Role of Grendel in 'Beowulf'

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Grendel’s Role in Beowulf In the poem Beowulf, Grendel’s role is to portray an evil, horrible creature who was everything a good Anglo-Saxon warrior should not be. Grendel is a monster who is a descendent of Cain. Grendel lived in far-off swamps as an outcast of the world. One night, Grendel tresspasses into Herot, Hrothgar’s hall, and ate thirty men due to their loud, religious singing. This continued for twelve years until the courageous Beowulf arrived to protect Hrothgar’s people and defeat Grendel. Much of the Anglo-Saxon lifestyle revolved around religion and the belief in fate and that God was always watching and protecting. Grendel, being born with demonic qualities, got very frustrated when he heard individuals enjoying themselves and worshiping their God. Grendel’s hate toward religion was in complete contrast to the Anglo-Saxon values and made him appear as the antithesis of a what a respected Anglo-Saxon should have been. Another occurrence which made Grendel appear as a foil to an Anglo-Saxon warrior was how he not only killed individuals for no reason (such as revenge), but he didn’t pay any wer-gild afterwards. In the Anglo-Saxon society, if you killed an individual you were expected to pay a wer-gild to the person’s family members as a form of compensation for the family’s loss of a loved one. This was treated as a common courtesy with the Anglo-Saxons and you could be rejected by the community and even get in serious trouble if you did not pay this tax. Finally, Grendel acted as a coward during his battle with Beowulf. After Grendel picked up Beowulf and realized he was in fact awake and had great strength, he immediately attempted to flee back to his swamplands. He was unsuccessful, however, as Beowulf wrestled him and kept him from leaving. Grendel was described to have screamed with fear during his battle with Beowulf. Those features of
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