In the story from Beowulf, the two main characters are Grendel and Beowulf. Beowulf is the hero. He is full of himself and completely enjoys and soaks in the fact that he is the strongest human around. He defeats the angst filled monster Grendel who lives in the forest and is disturbed by Hrothgar's kingdom. While that is what the story appear to be all about, what the poem of Beowulf and the book of Grendel do not look at is how Hrothgar's entire city is destroyed because of their brawl. My painting shows Beowulf and Grendel as two monsters, not one hero and one monster. If Beowulf was a real hero he would have been able to save the town from the destruction that Grendel caused. Instead Grendel's head was bashed into the walls so that Beowulf could look like the hero in destroying him and brutally as possible. The alternate perspective here is what a realistic kingdom and king of a kingdom would see in Beowulf. Yes, he got rid of Grendel but their Mead hall and home is gone along with many of their people being dead. It almost doesn't matter that Beowulf was able to beat Grendel because there's not a whole lot left for him to destroy, the only really heroic part of the story is that the human was able to beat the monster. Hrothgar should not have honored him as a hero, but seen him as someone who instead of defeating Grendel used this great battle to make himself look good and in the process destroyed the kingdom. That is the reason in the painting they are both giant monsters standing on top of the castle on fire because they both destroyed it.
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