In the story Grendel by simply John Gardner, the author uses minor heroes that each represents and signifies different things. These types of characters contain Unferth, Wealtheow, the Dragon, Hrothgar and Ork. These types of characters include roles that shape and contribute to the rest of the story. All these characters possess parts that in some way are very important to sharing with Grendel's history even though they just do not have an important role.
Unferth is one of Hrothgar's thanes and is found throughout the new confronting Grendel and putting down Beowulf. He's depicted to be self-absorbed and tries to make himself seen by attempting to become a hero. An example of this is when he attempts to fight Grendel in the mead hall, " Tell them in Hell that Unferth, kid of Ecglaf sent you. Known everywhere in these Scanian lands as being a hero among the list of Scyldings" (82). This quotation shows that he could be very self-absorbed and feels that he can do what ever he desires without considering the outcomes. Another function of Unferth is to make Beowulf seem to be more marvelous and amazing to the visitor. Unferth confronts Beowulf in regards to a swimming match and attempts to make Beowulf less respected by recalling that he previously lost, Say friend, will you be the same person that went swimming that point with fresh Breca-risked your lives in the midst of the winter to get nothing-for a crazy meadboast? We discovered that, Nobody could quit you-kings, priests, councilors-nobody. Sprinkle! Uh, uh, uh! The ocean boiled with waves intense winter grows. Seven night times you swam, so persons say. With last Breca beat you, much stronger than you were. This individual proved his boast against you - for what it might be worth. (160)In this quotation Unferth attempts to make Beowulf seem weak and powerless. Beowulf explains to the group what actually happened and had genuinely won rather than Breca. Unferth's actions lead to how Beowulf is presented and how the reader feels about him. Beowulf disproving Unferth makes Beowulf appear more honest and brave.
Hrothgar is yet another...
Cited: ardner, John. Grendel. New York: Antique, 1989. Print out.