Satires In Grendel Essay Research Paper Grendel

Satires In Grendel Essay, Research Paper

Grendel Satire Essay

?For many months, unsightly monster, you?ve

murdered men as you pleased in Hrothgar?s hall.

unless you can murder me as you?ve murdered lesser

men, I give you my word those days are done

forever! The king has given me splendid gifts. He

will see tonight that his gifts have not gone for

nothing! Prepare to fall, foul thing! This one

red hour makes your reputation or mine!? I shook

my head at him, wickedly smiling. ?Reputation!? I

said, pretending to be much impressed. This is a

prime example of how John Gardner uses satire in

Grendel to mock man. Unferth is telling Grendel

that he is better than all of the other men that he

killed by using the term ?lesser men?. Also he

tells Grendel that he will die because the King has

given him many gifts. Lastly, Unferth cannot

distinguish between honor and an honorable

reputation, though he claims to take the former, he

would be solely content with the latter. However

hero?s don?t have reputations. Grendel knows this

and just humiliates him. Unferth thinks he?s a

hero but in reality he is really not a hero. He is

just fighting Grendel to have a good ego. Unferth

battles Grendel for the money and this is not

heroic. Grendel humiliates Unferth by throwing

apples at him when Unferth tries to attack him. He

eventually knocks him down and covers him with

apples. After Unferth failure he tries to die

honorably at Grendels hands. He finds grendels

lair and try?s to get killed. Nonetheless,

Grendel amuses himself by denying Unferth the honor

of martyrdom. Grendel knows by letting him live a

humiliated life is harder then dying as a hero.

Though he tries to prove otherwise, Unferth?s

heroism is a product of his fellow men. His ego

cannot sustain himself, and so when the other

thanes scorn him for his consistent failures,

Unferth loses his self-respect. However, Unferth is

only a half hero. His moral strength is for the

approval of his fellow thanes, and so when he

fights it is because he fears their disapproval and

contempt. This fight with Grendel seems like an

act of courage but in truth a concession to his

fear, and this is an act of cowardice


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