In Grendel What Was Shpers Chant About

Grendel Chapter 4 Summary & Analysis

When Hrothgar hears a Song of the Shaper sing about constructing a great meadhall on a hilltop that would “shine to the ends of the universe,” he is inspired to construct a magnificent meadhall on a hilltop to serve as an enduring testimony to the powerful justice of his Danes. It is Hrothgar’s ambition to attain honor by the distribution of riches from his new meadhall, and he hopes that his progeny would do the same. He sent artists and builders to far-flung nations in order to complete the magnificent structure.

The pomp and circumstance are beyond Grendel’s comprehension, yet he is swept up in the joyous celebration and the constantly hopeful demonstration of Hrothgar’s purported kindness.

Grendel travels across the woodland, musing aloud on the Shaper’s enigmatic power and the Shaper’s secret nature.

Grendel is becoming increasingly alarmed by the chilling, intangible presence that is growing in strength.

  1. Grendel is followed by the presence to the outskirts of town before abruptly disappearing from view.
  2. Grendel is perplexed by the contrast between the idyllic vision of the lovers and the savagely killed body he comes across as he circles the clearing.
  3. A moment before Grendel puts the body over his shoulder, the Shaper begins to play his harp in the background.
  4. Grendel, according to the Shaper, is on the side that has been cursed by God.
  5. Grendel, however, is overtaken by the power of the Shaper’s song and staggers toward the hall, clutching the body in his arms and pleading for compassion while proclaiming himself a friend.
  6. In the process, Grendel causes a twelve-foot crack in the woodland floor, which is then filled with blood.
  7. As soon as Grendel is able to maintain his composure, he raises his eyes to the sky, almost expecting to see the deity whom the Shaper had portrayed.

Grendel takes consolation in the knowing that the Danes are doomed: he understands human nature well enough to see that Hrothgar’s successors are unlikely to carry on Hrothgar’s noble beliefs of generosity in the same manner.

Despite the fact that he is becoming progressively hooked, he is furious by the Shaper’s optimistic remarks, persuaded of the mechanical brutishness of reality and enraged by the Shaper’s statements.

Grendel is awakened by strange whisperings in the night, and he can feel a mysterious power pulling at his limbs yet another time.

The sound of Dool-dool!

“Dool-dool!” says the narrator.

He exits the cave and makes his way to the cliff’s edge. Grendel’s consciousness goes blank and he descends like a stone into the ground and the water, until he is no longer there.

The Shaper Timeline in Grendel

  • Throughout the book, we first see the Shaper when Grendel approaches his final year of raiding, which is where the story begins. Amidst the turmoil and devastation of one of Grendel’s visits, The Shaper is blind and clutching his harp in his hands. These are the first songs the Shaper sings, and they’re about the conflicts that are going on all around them. Hrothgar’s servant Grendel recalls the period when the Shaper came into his service, which coincided with the time when the king found out how to force other, weaker monarchs to pay homage to him. The Shaper had arrived with a young helper (the Shaper-to-be), and they had begun to recite the story of the Scyldings’ founder (the song that begins Beowulf)
  • Nevertheless, the Shaper had left without saying anything. The sounds of the Shaper took the audience by surprise. They admired his vision of greatness for their people
  • The Shaper was far superior to the king’s old Harper, who was instantly ousted by the Shaper’s presence
  • The Shaper was considerably superior to the king’s old Harper, who was quickly displaced by the Shaper’s arrival
  • After meeting the Shaper, Grendel sees the power of his words immediately away: he is actually influencing history
  • The monster suffers much as a result of the Shaper’s arrival. Is it possible that his perception of humanity is incorrect and the Shaper’s account of history is correct? We hear that Grendel will exact his vengeance on the Shaper at some point in the future. Even though the Shaper has been trained in the art of tragedy at the conclusion of his twelve-year reign of terror, his version of history continues to prevail. Grenndel can’t seem to get the Shaper’s songs out of his brain
  • And then it happens: the Shaper sings about Cain’s murder and how he and all his kindred have been cursed as a result of the crime. This is too much for Grendel to endure, and he spirals into despair and rage, ultimately falling into the dragon’s grasp. Grendel hears the Shaper’s music for the second time as he returns from his dragon hunt. He feels outraged when he realizes that the Danes are given such a prominent role in all of the songs
  • Grendel is assaulted by a guard for the first time at this point, and he discovers that he has been captivated by the dragon at this point. Immediately following this, the raids begin. The Shaper becomes ill with a fever after having performed admirably for many years. The fact that Grendel is upset about it is understandable
  • After all, it is a love-hate relationship. Hrothgar, Wealtheow, and the children pay a visit to the Shaper as he lies dying on the ground. Grendel observes through the window
  • Wealtheow informs the Shaper that he appears healthy, but everyone knows this is a deception
  • Grendel watches through the window
  • Grendel is distraught in his own monster manner as the Shaper begins to foretell about the future of the Danes and disappears into the great beyond in the middle of his speech. He pays a visit to the home of the woman whom the Shaper admired in order to watch how she reacts to the information. He’s even contemplating devouring her in order to put her out of her agony completely. (He doesn’t have any.) A song about Hildeburh and Finn is performed at the Shaper’s funeral by the new Shaper (the former assistant). Grendel, like everyone else, feels lost and abandoned as a result of the Shaper’s death, which isn’t exactly encouraging.

