Grendel Psychological Profile There is a stage in everyone’s life where they feel they are not accepted by someone or something. Whether it is because of one’s age, appearance, or emotional and mental stability, a sense of disproval and isolation appears to be glaring through the eyes of society. Throughout Grendel’s life, he is shunned from humanity for he was viewed as something of destruction and harm. However, not one person ever took the time out to see Grendel’s true personality or really discover what he was all about.
When facing the realities of the cruel world, Grendel found himself severely struggling with some psychological deficiencies. After performing multiple psychoanalysis tests on Grendel’s behavior, his irrationality, thought disorder, and withdrawal from society all prove he suffers from schizophrenia. Throughout Grendel’s life he dealt with a series of difficulties. He lived with his mother, who became a burden to him for she was rather attached to her son and did not want to let him out of their habitat. However, he always left anyway seeking new adventure and the approval of Hrothgar’s people.
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Although, he longed to be accepted he hid from society for his fear of what might happen was vast. Grendel, having the mentality of a teenage boy, could not contain his emotions and eventually exposed himself to human kind. “I shrieked at them, trying to scare them off, but they merely ducked behind bushes and took long sticks from the saddles of their horses, bows and javelins. “You’re all crazy,” I bellowed, “you’re all insane! ” I’d never howled more loudly in my life. Darts like hot coals went through my legs and arms and I howled more loudly still. ” (pg. 7) The outcome was not what he had expected due to his immense size and beast like features, he was attacked, harassed, and rejected by the people. From that point on, his anger exasperated and after conversing with the dragon, a major influence of malevolence in his life, he was persuaded into thinking for the well being of only his self. He attacked and harassed Hrothgar’s people, killing aimlessly in the night among the mead halls. Grendel was known as “The Great Destroyer” and no one ever dared to stand up against him outside of Unferth and The Geat.
His massacres continued until The Geat arrived in Hrothgar’s hall expecting to fight Grendel and leave with a victory. Unfortunately for Grendel, all the rumors of Beowulf were true, thus, after the fight, Grendel was left armless and in severe pain. No one heard Grendel’s cries of pain and sympathy and his mentality remained the same for even in defeat he acted childish and immature. Within Grendel’s life it is apparent he struggles with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a severe mental disorder characterized by two kinds of symptoms. The more over positive psychotic symptoms are thought disorder, hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia.
However, there are negative symptoms as well, such as impairment in emotional range, energy, and enjoyment of activities. For a confident diagnosis these symptoms may occur once a month. In Grendel’s case many of these symptoms occurred daily. There are an ample amount of incidents in the story where Grendel expressed his disorder clearly. For instance, his irrationality took over him often causing him to do odd things such as, randomly curse or use words undefined to him. He would give obscene gestures to inanimate objects and often speak to nature as if it would answer and be surprised when it did not reply. “Why can’t these creatures discover a little dignity? ” I ask the sky. The sky says nothing, predictably. I make a face, uplift a defiant middle finger, and give an obscene little kick. The sky ignores me, forever unimpressed. ” In this particular instant, Grendel both yelled and cursed at the sky, and threw the middle finger up to establish an insecure gesture. Schizophrenics make off comments and actions such as this one, and they prove how unstable their minds really are. Another indication of this disorder was his thought disorder.
People with schizophrenia often cannot control their thoughts; they jump from one topic to the next and can never make a comprehensible decision. They often feel as if people are listening to their thought process and controlling what they think. Grendel conveyed this multiple times throughout his lifetime. He often would be completely indecisive over whom he would murder and how he would commit the crime. “I would kill her and teach them reality. Grendel the truth-teacher, phantasm-tester! It was what I would be from this day forward-my commitment, my character as long as I lived-and nothing alive or dead could change my mind!
I changed my mind. It would be meaningless, killing her. ” (pg 110) Like many whom suffer the same disorder, Grendel completely changed his mind, extending from one topic to the exact opposite. He goes against his own ideas as if he were two totally opposing characters. He also always thought the dragon was near. Grendel allowed the ways and beliefs of the dragon to get in his head. He would claim he could “smell the dragon’s scent” whenever something sinister occurred. All of these symptoms, in addition to the isolation from Hrothgar’s people lead to the overall cause in withdrawal from society.
Grendel’s emotional disturbances caused him to react completely unreasonable and rather foolish many times within his life. Having that I studied Grendel’s rituals, emotions, and responses under all standards, I have found that he has replied with all similar reactions: violence and anger. This anger and violence was shown and exaggerated in nearly every aspect of the novel. “I am blazing, half-crazy with joy. For pure, mad prank I snatch a cloth from the nearest table and tie it around my neck to make a napkin. I delay no longer. I seize up a sleeping man, tear at him hungrily bite through his bone-locks and such hot, slippery blood! (pg 168) This anger portrayed Grendel to be a fierce character that nobody, especially the humans, wanted to befriend, thus making him even angrier in desperation of a friend. His loneliness deprived him of social interaction which is a vast symptom in which most schizophrenics have. “Why can’t I have someone to talk to? ” (pg 53) It was clear throughout the novel, that if Grendel were given just one simple friend or someone to talk to, his life would have been utterly different. Grendel, infinitely vicious and belligerent, was also well-known for being the antagonist, monster of the story.
He was wretched and lonely and caused him to be strangely violent. The aggression proved him to be a schizophrenic because he would not be able to control his anger. “He finds his feet the same instant that my second stone hits. It splits his skull, and blood sprays out past his dangling brains yet he doesn’t fall. He threatens me, blind. It’s not easy to kill a mountain goat. He thinks with his spine. A death tremor shakes his flanks, but he picks toward me, jerking his great twisted horns at air. I back off, upward toward the mere the goat will never reach. I smile, threatened by an animal already dead, still climbing. (pg. 140) This instant established Grendel to be a violent, cruel beast because he was unable to gain the ram’s attention. He then found himself uncontrollably screaming, throwing, and harming the innocent animal. Grendel was very well-known to hurt people or other objects when he grew angry. If he chose not to murder a human, he then grew indifferent and became confused because of his unclear emotions. Having schizophrenia causes random, unresponsive emotions that can be angry, confusing, or indescribable. In Grendel’s case, he would instantly become angry or perplexed, but never, happy or content.
Although, Grendel suffers from this chronic disorder there is a necessary treatment he can undergo. Grendel should start off going to therapy to discuss his issues. At therapy, he can share his feelings and thoughts with someone that could help him find a better way to cope with the problems he is experiencing. He will also be placed on Risperdal for the treatment of his schizophrenia. Risperdal is available in the form of a liquid or tablet and is an anti psychotic drug. It has recently been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and is for adolescents that are from ages 13 to 17.
This is the only anti psychotic drug approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in teenagers. In final analysis, it is apparent after observing Grendel’s behavior that he suffers from schizophrenia. From early on in his life he clearly showed dominant symptoms of the disease. He dealt with many difficulties and conflicts throughout the duration of his life without the guidance or aid of anyone. Grendel’s mysterious emotional disturbances, irrationality, thought disorder and overall withdrawal from society are now made understandable to humanity.