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But we know that later he is impervious to weapons here is your answer to Question 2 above. What do you predict will happen to Grendel before his confrontation with Beowulf in this story? A creation story usually implies, eventually, the development of a religion.

The Zodiac of Grendel by Brittany Pham on Prezi

Is religion a philosophy? Or is it something more? This is purely an opinion question; it would be interesting to see what you think about the topic. You also may want to suggest possibilities for which aspect of Western Civilization and philosphy you think Gardner was intending to present in this chapter. Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 5 pp. Where does the dragon appear in Beowulf? Do Grendel and the dragon ever meet? Is this the dragon that Beowulf later kills? Does it matter? If he claims to see the future, does he know his own fate? In your opinion, what do you think Grendel comes away with after his visit to the dragon?

Here is what Craig J. Stromme, in his essay "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel" thinks: In Chapter Five, the chapter of Leo the dramatizer, Grendel learns what his role will be in the new order Shaper has provided. Grendel goes to a dragon to ask about his part in the world and meets a metaphysician who explains everything's place in the world. Gardner says that the dragon is "nasty" and "says all the things that a nihilist would say. The dragon begins his explanation of Grendel's place in the world by describing the fundamental connectedness of things and deploring the common-sense notions of reality.

He then tells Grendel that: "Importance is primarily monistic in its reference to the universe. Limited to a finite individual occasion, importance ceases to be important.. Expression, however,. The dragon is explaining the way in which eternal objects are expressed in actual entities, taking his explanation directly from Whitehead: "Importance is primarily monistic in its reference to the universe.

Importance, limited to a finite individual occasion, ceases to be important. But expression is founded on the finite occasion [Alfred North Whitehead. Modes of Thought ; rpt. New York: The Free Press, , p. Another example of Gardner's use of Whitehead's analysis is the dragon's discussion of time 56 and that in Modes of Thought The problem is that Grendel can understand Shaper, but not the dragon.

The dragon needs to stoop to particulars: "You improve them, my boy!

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Can't you see that yourself? You stimulate them! You make them think and scheme. You drive them to poetry, science, religion, all that makes them what they are for as long as they last. You are mankind, or man's condition" The dragon prevents Grendel from accepting the simplified theological world-view offered by Shaper"What god? Life force, you mean? The principle of process? Astrological Connection 5. Up to this point, Gardner has slipped in the actual image of the astrological sign for each chapter? Can you find any indication of this one? Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 6 pp.

Who is Unferth? Where are we now in the timeline of Grendel's twelve year war on Hrothgar? Be on the lookout for definitions of heroism in this chapter, especially on pp. You may want to write them down. What is it that Grendel does that prevents Unferth from being the hero he desires to be? Philosophy Connection 5. Stromme, in his essay "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel" claims that it is in this chapter where Grendel really finds himself.

He writes: Before his realization, Grendel had possessed no real sense of himself: he accepted the images others had of him his mother's image of him as "son," the villagers' image of him as "monster," and Shaper's image of him as "devil" for his self-image. Thus, Grendel is reborn but reborn into scepticism. He accepts that beings other than himself exist, but he has postulated them all as enemies. Grendel is a sceptic, one who doubts everything with moral fervor, and has decided that his new role is to be the destroyer of all the hypocritical orders men have created.

Grendel feels that all orders blind men to the truth: "So much for heroism. So much for the harvest-virgin. So much, also, for the alternative visions of blind old poets and dragons" Do you agree or disagree with Stromme? If you agree that Grendel has become a sceptic, then what made him start thinking that way? Did he always have it in him and just discover it, or did the dragon really change his viewpoint see p. Astrological Connection 6. Now the astrological signs are getting a little more obscure. Supposedly this chapter is devoted to Virgo, the Virgin. Find any connections?

Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 7 pp. Then Welthow, Hrothgar's gold-ringed queen, greeted The warriors; a noble woman who knew What was right, she raised a flowing cup To Hrothgar first, holding it high For the lord of the Danes to drink, wishing him Joy in that feast. The famous king Drank with pleasure and blessed their banquet. Then Welthow went from warrior to warrior, Pouring a portion from the jeweled cup For each, till the bracelet-wearing queen Had carried the mead-cup among them and it was Beowulf's Turn to be served.

She saluted the Geats' Great prince, thanked God for answering her prayers, For allowing her hands the happy duty Of offering mead to a hero who would help Her afflicted people. He drank what she poured, Edgetho's brave son, then assured the Danish Queen that his heart was firm and his hands Ready Welthow was pleased with his words, His bright-tongued boasts; she carried them back To her lord, walked nobly across to his side.

Raffel , lines Who is Wealthow? How does Grendel's raiding effect the socio-politicoeconomic structure of Hrothgar's kingdom? How does the nearby king react? Philosophy Connection 4. Stromme, in his essay "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel" claims:. Chapter Seven is the story of Wealthow, "holy servant of the common good" She is given to Hrothgar by her brother as a tribute to Hrothgar's power. She brings such a great sense of peace and has a faith so deep that she protects the village from Grendel's ravages.

Libra is the sign of conciliators, and Wealthow brings harmony not only between the two peoples, but within the village as well. Chapters Six and Seven are the heart of the novel just as Virgo and Libra arc the center of the astrological year. What we have is the scepticism of Grendel balanced by the faith of Wealthow.

He is willing to sacrifice nothing; she"would give, had given her life for those she loved" 88 and has "lain aside her happiness for theirs" He is a sceptic; she is the closest thing we see to a Christian in Grendel. Shaper brought the Old Testament to the village, but Wealthow brings the New Testament ideals with her. At the center of the novel, then, we have the two contrasting ways of viewing the world: Grendel's belief in chaos and futility balanced by Wealthow's belief in order and purpose.

Once again, Stromme has used the astrological signs to develop a theory, and he uses quotes to back up his theory. Do you agree or disagree with him? Can you find any quotes to back up YOUR view of how and why Gardner created Wealthow, and what her purpose is in the novel. Since Stromme explains the astrological signs above, you don't have to, unless, of course, you have a better idea that you'd like to share?

Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 8 pp. Who are Hrothgar's two brothers, and where is he in the birth order? Philosophy Connection 3. Stromme, in his essay "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel" claims: The first seven chapters have transformed Grendel from a frightened solipsistic child into an angry sceptical monster.

The village has evolved from a small collection of huts into a city-state. Everything necessary for Beowulf s arrival has been given to us, but Beowulf docs not arrive for four more chapters. The plot has been developed; the next four chapters develop philosophical ideas Gardner is interested in. Gardner says that "at about Chapter 8 there is a section in which you arc no longer advancing in terms of the momentum toward the end.. That is not novelistic form; it's lyrical form.

These chapters should reveal just how different Grendel is from a more traditional novel, for its underlying purpose is to explore philosophies, not character. So if Gardner is just "spinning his wheels" here, then which philosophy is he exploring with Hrothulf in this chapter? Here's the hint. You explain the connection. Niccolo Machiavelli viewed the state as an organism with its ruler as the head and its people as the body.

He maintained that a healthy state is unified, orderly, and in balance, and that its people have happiness, honor, strength, and security. But an unhealthy state is disorderly and unbalanced, and may require strong measures to restore it to normal. Machiavelli called for a leader to use any means necessary to preserve the state, resorting to cruelty, deception, and force if nothing else worked. As a result, many people thought he supported the use of cruelty and deceit in politics. The word Machiavellian came to mean cunning and unscrupulous. Machiavelli explained most of his ideas in The Prince, his best-known book, which was written in and published in This book describes the methods by which a strong ruler might gain and keep power.

Astrological Connection 4. Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 9 pp. As You Read the Chapter 1. Philosophy Connection 2. No reason can be given for the nature of God, because that nature is the reason for rationality. The King of the Gods is the actual entity in virtue of which the entire multiplicity of eternal objects obtains its graded relevance to each stage of concrescence.

