At times, Grendel appears to love and be moved by poetry/eloquent language; at other times, he appears to despise poetry/eloquent language. How do you make sense of this ambiguity in his character?
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Grendel is captivated by the music and poetry of the Geats. He hides and listens to the words and melodies, which make him, think of the beauty of life. At the same time they also remind Grendel of his isolation. Grendel is a novel driven by the main character's sense of isolation. Grendel cannot relate to his mother, whom he considers little more than a brute beast, nor can he make himself understood by the humans he encounters, even though he understands their speech. Grendel is a perpetual outsider, looking for a place to belong. His high-handed search for philosophical meaning is ultimately one more attempt to know who he is and where he belongs. Grendel watches the Geats revel in the words of poetry by the warm glow of the fire. The words stir his soul but he is always left with longings that he cannot fulfill. The music and poetry at once enrapture Grendel's soul and remind him just how lonely he is. The combinations of these feelings drive Grendel to anger.