.Grendel however, he is an intelligent and temperamental monster, capable of rational thought as well as irrational outbursts of emotion. The novel follows Grendel through three stages of his life. The first stage is his childhood, which he spends innocently exploring his confined world, untroubled by the outside universe or philosophical questions.&nbsp.The second step, which decisively makes Grendel an adult, occurs when the bull attacks him, prompting him to realize that the world is essentially chaotic, following no pattern and governed by no discernible reason. The third and final stage of Grendel’s life encompasses his fatal battle with Beowulf and the weeks leading up to that battle.

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In this reading, Gardner establishes Grendel as a dark, but poetic spectator to man’s pretensions to civilization (Merrill 164). For instance, Grendel has observed Hrothgar’s rise to power, so he offers a sardonic account of how roving bands evolved into savage tribes. Grendel is also contemptuous of the Shaper’s influence on Hrothgar’s men, and he asks “Did they murder each other more gently because in the woods sweet songbirds sang?” (Gardner 62). This is where he emphasizes the dangerous allure of art, that is, he exposes the irrepressible human tendency to substitute unpleasant realities with consolatory myths (Merrill 165). The Shaper, for example, tells the Danes stories of their heritage so that the Danes learn to see themselves within a certain moral context, as inheritors of a proud tradition and consequently feel a need to adhere to the strict moral and ethical code that the Shaper has established.&nbsp.This crystal clear vision of what they need to believe in to make their world a meaningful one comforts them.

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