Apart from Him, there can be no relevant novelty. How does this encounter with the old faithful priest affect Grendel? Read the excerpt from Gardner's letter to a teacher and her three students see back. After reading the excerpt, now what do yu think Gardner is trying to say about God?

How has your answer in Question 3 changed since reading the excerpt? Teresa mentions that the dragon expresses "John Gardner's thoughts about God. As a matter of fact, I sort of incline to the persuasion that there is a God; but that isn't important either; since he never talks to me or writes me a letter I have to get along on my own.

What is important, is the too innocent way of reading: the dragon is a creature I made up, as a writer, just as I made up Grendel this Grendel , the priests, Red Horse, and all the rest. What one ought to do, I think, in working with serious fiction, is assume at the start anyway that the writer is not in any of his characters; he can only be found in the total effect, the total structure, the feeling that comes out of it all--in this case, I hope, the feeling that Grendel's story is a sort of tragedy though by no means a true classic tragedy.

Teresa also feels that my handling of the old priest "pokes fun at religion. If the reader steps back out of Grendel's mind, he notices an odd thing about that priest. Though he's wrong and may seem to Grendel foolish, he has faith and awe, two qualities Grendel tragically lacks. It's better to be wrong, even foolish, than nihilistic. And another odd thing about the priest is that his thought echoes that of the first dragon--but with the same fundamental information, he finds a positive vision instead of a negative one.

So the point is really this: when one works with art, one must think as much with one's emotions as with one's mind. If one's emotions say that a certain character is good, than chances are he is good.

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Think of Polonius in Hamlet. For years critics made fun of him because he's "wrong. Shakespeare recreated him and went even further with this argument good-heartedness versus intelligence in The Tempest. Teresa's idea that "the corruption of man comes from society"--a common idea ever since Rousseau, and a doubtful one, really--is an idea legitimately derived from the novel, but if you brood on it a little longer you may begin to feel the novel's position [is] more complicated than that.

Society can corrupt, but so can isolation. In the long run, I hope, an imperfect society is better than a solitary monster. Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 10 pp. His voice had grown feeble, as if he were losing hope. Another democracy, but with qualificatios, as we shall see. An animal, on the other hand, is dominated by one or more centers of experience. If the dominant activity be severed from the rest of the bodyif, for example, we cut off the headthe whole coordination collapses, and the animal dies.

Whereas in the case of the vegetable, the democracy can be subdivided into minor democracies which easily survive without much apparent loss of functional expression.

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He deeply influenced many philosophers, artists, and psychologists of the's. Read a summary of his philosophies on the back of this sheet, then write at least three connections between his philosophy and what is going on in this chapter. Chapter Title 5. Your Opinion 6. What do you think of the novel now that you are nearing the end, when Beowulf will make his appearance? Classical scholarship.

Nietzsche's first book was The Birth of Tragedy It presented a new theory of the origins of classical Greek culture. Nietzsche believed that Greek culture could best be understood as resulting from a conflict between two basic human drives, the Apollonian and the Dionysian. The Apollonian was represented by Apollo, the god of the sun. The Dionysian was represented by Dionysus, the god of wine and intoxication. The Apollonian is a drive to create clarity and order. It is a desire for a world in which everything possesses a clear identity and can be distinguished from other things.

The Apollonian tendency finds expression in the visual arts, where each form stands out clearly from other forms. Nietzsche argued that, in reality, the world lacks any clear distinctions, that it is confused, chaotic, and cruel. The Apollonian drive tries to redeem the horrors of the real world by giving it the illusion of order and beauty, thus making it tolerable.

The Dionysian is a drive that tries to rip apart Apollonian illusions and reveal the reality that lies behind them. This revelation takes place only in special states of ecstasy or religious frenzy induced by drinking, wild music, and sexual license. Nietzsche came to the conclusion that the Greeks, keenly aware of the pain of existence, were forced to create the mythical world of the gods in order to live at all.

