The Art of Monsters and Criminals

a brief gallery of old-english related creative texts

By Wagner Chapman

Will the Real Beowulf please Stand Up? By Wagner Chapman and Lane Bonderer

May I have your attention please?

I'm not afraid (I'm not afraid)

To kill Grendel (to kill Grendel)

Everybody (everybody)

Come take my life (come take my arm)

We'll walk through Denmark, all together, through the storm

Whatever weather, cold or warm

Just lettin Grendel, know he’s warned


Look, Beowulf’s only got one shot, or one opportunity, to seize everything he’s ever wanted in one moment, is he gonna let it slip? Year 1000!


got food in his belly, shoulders rough, palms are sweaty

There's food the table already, mead is heavy

‘Wulf’s nervous, but on the surface he looks calm and ready to slay beasts,

Grendel keeps on just shredding all these little towns,

The whole castle goes so loud

He pulls out his sword but it won’t work out,

But wait, Grendel chokin now, the Geats are jokin now,

the clock’s run out, shoulder’s OUT

Snap back to reality, Dragon watch your chest cavity,

Oh there goes Wulf, he won

He’s so glad, but he won’t give up now

No sweat on his brow, he knows he gonna go have cope

With Grendel’s Momma, Wolf’s dope

When he goes back to his soldier’s home, that’s when it’s

Back to show no grin, no

This whole fight will give thick skin

He better go win the next and hope it decapitate him

He better go capture his moment


And I am, a great monster

If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?

In the paper, the news everyday I am

Radio won't even play my jam

'Cause I am, a great monster

If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?

In the paper, the news everyday I am

I don't know it's just the way I am


You better slay me and my momma too

You own it, you better never let it go fo you

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to kill me

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

You better slay me and my momma too

You own it, you better never let it go

You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to kill me yo

This opportunity comes once in a lifetime fo sho


So lets go back

Follow Grendel's Trail as we go on another episode

Journey with me as I take you through Denmark

I once used to call home sweet home


Well, gotta go, I'm almost at the marsh now


And when I'm gone, just turn and leave, don't mourn

Rejoice every time you hear the sound of my scorn

Just know that I'm looking down on you celebrating

And I didn't feel a thing, So baby don't feel no pain

Just stay and refrain


And when he's gone, just turn and leave, don't mourn

Rejoice every time you hear the sound of his feet

Just know that he's looking down on you crying

And his didn't feel a thing, So baby don't feel no pain


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I feel that this rap perfectly portrays the monsters and criminals theme. Here, we actually mention all three monsters from the story: the dragon, Grendel, and his mother. If one reads through the lyrics, he or she will actually see that the perspective switched from a narrator to Beowulf, and the perspective on these monsters changes too. Beowulf’s view is more emotional, stating the fear he has towards the fight, whereas the narrator’s view is less emotional and more purely observational towards the various fights between Beowulf and the monsters.

A Tale of Three Wins

He was the warrior oh so brave

For the Danes he was wanting to save

He made his quest, and he tried his best

Looking to dig the monster a grave


Beowulf tore Grendel’s shoulder off

given treasure laid out in a trough

But it was not over yet, Grendel’s momma, he sweat

Would well prove to be harder to stop


With courage, he dove into the lake

The monster’s skin, his blade couldn’t break

So he grabbed a sword off the wall, and he conquered the brawl

And came back with her head on a stake


Then fifty years go by, all in peace

Except on the people, a dragon wants to feast

So with Wiglaf’s aid, ‘Wulf never afraid

Snatched the big heart right out of the beast

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I feel that this ballad perfectly portrays the monsters and criminals theme. Here, I include the tale of defeat of three monsters from the story: the dragon, Grendel, and his mother. Though I only used 16 lines, I included every major event in the timeline of the story, with a central focus on the beasts he slayed.

The Curious Thoughts of a Simple-Minded Inspector

Dear Diary,

What in the heck happened? They were all dead, the three young dummies! Those rioters must be the biggest imbeciles I have ever run across; although, I must admit that I am a little confused! The young boy was found dead by knives, yet the older two boys were poisoned, as they had yellow eyes. I just can’t put it together, how the stabbed boy came back to kill them with poison if he had knives in him? My fellow inspectors think that the boy died first, but I am positive that he, with the knives in him, came back from the stabbing to warn of the poisoned wine to the older two rioters, yet fell short. What a comeback tale! Except that he died. One thing I am sure of though is that the massive amount of gold found on each rioter had absolutely NOTHING to do with their deaths. Also, I noticed that each of the older, poisoned rioters had wine on their lips. They must have tried to wash out all the poison by getting drunk! Those fools. Perhaps they were near death anyway, as the eldest brother was nearly 30 himself. It just seems like his life would have ended soon anyway, seeing as the average life expectancy of this time is 33 ("Human Life Expectancy"). Though, I am 95 percent sure they were murdered, and I believe that, should the murderer be found, he should be killed in the most excruciating, graphic way possible: quartering. Ay indeed,, I have seen a few men quartered, by the tying of their limbs to four horses and then drawn in separate directions, and I believe that whoever killed these men should receive that punishment. After all, it is one of the most commonly used public execution techniques of this time period ("Hanging, Drawing and Quartering"). While the suspected killer remains a mystery, one thing is clear: these young men were the closest compadres a group could be.


With sorrow,

The Simple-Minded Inspector




Works Cited


"Hanging, Drawing and Quartering." Hanging, Drawing and Quartering. Capital Punishment UK, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.


"Human Life Expectancy." Human Life Expectancy. The University of Illinois at Chicago, n.d. Web. 31 Mar. 2016.


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The theme of Monsters vs. Criminals is present in the diary entry, mostly highlighting the criminal aspect, because the inspector is inspecting the criminals in the story, who are, in this case, the rioters. The inspector, though foolish, is trying to solve the mystery of the deaths of the three young men, who are criminals.

A Letter to my Fans

Dear Readers,

I created this project in three phases consisting of three separate projects, all different kinds of literature. The three types were a rap, a ballad, and a diary entry. The theme for these projects was "Monsters and Criminals," as I felt that both pieces of literature that we read, the Canterbury Tales and Beowulf, both were centered around either the villains of the story or the criminal-like characters. I found that the hardest, yet most fun project to make was the ballad. I learned that an allegory is a literary work that has a literal meaning and a symbolic meaning. I feel like my most well-executed project was the ballad, as it was short, well structured, well rhymed, and entertaining. The most challenging thing I noticed while doing this project was using an equal number of syllables on each line to make the ballad. In the future of this project, I would recommend skipping the character descriptions in the Canterbury Tales, as it took a long time and seemed kind of pointless. Overall, this was a fun project, and I really enjoyed reading the Pardoner's Tale.


Sincerely,

Wagner Chapman