Grendel Summary

Dozens of years later, the Shaper sings even more depressing songs: songs about how even wealthy kings likeHrothgar are dissatisfied when so many of their soldiers are slaughtered by Grendel. The villagers are burying their dead from the last Grendel onslaught, which is now taking place. They haven’t given up hope, though, and continue to work hard. This kingdom, according to Grendel, was established by the Shaper, who inspired the people to build a big and mighty meadhall by singing about such a structure.

  1. Grendel sat there and listened, knowing the entire thing was ludicrous but believing it all the same nonetheless.
  2. Nonetheless, he began to suspect that the Shaper had altered their appearance.
  3. He began to speak his thoughts out, but he was self-conscious and haughty about it.
  4. He attempted to convince himself that the songs were simply beautiful melodies and that they had made no difference.
  5. Grendel was horrified and perplexed when he realized that the Shaper could perhaps be a nice guy after all.
  6. Once Grendel started walking toward the town, the tingling vanished completely.
  7. Grendel is worried by something vague, despite the fact that everything appears to be fine and benign.

Grendel takes up the guy and sits back to listen as the Shaper begins to sing once more.

“He narrated the story of an ancient family dispute between two brothers that divided the world into two camps: darkness and light.

I actually believed him!

Despite this, Grendel goes to the meadhall as a result of the song, attempting to make peace with the people and gain their friendship in the process.

He has no choice except to respond violently.

He yells, but then realizes that it sounds ridiculous and stops.

They don’t respond, and he makes an effort not to be insulted.

He believes that if Hrothgar and the Shaper truly desire to build a peaceful, strong country and leave a lasting legacy, they will be disappointed in their efforts.

They just care about winning battles and making money.

Philosophy 5 is the subject of this topic tracking.

Grendel is unable to keep his distance from the Shaper’s performances.

Nonetheless, it enrages him in a level that he does not comprehend.

He senses a presence around him and drawing him in.

While his mother is angry that he hasn’t brought any food with him, he is preoccupied with thoughts of the Shaper.

But what if the Shaper’s songs had the power to bring the narrative to life?

He turns to face his mother.

Grendel is horrified by her and makes an effort to ignore her. He falls asleep, but later awakens unexpectedly, realizing that the presence he had sensed before has returned to his body. In the end, he gives in and goes to the dragon. Identity 4 is a topic that has been tracked.


The Shaper is an elderly, blind man who travels to Hrothgar and offers to sing in exchange for payment. He is the protagonist of the story, and he is the one through whom the narrative delves the most profoundly into thoughts about language, art, and beauty. His eloquent songs inspire Hrothgar’s warriors to greatness and help to spread notions of courage, justice, and religion across the kingdom. In addition, he motivates Hrothgar to build his magnificent meadhall, Hart. According to Grendel, the Shaper is endowed with the unique capacity to shape and modify the world, infusing order, purpose, and beauty into what would otherwise be an utterly chaotic existence.

At the heart of Grendel’s animosity for the Shaper, however, is at least a hint of envy, since Grendel longs to be a member of the community that is brought together by the Shaper’s tales.

While this may be true, the Shaper possesses genuine power and is capable of causing things to occur in the real world as a result of his actions (such as the construction of Hart).

