In Grendel, who or what is considered to be good in Grendel's eyes and of what does this goodness consist?

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bwestbrook eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Grendel loves language, specifically the poetic language of the shaper, which he says has the power to make him believe in the "lies" of the Hrothgar's greatness, even though he knows the truth.  He is, at one point, overcome by the beauty of the shaper's words and runs away, "ridiculous, hairy creature torn apart by poetry." (Chapter 3)  Grendel knows that language has the power to change the world.  Significantly, his mother is a creature without language. Grendel has taught himself to speak and even to speak poetry.   Beowulf taunts him in the last chapter by telling him that "you make the world by whispers...whether you make it a grave or a garden of roses is not the point."    He then makes Grendel "sing words."


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