Examples Of Grendel In Beowulf

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Throughout our lives, we are told what is bad and what should be avoided, yet this characteristic is not new to the world. Like all children since Anglo-Saxon times, we are raised to fear and look down upon certain things through our society’s respective monsters. Anglo-Saxons are told to fear Grendel due to his historical disdain from God. They are terrified of Grendel’s Mother, because she is the combination of all the Anglos-Saxons’ fears. The dragon is despised, because wherever he goes death follows and he is not afraid to face fate. Monstrosities, like those in Beowulf, have been part of every culture, yet each society’s respective fears and pitfalls are revealed through their specific monsters. Through Grendel, all that the Anglo-Saxon society abhors is revealed. Grendel is a demon “warped in the shape of a man,” a “fatherless creature” whose “whole ancestry is hidden in a past of demons and ghosts” (95). This fairly vague description of who he is clearly shows that the…show more content…
Grendel’s mother is huge, like her son, and “dwell[s] apart among wolves […] and [on] treacherous keshes, where cold streams pour down the mountain and disappear under mist and moorland” (95). These descriptions of where she lives provided by the author give the reader a full list of fears from the Anglo-Saxon times. This reference to her dwelling with wolves is uncommon and feared, because wolves are known to kill, and this lengthy description of her location further reveals their fear that she is a hell beast. She lives in a mysterious location, underwater, where nothing good happens. This shows a fear of water, because water, their main means of transportation, causes many deaths for the Anglo-Saxons, especially from beasts that live in the water. These provide the reader with characteristic fears of the past culture, such as death by drowning, wolves, or also a death in hell

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