The Shaper Quotes inGrendel

Unless otherwise stated, all of the Grendelquotes below are either said by or allude to The Shaper. Note that for each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes that are associated with it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, such as this one:).Please keep in mind that all page numbers and citation information for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Grendelpublished in 1989.So he sang—or intoned, with the harp behind him—twisting together the bits and pieces of the best old songs like sailors’ ropes.

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The crowd was deafeningly quiet.

The realization that I wanted it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Yes, I really wanted it!

The Shaper Character Timeline inGrendel

The following timeline illustrates where the character The Shaper occurs in Grendel during the course of the novel. The colorful dots and symbols on each appearance show which themes are related with that particular occurrence. Every time, people scream, and an elderly blind man with a harp, known as theShaper, runs out a back window of the building. Grendel is defeated every time Hrothgar’s troops attempt to combat him. This. In its whole, the landscape was silent, “as though dragged down by language,” according to the author.

  • (complete context)Grendel was caught away in the singing and music of theShaper, despite the fact that he is well aware that theShaper’s account of heroic past is untrue.
  • (Context is provided in full) Because by the Shaper’s poetry, Grendel ran screaming from the meadhall, feeling embarrassed and hurt.
  • This is from the.
  • (full context) Grendel asserts that the is the case.
  • Hrothgar collected a large number of laborers to help with the construction.
  • Grendel considered what he was thinking.
  • Just as The Shaper began to play, Grendel grabbed up the body and walked it closer to the entrance hall.

After that, Grendel ran into the hall, yelling “mercy!” and “peace!” (full context) TheShapers abruptly halted their performance, and the men yelled and assaulted Grendel.

(complete context)Two nights later, Grendel returned to hear theShaper sing again, having become hooked to his singing.

Upon returning to his cave, Grendel was persuaded that the Shaper’s stories about the origin of the world and a feud between two ancient brothers were true.

When people recognize that their theories are faulty, the dragon explains, the Shaper assists them by creating a nice illusion of reality for them to continue believing.

Grendel told the dragon the account of the world’s genesis as given by the Shaper, which the dragon thought was absurd.

began a deliberate campaign of raids (for the entire background).

He climbed the steps to the wall.

(full context) He believes he is going insane, yet he continues to sing.

visit the meadhall and watch Wealtheow serve all of the tables, enchanting Hrothgar in the same way as the Shaper did.

When she soothed Unferth, he felt better.

All of the guys ate, drank, and listened intently to the Shaper’s speech.

Grendel, the humans were having a good time, too.

A theory that Grendel attributes to the Shaper is presented, which states that “every action of the human heart must generate an equal and opposite reaction.” (Context is provided in full) TheShaperi is in serious trouble.

(See the complete context.) When they are sleeping, she hides him beneath her fur to protect him.

(complete context)Grendel chooses to attend the burial of the Shaper.

Grendel believes that she is correct.

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Grendel at 50: How John Gardner’s Finest Novel Undermines His Ideas About Moral Fiction

A friend on Twitter recently asked for ideas of lesser-read classics, which he defined as “anything published fifty years ago or more,” and he received a flurry of responses. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to ask for a book recommendation, so I started mentally ticking off titles until I got to John Gardner’s Grendel, which has been a perennial favorite of mine for years. When I rushed to Google to search out the novel’s publishing year, I discovered that it was first published in 1971, more than 50 years ago.

When I was an undergraduate, a couple of my instructors suggested the novel to me, but I refused to read it because it smelled too musty, felt too stodgy, and seemed too…

Is this a retelling of the Beowulf tale from the monster’s point of view?

Everything about the book, from the cover to the inside flaps, appeared to combine to make me think it was uninteresting: that dismal image in tones of brown and tan recalling the yellowed pages of a historical archive, and a fluffy creature with his head thrown back to unleash a scream at the sky.

  1. Through repeated readings over the course of several years, that sense has remained constant.
  2. The straightforward storyline of the novel is very similar to that of Beowulf, the tale’s source material.
  3. However, Hrothgar’s tranquillity is disturbed by the vengeful monster Grendel, who comes nightly to pick off Hrothgar’s thanes and bring them back to his cave, where he consumes their bones.
  4. Even though neither battle happens in Grendel, both of Grendel’s mothers and a dragon are mentioned in the book.
  5. Rather than just turning these events inside out and repeating them from the monster’s point of view, Gardner’s trick inGrendeliis to give the story a fresh philosophical gloss, giving it a decisively postmodern viewpoint on a pre-modern tale.
  6. He becomes a sort of existentialist antihero, meaning-obsessed, struggling to grasp the significance of his existence, consciousness, and the brute reality, the inescapable thing-ness, of the world he perceives around him.

