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Last Updated on July 29, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 240

Comment on Grendel's progress as a poet, under the influence of the Shaper, by evaluating the style and poetic effects of the doggerel he produces in Chapter 7; the verse play in Chapter 8; the free verse at the end of Chapter 9; and finally the poem in Chapter 12.

Research the anti-war movement during the U.S. war in Vietnam, during which time Grendel was written. Relate the struggle between good and evil as depicted in Grendel to the struggle between different sectors of American society.

Compare the philosophy of William Blake as expressed in his poem The Mental Traveller and in the character of Ork, with the anarchistic philosophy of Georges Sorel, as expressed in his book Reflections on Violence and in the character of Red Horse, whom Gardner based on Sorel.

Gardner added references to the twelve astrological signs to Grendel, focusing on one sign in each of the twelve chapters. Analyze how Gardner uses the meaning and symbolism of each astrological sign to lend unity to his overall story.

In Grendel, Gardner has taken his point of departure from the classic Old English poem Beowulf. Compare and contrast the two stories. How are they the same? In what ways are they different?

In Grendel we can see the contrast of two philosophies of government. Compare the feudal system represented by Unferth and Wealtheow in the kingdom of Hrothgar to the anarchism propounded by Red Horse, counselor to the young Hrothulf.

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