The ogre who has menaced Hrothgar"s world for 12 year is a huge, an effective descendant of the biblical Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, who killed his brother Abel the end of jealousy (Genesis 4). Cain"s surname in Hebrew is Qayin, an interpretation "creature," and, according to legend, the monsters of the earth are his descendants. Grendel is envious, resentful, and also angry toward mankind, possibly since he feels that God blesses them but that the ogre himself never deserve to be blessed. Grendel particularly resents the light, joy, and also music the he observes in Hrothgar"s beautiful mead-hall, Heorot. The scop"s "Song of Creation" (90-98) particularly enrages him since it tells of the beauty and light the God"s creation.

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Although Grendel watch something favor a male — having two arms (or claws), two legs, and one head — that is much larger and can loss dozens of guys at a time. The is protected from man"s weapons by a magic charm. The devours some of the dead top top the spot and carries others back to his lair, the cavern he shares through his mom beneath a just in a dark fen. The very first night that beo wolf is through the Scyldings, Grendel stomps increase from the swamp, bashes open the mead-hall"s door through a single tap, and also quickly wolfs down one of the Geats inside.

The i describing Grendel"s ascent from the fen (710-727) is one of the finest in Anglo-Saxon poetry. The drama rises as the poet explains Grendel"s strategy in set stages. Dark skies comparison with "the glowing wine-hall" (715), a source of pleasure to men and the symbol of civilization. Grendel has actually ruled the room for 12 years, often spending his nights there together the to dance hid elsewhere. That expects to rule again this night yet meets a person warrior equal to the ogre"s strength and also superior in his tactics.

Beowulf observes the monster"s technique as one Geat is slaughtered and devoured. Grendel has no chance after that. Although the battle is furious, Beowulf has won as soon as he is may be to understand his enemy"s claw. The ogre is vulnerable because Beowulf uses no weapons, and also the hero has actually the stamin of 30 men in his grip. Beo wolf rips the monster"s eight from that is shoulder. Mortally wounded, Grendel flees come the swamp. The gigantic claw later on hangs indigenous Heorot"s roof as a trophy.

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In countless ways, Grendel is the most exciting character in the epic. He is a mix the man and beast; his rage is based on really human feeling of resentment and also jealousy. The novelist and also Anglo-Saxon scholar john Gardner explores the inner problems of the character in his 1971 novel, Grendel, an strongly moving, funny, and perceptive book.