Grendel observes people from a distance, describing them as “thinking beings,” “pattern builders,” and “the most deadly things I’d ever encountered.” Grendel observes them make their first tentative steps toward civilization, but the thing these people are most interested in cultivating is war: they gather in fields, yell boasts, then descend on one other and fight till the ground is covered in blood, their wars silly and meaningless in the end.

Things begin to change when a blind wandering bard, known as “the Shaper,” arrives at Hrothgar’s hall to sing a narrative of the king’s triumphs in combat, transforming the harsh truth of the humans’ battling into a work of artistic expression.

Men sobbed like children, and children sat transfixed.” The truth moves even Grendel, who says, “I too crept away,” his thoughts awash with “ringing terms,” “magnificent,” “golden,” “magnificent,” “golden,” “magnificent,” and “all of them, incredible, falsehoods.” Grendel’s ambivalence transforms into homicidal hatred when the Shaper’s song portrays him as a villain, a threat to Hrothgar’s realm of courage and virtue, as depicted in the Shaper’s song.

  1. This marks the beginning of the monster’s campaign against this pre-modern human culture.
  2. Grendel remains a nihilist, believing firmly that reality is a brute physical fact with no underlying significance, and that humans are dangerous beasts whose battles represent nothing more than a childish struggle for dominance.
  3. Any artwork that suggests otherwise is a fabrication.
  4. He can’t help but be touched by it, despite his desire to discover what it is.
  5. However, because the Shaper’s song portrays Grendel as an outsider to the human civilization, he declares war on them as well as on the interpretation that their art conveys.

It is a minor miracle of style that this artistic approach to the material actually works—that casting a monster from myth as a nihilist antihero agonizing over the meaning of existence and art comes across as anything other than a pretentious academic game—and that this approach to the material actually works.

  • One would naturally conclude after reading it that the dragon should be an all-seeing entity engaged in Cartesian intellectual dialogue, and one would be correct in thinking so.
  • Even more astonishing, given the novel’s substance and the intellectual trickery it employs, is who created it in the first place, given the circumstances.
  • Gardner was born in the town of Grendel, New York.
  • However, his most surviving piece of fiction…
  • What’s going on?
  • Gardner introduces his project with a narrative from Norse mythology about Thor “fighting back the foes of order.” This serves as a “governing metaphor” for the rest of the book, according to Gardner.
  • It is noteworthy that in this context, Gardner uses mythological heroes and monsters as metaphors.
  • Grenndel is simply too compelling a character, and his point of view is far more appealing than Gardner’s intended critique of postmodernism; in fact, Gardner ended up creating a dynamic arena for the same ideas and creative techniques he professed to be against.
  • Grendelis amusing, fascinating, challenging, and, most all, rebellious; the novel will not be confined to a single genre.

On Moral Fiction, Gardner suggests that a classic work such as Beowulfis an example of authentic moral art—of the epic poem, he observes with approval that its “moral causality is inexorably linked to its moral consequences.” The falseness Grendel sees in the epic poetry, on the other hand, is genuine, and it is impossible to overlook.

  • Gardner was an outspoken opponent of metafiction and a staunch anti-nihilist, believing that the objective of fiction was to move the audience toward morality.
  • However, his most surviving piece of fiction…
  • What’s going on?
  • In Gardner’s hands, he is no longer a moralist who brings order, but rather a nihilist who coexists with Grendel—albeit a merry one.
  • The world is created by you, whisper by whisper, second by second.
  • It makes no difference whether you turn it into a graveyard or a rose garden.” “Feel the wall: is it not difficult?” the warrior exclaims as he shoves Grendel up against a wall.
  • Now it’s time to sing of the walls!

Instead, it’s something in the middle, considerably more daring and dangerous than either extreme: art, rather than reflecting the world, really creates it, as opposed to simply reflecting it.

Graves, gardens, and even walls are built by them.

We have complete power over the worlds we create, but we also have complete control over them, just as tales themselves jump far above our capacities as authors, readers, and critics to tame or confine them.

Perhaps “morality” was the word Gardner attempted to give to this indefinable concept, but un doing so, he, I believe, reduced it in significance.

