She explains:. One challenge to the necessary but narrow expectations of this heroic narrative comes from a contemporary writer, the late John Gardner, in his novel, titled Grendel… The novel poses the question that the epic does not: Who is Grendel? The author asks us to enter his mind and test the assumption that evil is flagrantly unintelligible, wanton, and undecipherable.
This passage asks us to think about why Grendel would do what he did. Morrison concludes with a meditation on complicity, inaction, and the politics of contemporary late fascism and democracy:. I know that democracy is worth fighting for. I know that fascism is not. To win the former intelligent struggle is needed. To win the latter nothing is required. In other words, we can reread that scene as a statement about fascist violence and its self-destroying and gendered toxicity.
JSTOR is a digital library for scholars, researchers, and students. An illustration from the cover of Grendel by John Gardner. By: Dorothy Kim. September 25, October 1, Share Tweet Email Print. He uses Grendel and the dragon to discuss an aesthetic, non-politicized, close reading of monsters, asking critics to read it as a poem, a work of linguistic art: Yet it is in fact written in a language that after many centuries has still essential kinship with our own, it was made in this land, and moves in our northern world beneath our northern sky, and for those who are native to that tongue and land, it must ever call with a profound appeal—until the dragon comes.
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Beowulf and the Critics (Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, Vol. 248)
Gawain yields to the irresistible temptation of the green girdle, while Frodo tries to keep The Ring. Another theme that is common to both works is forgiveness.
Gawain and Frodo are forgiven for their faults. They not heroes because they are perfect, but because they strive to overcome their weaknesses. In both works this forgiveness is symbolized by a visible mark of shame that is transmuted into a badge of honor. Fairy tales, he says, are not intended for children.
Books by J.R.R.Tolkien - Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics
Tolkien goes on to explain his theory of sub-creation. You therefore believe it, while you are…inside. As a result their usual effect…is to go beyond Secondary Belief. Tolkien is also careful to make a distinction between enchantment and magic. Magic produces, or pretends to produce, an alteration in the Primary World….
Beowulf and the Critics by J.R.R. Tolkien
This would help to explain why time behaved differently in Lothlorien than in the outside world. Finally, Tolkien deals with the function of fairy-stories. Fairy stories offer Fantasy, Recovery, Escape and Consolation and children have less need of these than adults do. Unfortunately, all four of these things are held in low repute by a society that values Facts and Utility.
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