In Grendel, how is Grendel an anti-hero?

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Definitions of anti-hero vary slightly from source to source, but a good working definition is that an anti-hero is a story's protagonist that doesn't adhere to the traditional characteristics of a hero. The anti-hero is generally more flawed than most characters and disturbs readers with those weaknesses. This hero type is generally someone that doesn't fit the trustworthy, courageous, and honest characteristics of a normal hero, yet we can't help but sympathize and root for the character. A good modern film example would be Riddick from the movie Pitch Black and following sequels. To be clear, Grendel, as portrayed in the original poem, is not an anti-hero. He is pure evil. Gardner really throws readers a curve in his retelling of this epic by showing readers that Grendel is not pure evil. For sure, Grendel still murders a lot of people and still eats them, but Grendel is also portrayed as someone with a heart and sense of humor. We are even given gut-wrenching quotes that show Grendel is a...

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