THESIS: Through the language that he uses, Grendel realizes that he has meaning.
In the passage on pages 79 - 80, Grendel has just begun to launch his raids on man. He realizes that he has been transformed and he discovers that he has become something. Specifically, he says, "I had become, myself, the mama I"d searched the cliffs for once in vain I had become something, as if born again" (80). In this example, one can see the meaning that Grendel has been searching for through the language that he uses. He has become something and thus, he has found meaning within himself. When he talks about his mama, he wanted to understand her (which he could not because of his language) and have meaning in his mother's eyes. He has now found that meaning. He realizes his purpose and that it "[he] was Grendel, Ruiner of Meadhalls, Wrecker of Kings" (80). This is the title that he gives himself as well as what the Shaper refers to him as in his songs. By killing the men, he gives them a meaning (and that is to kill him) and thus, it gives him meaning. In addition, with his title, it is written in all capitals and the significance of this is that it becomes his identity- his role that the Shaper and the dragon have given him.
This passage deals a lot with the theme of solipsism and life have meaning. Through his raids on the people, he has given them meaning; he was their goal to destroy. In doing so, he gave himself meaning, a purpose, which he lacked before. Grendel also wanted to have a connection with man, be a part of humankind but because of his new invulnerability, be cannot be defeated. Earlier, he could be harmed and this vulnerability was his connection to man, but this connection is gone and in its place, he puts his meaning to men. A bond now exists between man and Grendel, something Grendel has always wanted, and because of this bond, they each create meaning for the other.