Something in Grendel’s writing surprised Gardner, upending his neat theories about the way life and art should function.

When it comes to the conservative notion of great literature, Gardner is more hesitant; he concedes that many of the classic stories, like Beowulf, are “authoritarian” in their goal and so ripe for deconstruction in The Art of Fiction(1983).

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A startling humility has replaced the search for immovable truths in art, and a rising awareness that what actually lives on the page and in the hearts and minds of a reading public is beyond the control of artists and critics: “What we love, we enjoy; disagreement is pointless.” And one of the things that humans appreciate the most is the process of discovery.” In On Becoming a Novelist, Gardner writes about the process of writing a novel in which he considers a writer who is “retelling the story of Beowulf from the perspective of the monster Grendel,” as if he had not himself written such a book.

To learn more about Gardner’s own sense of discovery inGrendel, one must turn to his other book on the craft of writing, On Becoming a Novelist, which is available online (1983).

It’s perhaps particularly appropriate that the scene he describes as the one whose writing brings him into contact with strangeness occurs in the novel’s final chapter, the scene of Grendel’s death, in which the monster was, according to Gardner’s own analysis, “hanging on for dear life to his convictions, terrified of being swallowed by the universe, and convinced that his opinions and his identity are one and the same.” Gardner’s own analysis of Grendel’s death is particularly poignant.

As far as I can tell, Gardner is confessing here, admitting that Grendel’s fight was his own, and that the experience of having his own ideas washed away by the strength and strangeness of art was like to death for him.

Perhaps it’s also the author who’s speaking, perhaps not quite grasping the magnitude of what he’s produced, perhaps not realizing (how could he?) that it will go down in history as his most enduring work.

His final words to the monster were written with both a hope and a disdain for his fellow writers, both present and future: “Poor Grendel’s had an accident,” he wrote. “May the same be said for you all.”

The Shaper’s Impact on Grendel

Hello Again!Throughout the entirety of the novel, one of my biggest struggles was determining exactly what impact the shaper had on Grendel. When Grendel would first listen to the Shaper’s songs, he was absolutely enamored by the beautiful world he created, as shown when Gardner writes “I couldn’t bring out the wicked cackle, as I’d meant to do. My heart was light with Hrothgar’s goodness and leaden with greif at my own bloodshirsty ways. I backed awas, crablike, further into darkness – like a crab retreating in pain when you strike two stones at the mouth of his underwater den” (48). In this passage, the shaper seems to be revealing a whole new world of possibilities to Grendel. A beautiful world filled with hope and acceptance and joy, one he has never experienced.I would like to believe that the Shaper’s words gave Grendel the hope to change, however, in the lines that followed a different thought seemed to cross my mind. As the Shaper’s song continues, Grendel finds himself woven into the story, but not as a heroic character, but as a monster. He listened to the Shaper as “The harp turned solemn. He told of an ancient feud between two brothers which split all the world between darkness and light. And I, Grendel, was the dark side, he said in effect. The terrible race God cursed. I believed him. Such was the power of the Shaper’s harp!” (51).After reading both these passages, I’m left to wonder, does the shaper present a world of hope that better’s Grendel as an individual? Or does his depiction of Grendel as a monster further entrap him in his seemingly inevitable fate? Thanks guys!

Post by juliabullard onAug 30, 2015 15:21:52 GMT

Hey Em, The Shaper’s profound impact on Grendel has innumerable interpretations and meanings, and I applaud your questioning them as the point revealed here has many different approaches.In my eyes, yes, the Shaper does present a beautifully existential world to Grendel, gift wrapped and all with a shiny pink bow on top. Furthermore, the Shaper’s crude interpretation of Grendel does nothing more than prelude the dragons depiction of Grendel as human’s “brute existent” on page 73 of chapter 5. Although temporarily disheartened by the Shaper’s sharp words, Grendel continues to let the Shaper re write history apart from the dragon’s nihilism. It is not until the Shaper’s death that Grendel finds his life spiraling into the hands of fate.Chapter ten marks a turning point in Grendel’s life as signs of his extermination surface. From the old woman telling fantastical stories of heroes from overseas, to his mother’s mysteriously delusional warning of fish, the foreshadowing of Grendel’s death is at every turn. The death of the Shaper in chapter 10 moves Grendel into a new period of his life as well, removing hope and history, falling towards his pre determined expulsion by Beowulf. The Shaper had inspired Grendel, given him a past, and therefore a future to move towards and an enemy to torture. This does nothing but free Grendel from his “seemingly inevitable fate” (as you beautifully put it) until the Shaper draws his last breath, leaving Grendel to answer to the dragon.To depressingly sum it all up- Once the Shaper dies and Grendel’s ancestral history is expunged along with the Shaper, Grendel’s death losses justification and becomes yet another meaningless and nihilistic event in a world fated to ashes; proving that the Shaper drove nothing but acceptance and joy, just as you said.After repeating myself a million times I hope I answered your question!-Julia