The gods "justified human life by living it themselves. Such "illusion," whether in dream, myth, or art, need not be pleasant. What matters most is the presence of form and control over the basically irrational and uncontrolled nature of the universe. Nietzsche said language from which logic springs can never reach the limits of the Dionysian "primordial contradiction.

Nietzsche and religion. Nietzsche was a severe critic of religion, especially Christianity. In Thus Spake Zarathustra to , he proclaimed that "God is dead. Thus, religion could no longer serve as the foundation for moral values. Nietzsche believed that the time had come to examine traditional values critically. He argued that the warriors who dominated earlier societies had defined their own strength as "good" and the weakness of the common people they dominated as "bad.

Later, the priests and common people, who wanted to take power, defined their own weakness and humility as "good. He criticized these values as being expressions of the fear and resentment of the weak against the strong. Psychological ideas. Nietzsche's major psychological theory states that all human behavior is inspired by a "will to power. Hedonism holds that human behavior is inspired by a desire to experience pleasure and avoid pain. Nietzsche argued that people are frequently willing to increase their pain, strain, or tension to accomplish tasks that allow them to feel power, competence, or strength.

Nietzsche did not mean that people wanted only to dominate each other, nor that they were only interested in physical or political power. He wrote that we also want to gain power over our unruly drives and instincts. He thought that the self-control exhibited by artists and people who practice self-denial for religious reasons was actually a higher form of power than the physical bullying of the weak by the strong.

Nietzsche's ideal was the overman or superman , a passionate individual who learns to control his or her passions and use them in a creative manner.

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This superior human being channels the energy of instinctual drives into higher, more creative, and less objectionable forms. Nietzsche believed that such "sublimation" of energy is far more valuable than the suppression of the instincts urged by Christianity and other religions. Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 11 pp. Write down three lines or phrases.

The Philosophy if Grendel…

Read what Craig J. Stromme, in his essay "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel" writes about Grendel at this point in the novel, and then reflect on what you think about the development of Grendel's character up to this point. Grendel's journey thus far, then, has been from solipsist to sceptic to nihilist. He has listened to the great metaphysicians explain their systems, but he could never believe that an order corresponded to what they described.

As Nietzsche is traditionally seen as a predecessor of Sartre, Chapter Eleven gives us the most succinct version of Sartre's thought in the novel. After Grendel sees Beowulf for the first time, he retires to his cave and meditates on his being: All order, I've come to understand, is theoretical, unreala harmless, sensible,, smiling mask men slide between the two great, dark realities, the self and the world.

I have seenI embodythe vision of the dragon. I saw long ago the whole universe as not-my-mother, and I glimpsed my place in it, a hole. Yet I exist, I knew. Then I alone exist, I said. It's me or it. What glee, that glorious recognition!. For even my mama loves me not for myself, my holy specialness. Because "I alone exist," he feels that he must create his own order centered around himself and his perceptions of the world.

He posits himself as the center of the world and arranges it accordingly: "For the world is divided, experience teaches, into two parts: things to be murdered, and things that would hinder the murder of things" The ideas Grendel expresses of freedom, existence, and possessedness are all Sartre's ideas, all central to existentialism. In this chapter we can truly say that Grendel has become an existentialist. God Shaper is dead, and after his initial despair, Grendel has built a new world and new order without Him.

Grendel's chosen essence, "absolute, final waste," does not seem very different from what it was beforethe important thing is that now he moves beyond a received definition of himself and defines the world in his own terms. Astrological Connection 3. Grendel by John Gardner Chapter 12 pp. Here is Stromme's final word on the last chapter of Grendel see the back of this sheet. As you have read the excerpts from his essay on "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel," what have you learned about 1 philosophy, 2 character development, 3 how to write an essay using quotes to back up your claims?

Let's here from the author himself this is from his letter to the teacher and her three students :. I don't tell you all this, obviously, because I'm a hell-fire preacher urgently concerned that you understand my meaning in Grendel. Art never, if it's true art, belligerently insists on its meaning. One of the most exciting things in a great work of art is that it makes the reader realize things he didn't know before--about himself and the world--and the joy the reader experiences comes from his seeing it himself, not from his being told it by a teacher or the writer or anybody else.

