Oh Beowulf, how boring a read you are! Why with the big words, and abstract analogies, you made it very possible for me to visit Sparknotes!
But really, Beowulf proved to be a very… interesting read. The description of the monster Grendel fascinates me. Why? Because there really is no description — that is the beauty of it. The monster is whatever we create him to be. Even Grendel’s mother is a mystery to us. What defines them as monsters is the acts that they do and the feelings those acts invoke in us.
For instance: a man walks into an IHOP carrying a machine gun. He opens fire on eleven people in the restaurant , including a table of National Guard members. Four total died, three of them Guard members. The man the selfishly took his own life.
Now how do feel about that? (Please imagine this line as if asked by a clinical psychologist.) Do you take this man’s actions to heart? Do you feel like what he did was wrong, heartless, evil, and perhaps monstrous? Why? Because he killed innocent people? Because he killed soldiers that have risked their lives for our country, and therefore, for him? Or because what he did was unjustified?
Grendel the Monster was scary, not because of his looks, but because what he did was unjustified. Drunk men feel asleep in the mead-hall, assuming safety. National Guard members eat at IHOP simply to enjoy a syrup-y meal. They did not expect death to be forced on them. When innocence is robbed, that is when we create monsters. We may feel a fear when we see or imagine a grotesque looking monster, but that is only a physical manifestation of the fear. When the monster has breached the boundaries of our emotions, makes us feel apathy for its victims, that is when they become truly monstrous. The finally hold the power.