Post by cliu onAug 31, 2015 23:53:34 GMT

Hiya,I think that while Grendel was constantly drawn towards the song of the Shaper, it was the Dragon’s words that he always fought to believe in. His purpose in life comes not from the Shaper, but from the Dragon telling him that “You stimulate them! You make them think and scheme. You drive them to poetry, science, religion” (72-73). Grendel sees himself as the necessary dark side to provide the humans with their romantics. Grendel attacks Wealtheow to get rid of her “Shaper’s music” (102) because he believes in the Dragon’s nihilism.Yet up to the end of his life, Grendel still gets drawn towards the humans and their attempt to find a meaningful existence, because he is not completely Dragon or completely Shaper. While both exist, Grendel cannot choose between the predetermined fate of mechanical existence and the more romantic purpose of life. This comes with the assumption that for nature vs. nuture, Grendel is developing through nuture.The death of the Shaper is the first victory of the Dragon. Perhaps the Dragon was always meant to “win” in Grendel’s nurturing, as the Dragon is immortal and the Shaper is human. The Shaper is defeated by meager old age, by the passing of time that Grendel believes takes people as “dull victim” (6). In showing the Shaper falling to something so physical, so un-dramatic, the Dragon’s cold intellect shows itself capable of lasting much longer than human songs.The final battle between Beowulf and Grendel is like the final clash of ideologies. Beowulf is like the Dragon, with his hands “like a dragon’s jaws” and his fingers “charged like fangs with poison” (168). His arrival symbolizes the decline of Hrothgar’s reign, showing the insignificance of kingdom and how easily they rise and fall. Beowulf “has wings” (169) and is as detached and powerful as the Dragon, filled with a sort of magic in his ability to overcome Grendel as no human has been able to before. Before his death, Grendel “will cling to what is true. ‘Blind, mindless, mechanical. Mere logic of chance’” (173). In the last moments, the remains of what Grendel is drawn to in the Shaper slips away and the Dragon overcomes.

