Grendel Essay

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Beowulf Discussion Questions Using the space below, please answer each question in complete sentences. Remember to address each part of each question. 1. The first lines of this reading are a description of the monster, Grendel. How is Grendel feeling while the songs are being sung at Herot? What story, specifically, is being told by the poets? Why does this song upset Grendel? • Grendel growls in pain – is impatient • The poets are telling the story of God’s creation of the world – pleasure • The song upsets Grendel because God drove the demons, like Cain out ( exiled them – split into monsters, giants, fiends, goblins, one of whom is Grendel 2. What does the story of Cain and Abel have to do with Grendel? • Cain killed his brother Abel, so God punished Cain • All of Cain’s descendants will be cursed – Grendel is a descendant of Cain, thus destined to be an outcast 3. How is Grendel characterized during his attack? What physical traits do we know he possesses? What do we observe about his character? • Delighted with the night’s slaughter • Strong, bloodthirsty, ruthless 4. Who is Hrothgar? What is Herot? • Hrothgar = King of the Danes • Herot – Hrothgar’s mead hall – where the warriors gather to drink and talk battle 5. How long did Grendel’s raids on Herot go on for? The text says: “His (Hrothgar’s) misery leaped the seas, was told and sung in all men’s ears”. What does this mean? • The raids go on for 12 years • Hrothgar’s misery is well-known; everyone has heard of it. 6. Consider the term wergild, or “man-price” – the reparations that would have to be paid, either in blood or gold, after a murder has been committed. What in the text suggests that Grendel is not concerned about wergild? • Grendel kept killing, “seeking no
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