The first contact Grendel has with humans shows his fragility and the humans’ misconception of creatures different from them.

The first contact Grendel has with humans shows his fragility and the humans’ misconception of creatures different from them.

In part I of Grendel, the first contact Grendel has with humans shows his fragility and the humans’ misconception of creatures different from them. Grendel’s getting his foot caught in a tree sets up for what takes place during this encounter. The Anglo-Saxons who find him mistake him first for a fungus attached to a tree, then for an oak-tree spirit. The Anglo-Saxons appear to be irrational for being so quick to identify Grendel as these things that he is not, especially as a lower being of fungus. Throughout this encounter with them, Grendel is scared half to death not only because he was outnumbered and had never seen humans before, but because their forcefully self-assured ideas and belittling, however unintentional, intimidated the innocent Grendel. Even when Grendel is finally able to bring himself to speak, the Anglo-Saxons misinterpret this as a threat and attack him. “‘Pig!’ I tried to yell. It scared them. They all began shouting at each other. One of the horses neighed and reared up, and for some crazy reason they took it for a sign.” (27) When he is attacked, Grendel fully realizes the strength human beings have. The Anglo-Saxons are in a way ignorant for attacking Grendel for moving and making noise; they are afraid of a creature that they have not taken the time to understand. Grendel is the victim of this situation, a defenseless subject to the ignorance and mercilessness of human beings. As Grendel watches the Anglo-Saxons, he learns of their customs, which seem to be the complete opposite of his concepts of life. One custom shows values Grendel learns of through the songs of the king’s harper and the Shaper. The Anglo-Saxon’s most greatly value heroism and religion. The custom of storytelling through a scop involves flattery, which is more pleasant than the truth according to Grendel, yet he is a little moved by the songs. “I knew very well that all he said was ridiculous, not light fo…


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