character

Grendel Quotes

27 of the best book quotes from Grendel
01
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“I understood that the world was nothing: a mechanical chaos of casual, brute enmity on which we stupidly impose our hopes and fears. I understood that, finally and absolutely, I alone exist. All the rest, I saw, is merely what pushes me, or what I push against, blindly—as blindly as all that is not myself pushes back.”
John Gardner
author
Grendel
book
Grendel
character
world
self
destructive
mindless thinking
concepts
02
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“My advice to you, my violent friend, is to seek out gold and sit on it.””
Grendel
dragon
characters
03
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“Nevertheless, something will come of all this,”
04
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“I had become something, as if born again. I had hung between possibilities before, between the cold truths I knew and the heart-sucking conjuring tricks of the Shaper; now that was passed: I was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings! But also, as never before, I was alone.”
Grendel
character
defeat
alone
overcoming
concepts
05
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“As you see it it is, while the seeing lasts, dark nightmare-history, time-as-coffin; but where the water was rigid there will be fish, and men will survive on their flesh till spring. It’s coming, my brother. . . . Though you murder the world, transmogrify life into I and it, strong searching roots will crack your cave and rain will cleanse it: The world will burn green, sperm build again.”
Grendel
Beowulf
characters
death
seasons
spring
rebirth
concepts
06
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“I was sure, going back to my cave, that he wouldn’t follow. They never did. But I was wrong; he was a new kind of Scylding.”
07
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″ ‘Why can’t I have someone to talk to?’ I said. The stars said nothing, but I pretended to ignore the rudeness. ‘The Shaper has people to talk to,’ I said. I wrung my fingers. ‘Hrothgar has people to talk to.’ ”
08
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“So much for heroism. So much for the harvest-virgin. So much, also, for the alternative visions of blind old poets and dragons.”
09
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“So may you all.”
Grendel
character
10
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“They hacked down trees in widening rings around their central halls and blistered the land with peasant huts and pigpen fences till the forest looked like an old dog, dying of mange. They thinned out the game, killed birds for sport, set accidental fires that would burn for days. Their sheep killed hedges, snipped valleys bare, and their pigs nosed up the very roots of what might have grown... There was nothing to stop the advance of man.”
11
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“Any action of the human heart must trigger an equal and opposite reaction.”
Grendel
character
actions
heart
reaction
concepts
12
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“How, if I know all this, you may ask, could I hound him--shatter him again and again. dive him deeper and deeper into woe? I have no answer, except perhaps this: why should I not? Has he made any move to deserve my kindness?”
13
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“I am mad with joy. –At least I think it’s joy. Strangers have come, and it’s a whole new game.”
Grendel
Beowulf
characters
strangers
joy
new
concepts
14
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“Tedium is the worst pain.”
Grendel
character
15
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“Then once, around midnight, I came to a hall in ruins. The cows in their pens lay burbling blood through their nostrils, with javelin holes in their necks. None had been eaten. The watchdogs lay like dark wet stones, with their heads cut off, teeth bared. The fallen hall was a square of flames and acrid smoke, and the people inside (none of them had been eaten either) were burned black, small, like dwarfs turned dark and crisp.”
Grendel
character
death
fire
attacking
concepts
16
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“I tried to tell her all that had happened, all that I’d come to understand: the meaningless objectness of the world, the universal bruteness. She only stared, troubled at my noise. She’d forgotten all language long ago, or maybe had never known any.”
17
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“I discovered that the dragon had put a charm on me: no weapon could cut me. I could walk up to the meadhall whenever I pleased, and they were powerless. My heart became darker because of that. Though I scorned them, sometimes hated them, there had been something between myself and men when we could fight. Now, invulnerable, I was as solitary as one live tree in a vast landscape of coal.”
18
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“Talking, talking, spinning a spell, pale skin of words that closes me in like a coffin.”
19
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“They have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood. I drove five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth. I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned. Now Grendel and I are called together, and I’ve come.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
Beowulf
characters
20
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“Not even the sharpest of swords could have cut it [Grendel’s hand] through, broken it off the monster’s arm and ended its life, as Beowulf had done armed only with his bare hands.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
Beowulf
characters
21
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“Thus I fled, ridiculous hairy creature torn apart by poetry—crawling, whimpering, streaming tears, across the world like a two-headed beast, like mixed-up lamb and kid at the tail of a baffled, indifferent ewe—and I gnashed my teeth and clutched the sides of my head as if to heal the split, but I couldn’t.”
22
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“I have not committed the ultimate act of nihilism: I have not killed the queen.”
23
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“He was spawned in that slime of Cain, murderous creatures banished by God.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
character
24
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“He strode quickly across the inlaid floor, snarling and fierce: his eyes gleamed in the darkness, burned with a gruesome light. Then he stopped, seeing the hall crowded with sleeping warriors,... and his heart laughed, he relished the sight, intended to tear the life from those bodies by morning.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
character
25
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“The swirling surf had covered his death, hidden deep in murky darkness his miserable end, as hell opened to receive him.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
character
death
hell
concepts
26
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“The monster wrenched and wrestled with him but Beowulf was mindful of his mighty strength, the wondrous gifts God had showered on him: He relied for help on the Lord of All, on His care and favour. So he overcame the foe, brought down the hell-brute. ”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
character
27
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“No, we two in dark of night shall forego the sword, if he dares to seek war without weapon, and then may wise God, the holy Lord, judge which side will succeed, which one will win glory, as to him seems right.”
Anonymous
author
Grendel
character

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