The Shaper in John Gardner´s the Grendeh – 1359 Words

  • A prominent author and motivational speaker Wayne Dyer said, “What we believe impacts what occurs to us. If we want to improve our life, we must expand our thinking.” Many myths are still useful and informative, but in order to make them more credible, individuals must exercise caution and critical thinking while also being aware of their flaws and vulnerabilities. Success should not just be measured in terms of income and prestige, as is now the case, but also in terms of personal happiness, which may be reached via a mix of honesty, hard effort, opportunity, and the willingness to fundamentally alter our society. center of paper Literature ReferencedAlger, Horatio, “From Ragged Dick.” Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing (Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing) Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen, and Bonnie Lisle are the authors of this work.
  • Furthermore, this sort of justice may have avoided the death of one of the key characters, Bolo, had it been implemented earlier. Separation and divisiveness among the community were things Bolo detested. Despite the fact that Bolo’s acts were chaotic, he tried everything he could to bring the community together, even if the goal was to murder him or to be against him in some way. According to Eva, the narrator of the novel, a possible remedy to inequality begins with the second phase in the process of achieving the justice of the Moral and Spiritual Dimension. She states, “Theyneed a triumph sense…people want to live.” Human beings are concerned with their well-being” (Lovelace, 131)
  • They provided a liberating concept of human evolution and progress. However, there were other authors, such as Max Nordau, who developed the concept of degeneration on the basis of Darwin’s theory of evolution. Degeneration, according to Peter Childs, is defined as “… a sense of social status quo under threat from the freer values of a younger generation skeptical about the worth of their society’s strictures on morality, customs, and proprieties, especially sexual,” raising concerns about chastity, homosexuality or same-sex love, perversity, masturbation, morbidity, and syphilis. “… Which, to summarize, means that some people believed that the idea of revolution would destroy civilization because, if people begin to believe that God is not in control and that the only thing that matters is survival of the fittest, they will become selfish and care only about themselves and not about the community. Because of this, morality… in the midst of the article… might be favored above science… in the future. In Degeneration by Max Nordau, the notion of the ever-changing, the survival of the fittest, and selfish man are used to describe how society is being destroyed. I believe this book has a tremendous lot of value for modern-day readers, and I recommend it to them. Brave New World author Aldous Huxley is attempting to highlight the implications of individualism, the dependency on technology and its true purpose, as well as the future warnings of what our society is becoming in his novel Brave New World. Being an individual in a society such as that depicted in Brave New World is regarded as weird, inappropriate, and unstable, and it fosters unrest. John the savage criticizes the customs of this dystopian society and questions its methods. According to John, instability, being your own person with a distinct set of ideas, and being yourself is a better way to live. “They don’t eat people’s gardens, they don’t nest in corncribs, and they don’t do anything but sing their hearts out for us.” All he did was offer assistance to t.. in the midst of the article. Ewell is regarded as the most loathed of the white people, and as a result, the only reason for Tom to provide such assistance would appear to be for malicious reasons. It’s for a good cause. Tom Robinson, on the other hand, is a decent man, and not the kind of person that white people perceived black people to be. Despite the fact that he was plainly misunderstood, he was unable to feel anything other than helplessness, and yet he managed to catch a glimmer of hope
  • Love and acceptance is a concept that appears in every encounter in the story and permeates the whole work. The topic of whether or not the monster is capable of falling in love is one that is regularly posed to the characters. While some might argue that the monster is unable to love since he has been cursed and abandoned by God, those who believe this are mistaken. Every being, regardless of their outward form, possesses the potential to love, and the monster is no exception to this rule. Frankenstein is told from the point of view of Victor Frankenstein, who despises the monster
  • As a result, the narrative is twisted in order to portray the creature in the worst possible light
  • He frequently returns to the mead hall to listen to the monster speak. He overhears the account of Cain and Abel, as well as the Danes’ explanation of Grendel, one night while he is sleeping. His emotional response to this results in one of his most intense emotional outbursts to date: “I took him at his word. The Shaper’s harp had such incredible power! He frequently returns to the mead hall to listen to it as I stood there wiggling my face, letting tears run down my nose, and grinding my fists into my elbow the body of the proof that both of us were cursed, or neither, that the brothers had never existed, nor the deity who condemned them He overhears the account of Cain and Abel, as well as the Danes’ explanation of Grendel, one night while he is sleeping. His emotional response to this results in one of his most intense emotional outbursts to date: 8220
  • I had faith in him. Such was the shaper8217
  • S harp’s sway over the world! I stood there twitching my face, tears streaming down my cheeks, fists clenched on my elbow, staring at the body of the proof that either both of us were cursed, or that neither of us were cursed, that the brothers had never existed, nor the god who judged them
  • Because of this commonality, both writers employ the apostrophe, which is used to address someone or something who is not physically present. In London in 1802, Wordsworth opens his poem by addressing “Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour” (Milton, you should be alive at this hour) (Line 1). As we read this poem, we can hear Wordsworth reaching out to Milton, wishing that he were still alive during Wordsworth’s day, when his society is in desperate need of a guy like Milton since England has become a “fen / Of stagnant rivers” (Line 2-3). Similarly to Dunbar’s poem, the author begins his poem by addressing the figure of Douglass with the line “Ah, Douglass, we have fallen on evil days” (Line 1), as the author describes how his society had seen better days when Douglass was alive
  • Nobody has to get rid of the highest human aspirations
  • Emotion is something that cannot be eradicated
  • And instead, they encouraged addiction or dependency to keep the members of society in line. He also acknowledges the sacrifices that have been made in order to maintain a false sense of security. Mond considers John’s quest for freedom to be a wish for misery
  • The controllers of the World state scarify its inhabitants in order to obtain happiness and stability for themselves and the world. Although Soma reduces life expectancy, it does not prevent the government from providing it to its inhabitants since stability and happiness are two of the most important components of the society in Brave New World, and the government must do all in its power to ensure that this occurs.
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Grendel Chapter 4 Summary

In Hrothgar’s court, Grendel notes that the Shaper’s songs have become more mournful since he has arrived, which he attributes to his arrival. The Shaper may leave to serve another king, but he remains since his songs had a role in the creation of Hrothgar’s kingdom, leading Hrothgar to build his vast meadhall on a hilltop as a tribute to him. Grendel believes Hrothgar’s vision is ludicrous even as he watches the meadhall rising in front of him. His description of the guys is that they are acting calmly, “as though not a single man in the entire lot had ever twisted a knife in his neighbor’s chest.” Considering how the Shaper’s songs may have had a true impact on the men, Grendel muses.

