I thoroughly enjoyed reading Beowulf, specifically I enjoyed the version of the book that I purchased which included complementary photos that made the reading even more interesting. I had already read both Beowulf and the related story of Grendel, which I actually enjoyed much more than Beowulf, in high school. In Beowful, Grendel is represented as a complete monster, and does not offer any sympathy towards him. Whereas in Grendel, he is not a monster, but a confused and curious creature that is simply unable to interact with the humans in an intelligible way, making him seem like a scary monster when that is not his intention at all.
Both the dragon and Grendel’s mother are represented as monsters in the story as well. I don’t feel that the dragon is a monster, because all he really does is generally keep to himself and protect the large treasure. He only becomes involved with the humans after the thief comes and disturbs him. Though I do think the story of Beowulf is an interesting read, I really think that Grendel should be included as part of the Arts One curriculum in the same unit in which we read Beowulf. The stories complement each other really well, and give you a different perspective on the story of Grendel, Beowulf, and the men in Hrothgar’s kingdom. Specifically, Grendel is made out to have much more human-like characteristics in Grendel, which makes us more sympathetic towards Grendel instead of disliking and fearing him as a murderous beast.
Beowulf seems to be a hero in every sense of the word. He embodies the perfect hero in the way he carries himself and his strength and athletic abilities. He went extremely out of his way in order to offer a helping hand to Hrothgar and his people, and it was fairly obvious from the beginning that he was going to be able to handle the monstrous Grendel, but that was to be expected. I enjoyed re-reading Beowulf, and I also enjoyed the conversations that we had in class about the story.