Chapter 3 Notes from Grendel

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Grendel Chapter 3

Grendel explains that he doesn't hate Hrothgar because he threw the axe. In fact, he began tormenting Hrothgar long after that, when Hrothgar was an old man. His men worked in teams, though they often fought amongst themselves. "It was slightly ominous because of its strangeness--no wolf was so vicious to other wolves--but I half believed they weren't serious." Chapter 3, pg. 32 But Grendel learns the men are serious. Though he hates himself for doing it, he can't stop watching the men, and one day he discovers a village that has been completely destroyed. All the people and animals are dead. He learns that there has always been war: he just discovered these people at a time of relative peace. Hrothgar's men listen to the Shaper sing about the great things they have done and will do. Then, every once in a while, another village attacks them, and many are killed. Grendel doesn't know what to feel: he has no connection to the men, but at the same time, he knows that since they speak the same language, they must be related somehow. He is disgusted at the waste of all the dead: he tries to store as many of them for food as possible.

Topic Tracking: Identity 3

The fighting between groups went on for years. Then Hrothgar began to understand how to grow strong. He made the nearest neighbors allies. He showed them how powerful he was, then forced them to give him gifts and supplies. He made himself seem like their leader, and they gradually came to believe he was. Grendel watched all of this happen: the hard trips Hrothgar's men made to the other villages, and the way they beat their horses and oxen when they couldn't walk any further. Hrothgar and his people decided to build roads, so that they could communicate more easily with their neighbors. Thus, his power increased. Grendel watched as the men destroyed everything around him: they killed animals for fun, set fires by accident that ruined the landscape, and scared away the wildlife.

Topic Tracking: Human/Animal 4

One night a blind singer came to the meadhall, along with a young boy. Grendel watched, unable to hear what was being said. Then the man began to sing, playing his harp. He sang beautifully about the glory of Hrothgar's people, the Danes. Everyone was quiet, awestruck. He is the Shaper, a singer/poet who "shapes" peoples' ideas about history. He is very skilled: his song about Hrothgar touched even Grendel, who suddenly felt that all the fighting he witnessed, which seemed petty and brutal to him, was grand and noble. Grendel left, confused. Which version of events was true? The Shaper had strongly influenced him. He tried to regain his confidence, and screamed to clear his mind. "I clamped my palms to my ears and stretched up my lips and shrieked again: a stab at truth, a snatch at apocalyptic glee." Chapter 3, pg. 45 He ran away to the pond near his cave.

Topic Tracking: Human/Animal 5

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