After stealing a man’s clothing and cutting his throat, Grendel steps on his corpse and crushes it.

His ears pick up the Shaper singing about the great God who created the universe, as well as about two brothers who, when one killed the other, “divided the entire world between darkness and light.” Grendel is a member of the evil side who has been cursed by God, and Grendel accepts the Shaper’s fable about his origins.

  1. With the word “friend,” he pleads for forgiveness and peace.
  2. Once Grendel has escaped, he weeps and becomes enraged at the attack, yelling at the guys in the process.
  3. The Shaper is singing about Grendel when Grendel comes to the meadhall a few nights later to keep an eye on things.
  4. He storms back into his cave, enraged.
  5. He falls asleep as he observes his mother drifting off to sleep in his arms.


When Grendel remarks on the Shaper’s ability to choose a different monarch to sing for, it gives us a look into the impact Grendel’s conflict is having on Hrothgar’s reputation and prestige. For the Shaper, this implies that there are more favorable conditions available; Hrothgar’s meadhall is not the dazzling example planned by his father, and his riches may be suffering as a result. The constant and brutal attacks of a monster have a tendency to have an influence on a kingdom’s economy. Throughout the novel, Grendel assures the reader that he is neither proud nor embarrassed; but, in Chapter 3, he speaks of the pride of Hrothgar and the Shaper, which is what motivates mankind, not Grendel.

  • Is it a religious observance?
  • In Judeo-Christianity, religious motifs such as pride and humiliation are prevalent: Temptation came in the form of a serpent when Lucifer pretended to be a snake and offered Adam and Eve the fruit of the forbidden tree of knowledge.
  • Lucifer’s pride caused him to fall from God’s favor because he desired to be as powerful as God.
  • It is commonly known, and the author has acknowledged, that each chapter of Grendel symbolizes a main paradigm of thinking in Western culture, and that this is the case.
  • In Chapter 4, which corresponds to the sign of the zodiac, Grendel comes face to face with Judeo-Christianity and its Lucifer persona, the old serpent Grendel describes as having a sinister spirit following him, in the novel Cancer.
  • Throughout the chapter, Grendel is befuddled by snakes and vines as he battles with a dark presence; the Shaper’s song makes reference to Cain and Abel (Adam and Eve’s sons), who are mentioned in the Bible.
  • Grendel exclaims, “Wow, such a transformation!” As well as the Shaper singing about wanting a prince, which represents Jesus, who is known as the Prince of Peace, there are several other elements that are unique to Christian beliefs.

On the surface, Grendel progresses from his Jewish upbringing to his rejection of the Judeo-Christian spiritual environment at the conclusion, which sends him spiraling into the dragon, whom Grendel describes as “something deeper, an imprint from another mind.” The reader will be perplexed as to whether the dragon is genuine or a creation of Grendel’s imagination.

He is a monster, but he is also a concept travelling through time and the people existing in that period, as Gardner presumably intended.

It is no coincidence that Grendel is brimming with resentment in this chapter, which contains references to Cain and Abel’s descendants.

Grendel is envious of the Shaper’s ability to shape things.

Earlier, Grendel is envious of Hrothgar’s generosity, and his heart “leaden with sadness atown murderous ways,” as the poem puts it.

Grendel must employ psychological techniques to alleviate his feelings of envy, such as telling himself that it is not the Shaper who is strong, but art itself; or convincing himself that the Shaper is like a bird, not fully knowing of what he is saying.

While grappling with his own dark thoughts and the dark presence following him, perhaps tempting him, Grendel’s narrative is infused with his faith in the Shaper and Hrothgar’s goodness, despite the fact that he rejects everything.

Grendel is a complex character who contradicts his own understanding. This Study Guide should be cited Do you have any Grendel research materials you’d want to share? Upload them to receive a free Course Hero subscription!

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