A book like Grendel not that I claim it's a masterpiece takes experience and sophistication, which means that different readers will find in it different things. Hopefully all readers will enjoy it and recognize the central question, namely: if the world really is meaningless as it now stands how should I live? To some readers it will come as news that the world really is meaningless. That is, some readers will never have considered, before, that everything we doeverythingeventually comes to nothing. Look at the most ancient civilizations.

Think for instance of Stonehenge. All over the British Isles, in Brittany, and as far south as Gaza, we find rings of stones like those at Stonehenge, all made to the same measuring rod, which means that one huge and glorious civilization was able to organize this incredibly difficult project, was able to build the roads it takes for hauling such huge stones, was able to organize the labor force-which must have numbered in the millions--was able to figure out the leverage system, and so on and so on, and all at least a thousand years before Pythagoras!

What do we know of this incredible civilization--this nation or whatever that controlled more land than did Alexander the Great? We know, precisely nothing. Were they Chinese? Were they giants? Nobody knows. We know they had figured out the movements of the stars, and were more accurate than Ptolemy; but we don't even know if they drew pictures. So it will be, eventually, with all we love in America or France or China or Kenya. So one reader of Grendel will get only this much: that what we value so may not be lasting. Another reader may get much, much more. What the reader gets is not my concern or business.

What matters is that I work out the problems with absolute honesty, that I make Grendel sympathetic so that the reader will feel from inside the importance of the question, What should I do? If the reader decides, as all three papers here decide, that I am advising people to live like Grendel and give up values, then the reader is wrong but I have done no harm, because the reader will see--in spite of his slight misreading--that somehow it's not good giving up values which is exactly what I say.

We all know that love sometimes dies, that people who at one time love each other truly and deeply may at another time stop loving each other. But as John Barth beautifully points out in Chimera, that is no reason for people to stop trying to love each other all their lives. In other words as both Barth and I have been saying in books we don't need eternal values to assert and try to live up to eternal values.

What did you, personally, experience from this novel? What did you find in it that made you think about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Chapter Title 4. Chapter Twelve, the chapter of Pisces, the end of the astrological cycle, shows us the battle between Grendel and Beowulf. Beowulf has come to Hrothgar's village to kill the monster and bring a new age to its people. Grendel wants to kill Beowulf in order to maintain the village as his fief-dom. Grendel creeps into the sleeping hall, hoping to kill Beowulf by surprise, but Beowulf, instead, tricks Grendel and seizes him.

Beowulf twists Grendel's arm behind his back and forces him to listen:. My promise. Time is the mind, the hand that makes. By that I kill you. Grendel, Grendel! You make the world by whispers, second by second. Are you blind to that? Whether you make it a grave or a garden of roses is not the point. Feel the wall: is it not hard? Observe the hardness, write it down in careful runes. Now sing of walls! Beowulf beats Grendel until he produces his first poem; satisfied with the poem, he lets Grendel wander off to bleed to death. As Grendel dies, he says, "Poor Grendel's had an accident.

So may you all" About the last chapter Gardner says, "Grendel begins to apprehend the universe. Poetry is an accident, the novel says, but it's a great one. Beowulf forces Grendel to discard his existentialism and view the world without a screen. Beowulf beats Grendel against reality and turns him into an empiricist.

Out of such contact comes poetry. What I've noticed about View Video. Doc Retrieval. Return Doc. Grendel By John Gardner Grendel is organized into twelve chapters, each of which emphasizes a zodiac sign and corresponding heroic value. Fetch Here. Get Doc. Birth Zodiac Signs - Iam-theclan. Document Viewer. To even see the stars of the zodiac, Access Full Source.

The Philosophy If Grendel… - HCPS Blogs The zodiac is divided into twelve signs, You should provide the direct quotes from the novel and the page numbers upon which you found the quotes in your presentation and report.


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