There is an ancient type of literature called ‘the apology.’ It’s not ‘apology’

There is an ancient type of literature called ‘the apology.’ It’s not ‘apology’ in the modern sense [“I’m sorry” . . .] but in the sense of a justification for one’s life and actions. If you lived a long time ago, you might have written an “apology”—really a defense of your own behavior—for your own life. You would try to show how, from your point of view, your life wasn’t a waste. Or you might try to show how you’re not as different from your parents as they think (what were they doing when they were your age?). Or how your options are limited. Or how your life’s not exactly a day at the beach either. Or how it’s not really your fault. Or how the things they think are bad about you are really good if you look at them the right way.
OK. I want you to write “Grendel’s Apology”: the Monster’s own explanation and defense of the way he has lived. It can be addressed to Hrothgar, or to Beowulf, or to God, or to the Danish court in general, or to readers 1300 years in the future, or to humanity at large. In it, you will try to get whoever you are addressing to see things from your point of view. Let me be clear about it: In this paper You are Grendel. Your job will be to offer a picture of what the world looks like to you–a pictre that justifies (at least in your own mind) your behavior. You must use what the poem provides about Grendel. Although you can exercise your creative imagination, you must limit yourself to the world of the poem. You should write as thoughtful, articulate TSU students, observing all the conventions of contemporary formal written English.
RUBRIC: In general I’ll be looking for intelligence, development, knowledge and use of the text, consistency, and ‘success’—that is, the ability to actually create sympathy for this devilish character. I will definitely be looking for understanding of Beowulf, but I’ll also be looking for you to have some fun with this—to show your creative or imaginative side.
LENGTH: 1000 Words or so (about 3 pages, double-spaced)

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