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Grendel Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 99 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Grendel.
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Themes

Artists and Society

The artist in Grendel is the Shaper, the court harper. His singing of great men's deeds, no matter how embellished or even falsified, renders both men and deeds immortal. Individual artists may come and go as others with greater gifts appear: this happens when the old harper in Hrothgar's hall is displaced by the Shaper, a newer and more talented bard (Chapter 3). Nevertheless, the power of art remains. While it is kings who unite countries politically, Gardner seems to be saying that they could not do so without the courage and selflessness of individuals who are inspired by the Shaper to accomplish great deeds. Such is the power of the poet that he affects even Grendel. After hearing the blind harper "sing the glory of Hrothgar's line,"_ Grendel flees the scene, a "ridiculous hairy creature tom apart by poetry." Even though Grendel ultimately rejects the Shaper's...

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This section contains 918 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Grendel Study Guide
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Grendel from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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