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Beowulf - Herot The Antagonist

             Beowulf was said to be written around the 700's but was created long before that time. Past down from generation to generation by word of mouth until it was composed in Old English by one of the monasteries in northeast England. The poem itself is based in a time well before the sixth century, with most of its material based on early folk legend. The author of the epic of Beowulf uses characterization to show the world what Grendel was like and possibly his deeper side.
             "Grendel", the name itself sounds evil or at least unfriendly and is perfect for the monster of the story. At the beginning of the story, Grendel is described as "a powerful monster, living down in the darkness (1)." This starts the very lengthy wording of how evil Grendel is and how much the audience is suppose to not like him. Grendel was "the demon, the fiend that haunted the moors and lived in hell but on earth (16)." This is eye candy to the mind, which brings life to a character that doesn't exist except in our heads. Grendels first killing at Herot was merciless act in which he "snatched up thirty men, smashed them and then took their bodies back to his lair (38)." Grendel sounds truly like a monster until the author takes him down to size with a vivid metal image of the battle that took place. His description of how Beowulf rips off his arm shows that Grendel wasn't entirely all he was cracked up to be. He had the spell where no mortal weapons could hurt him but apparently wasn't smart enough to make it where no mortal could hurt him. .
             to the edge of the lake where he"d dragged his corpselike way, doomed and already weary of his vanishing life. The water was bloody, steaming and boiling in horrible pounding waves (525).
             Grendels retreat to the lake brings an end to his reign of terror of the people of Herot. The lake represents his passage onto hell and final resting place.
             There was also a sad side to Grendel that most may have missed because of their quick judgment of Grendels character.

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