Signs of Astrology, Shown in Grendel as Symbols

In the novel Grendel, by John Gardner, the author associates each chapter with a different astrological sign, such as Aries, Gemini, and Sagittarius, not only to enhance the role of nature in the story, but also to better chronologize Grendel’s growth and retreat in his philosophical development. Furthermore, this designation even mimics that which he … Read more

Grendel’s Solipsism and Its Consequences

In 1971, John Gardner changed the way people think about the English epic Beowulf when he published his novel Grendel. In his retelling of the story from the monster Grendel’s perspective, he repeatedly makes references to the philosophy of solipsism: the belief that one’s self is the only thing that exists and matters. As Gardner’s … Read more

Grendel: Violent Impulse and Naturally Destructive

“In peaceful times the warlike man sets upon himself.” The poem “Beowulf” illustrates the violent, primitive reality of the truth in Nietszche’s aphorism. The monster Grendel plays a symbolic role as the primordial, inalienable instincts that exist on the fringes of human civilization whose existence is ignored and whose presence is desperately barred from entrance … Read more

Grendel’s Solipsism and Its Consequences

In 1971, John Gardner changed the way people think about the English epic Beowulf when he published his novel Grendel. In his retelling of the story from the monster Grendel’s perspective, he repeatedly makes references to the philosophy of solipsism: the belief that one’s self is the only thing that exists and matters. As Gardner’s … Read more