoves him to tumble dvery own into the abyss voluntarily. His sight clearsfor a moment, and also no longer in pain, he notices that his old opponents,the pets, have actually gathered about him to watch him die. Overcomeby both terror and also joy, Grendel whispers to them, “Poor Grendel’shad actually an accident. . . . So may you all.”
In the middle of the climactic battle, Grendel has a hallucinationof Beowulf sprouting wings and spitting flames like a dragon. Without a doubt, Grendel’sencounter with Beowulf in many methods parallels his earlier encounterthrough the dragon. Grendel senses the dragon several chapters beforehe actually meets him or even apprehends his nature. Similarly,Grendel feels Beowulf’s unavoidable existence long prior to the warrioractually arrives in Dennote. In addition, just as it is unclearwhether the dragon is a separate, distinct creature or a creationof Grendel’s very own mind, Beowulf’s appearance shifts and mutates drasticallythroughout his battle with Grendel, leaving us to wonder if thesealters are actually arising or are merely a duty of Grendel’screative thinking and also perception. As there is no logical factor why Beowulfwould have such uncanny understanding right into Grendel’s thoughts and psychology,tbelow is a feeling that this vision of a dragon-choose Beowulf is apersonal revelation intended only for Grendel.
Beowulf and the dragon are the just characters who speak directlyto Grendel and also pierce via his isolation, and also their messagesare very closely related, though essentially opposed. Beowulf beginshis lecture to Grendel by quoting the dragon, describing the presentmoment as a “short-lived gathering of bits, a few random specks, acloud.” Beowulf accepts the dragon’s explanation of the world asa area wright here everything eventually dies. However, while the dragonemphasizes death and degeneration, Beowulf looks past the moment of deathand emphasizes the rebirth that always complies with. Beowulf’s promiseof a burning, avenging spring seachild echoes the song sung at theShaper’s funeral, which additionally describes a violent seasonal shiftthat paradoxically holds the promise of both life and also fatality. Gardnerclaimed that he based the dragon imagery in Grendel ona medieval legacy in which both Christ and the evil one were portrayedas dragons. Beowulf, in his association through the dead and also risenChrist, likewise represents the copresence of life and also fatality in one number.
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This concept of paradox resurencounters in the last momentsof the novel, when the one-armed Grendel stands at the edge of thecliff and cannot discern whether it is joy or terror he feels. Grendel’s deathis plainly gruesome and also violent, and also we may discover his plight patheticand heart-wrenching. His last words show up to be a curse directedat the mindmuch less, stupid pets that have actually gathered to watch himdie. However before, some critics have actually also taken Grendel’s final wordsas a strange sort of blessing. Although in intense pain, Grendelis currently complimentary from the mindmuch less, mechanical cycle in which he earlierdiscovered himself trapped. Importantly, the impetus for Grendel’s suddenflexibility from this cycle is a mere accident, his slipping on a poolof blood in the time of the fight with Beowulf. As this twist implies thatdevices have actually no place for the accidental or unsupposed, perhapsGrendel is wishing an “accident” on the animals as a means of freeingthem from their thoughtlessly predetermined paths.