The Dark Humour Of Grendel

Read Complete Research Material

The Dark Humour of Grendel

The book Grendel by John Gardner is about a lonely, nihilistic beast that spends the story suffering through life and feeding its blood lust. Yes it is hilarious. If you don't think my first two sentences go together, then you didn't read Grendel. Despite the obvious drama and suffering that he story's main character, Grendel, goes through John Gardner finds a way to put comedy into his work. Gardner, however, very rarely uses this comedy as a form of comic relief to lighten the story, if anything this humor makes the story even darker by highlighting the ignorance of mankind and a nihilist's outlook on life.

Men's lack of intelligence is apparent from Grendel's first encounter with men. Though in some ways sad, when the men have Grendel's unconscious body and they think that the giant beast with human-like features is a tree fungus, and then a spirit, you can't help but laugh at how just plain dumb these men are. "The tall one said, 'It's a growth of some kind, that's my opinion. Some beastlike fungus.'"(Gardner 24) This quote is just a great example of the logic skills these men have.Just as great of an example as that last sentence was of sarcasm.

In the fifth chapter when the dragon has his long talk with Grendel, the dragon really does a lot to influence both Grendel's spiritual and overall life outlook. Given the situation that both Grendel and the dragon are in, it is hard to disagree with how the dragon advises Grendel to live. "He shook his head. 'My advice to you my friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.'" (Gardner 74) That statement is funny simply because it is, but it also makes the reader think of how they would find purpose in life if they were either immortal or granted unnaturally long life. After a while there is only so much that can be achieved.

When a man is trying to convince a king that anarchy is the way to go, then that will fall under the category of the ignorance of men. I think it is hilarious that someone would try to convince a king, who has absolute power and gets whatever he wants because of that power, that anarchy is a good idea to be adopted even though it would cause that kings to lose all power and authority. "The total ruin of institutions and morals is an act of creation. A religious act. Murder and mayhem are the life and soul of revolution. Imagine you won't laugh when I tell you that. There are plenty of fools that would." (Gardner 118) It's hard to grasp hard to grasp how ruining institution and morals is an act of creation. I guess since I am using it as an example of comedy that would make me a fool though.

There are sometimes in the story where the comedy isn't so dark, but more of a way to lighten the mood ...
Related Ads
  • Grendel

    Grendel, Grendel Essay writing help source. ... ...

  • Grendel’s Apology

    I am Grendel, the feared monster that once lived on ...

  • Unintentional Humour

    Humour phenomenon of human communication is an inter ...