Critical Analysis of Beowulf

Grendel Deep within the earth, in the frigid darkness laid the mighty beast Grendel. His tall, grisly frame trembled as the melodious hymns floated down to his lair. The joyful music sounded like liquid gold and it stung Grendel’s ears. He howled a mournful, drawn-out growl in pain. After several days of the Earthwalkers’ continuous celebration, Grendel was becoming steadily impatient, thirsting for retribution. How he longed to taste the bitter, metallic blood that coursed through their veins, and how his whole body ached to cause mayhem.

The enormous demon was growing weary of hearing about how the world was created. He was tired of them drinking, and celebrating, all while he suffered within the black, bleak cave he was banished to. He would make them suffer, though. Grendel was a deft demon, and he was ready to demonstrate how powerful he truly was. Children of Cain, such as Grendel, do not often sit idly by, as those whom carouse the victories of the Gods that banished Grendel and his familiars to the Underworld.

Forever was Grendel to be punished for the death of Abel, a crime of which he did not commit. To make matters worse, his familiars were on the losing end of the war against God’s creatures, thus casting them deeper within the shadows. However, that would not be the case today. It had gone on long enough. Grendel’s large feral body trembled in anticipation – he would strike them tonight. He would spill their blood in the streets and show them what such a mighty creature can do. Then, as the icy blanket of night crept across the Above World, Grendel emerged from his cavern.

His muscular legs propelled him quickly across the grassy fields to Herot, and as he went, Grendel wondered how the warriors would be recuperating from their celebrations. As he approached Herot, he found all of the warriors scattered throughout, all in a deep sleep. As he stepped lightly on the ground, Grendel sniffed the air. A fowl stench of brandy mixed with the bitter scent of their sweat intoxicated Grendel. His canine ears perked as he heard the slow, rhythmic beating of each of their hearts. He walked among their numbers, gazing upon each potential victim and sizing them up.

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Who would provide the best kill? Who would give him the luscious blood he so eagerly wished to taste. Finally, he came upon the perfect victim – a boy, about to become a man, his warrior’s helmet was slightly askew on his sandy-colored hair. A silvery trail of drool slid from his lips and out onto the cold stone floor as he snored quietly. He had obviously never experienced battle, for his armor was made only of thin leather and had not even a fleck of dirt on it. Grendel’s black lips curled upwards as he gazed down upon his unknowing victim.

The power of the demon could crush his skull in a second, splattering the boy’s hopes and dreams all across the stone floor. No, that would be too abrupt – and it wouldn’t be the warrior’s death that this boy obviously so eagerly desired. No, Grendel would enjoy this. So with one slash of his razor-sharp talons, the boys throat was cut. Long ribbons of scarlet ran down his almost severed head and down onto the floor. The instant his neck was cut, his eyes shot wide open in horror, staring for only a moment at his murderer.

The fear, now etched eternally in his face, was like that of watching your worst nightmare transpire right in front of your eyes. That moment was everything Grendel wanted from his journey into mayhem. That single moment was what captured Grendel’s thirst and made it even stronger. Grendel licked the crimson beads from his claws and savored the coppery taste. He could feel it enter his body and it made him even stronger. Every one of his muscles throbbed in eagerness to slaughter more people, to taste more blood, and to incite even more fear. He moved swiftly between his victims, his footsteps barely making a whisper.

After a few more throat cuttings, Grendel decided he would massacre more by crushing a few skulls. Moving up to one rather rotund warrior, he grasped the warrior’s head within his long fingers, and the instant Grendel felt the warrior awaken, he squeezed with tremendous force. Within that moment, the warrior’s body felt limp, his enormous weight now pulling Grendel’s arm down. The demon could feel the sharp fragments of bone and helmet inside his hand, and the warm, stickiness of the blood as it ran along his fingers. Over two dozen more, he did this to, before carrying all of their bodies back to his lair.

On his way back, though, he made sure that they left a long river of blood towards his cavern. Grendel greatly anticipated the awakening of the other warriors. As soon as day broke, he was not disappointed – those whom Grendel had spared began to cry and moan as they discovered the fate of their loved ones and compatriots. Their joyous songs of celebration turned to marred hymns of lament. Now that was music to Grendel’s ears. In fact, the magnitude of excitement Grendel felt made it impossible for him to stay within his cavern that night.

Just like he had done last night, he crept out of his lair and slaughtered even more of the warriors. As the months drew on, eventually the remaining warriors would try to combat Grendel, or run and hide. Each warrior, young or old, met the same fate as those Grendel had killed on his first night. A gruesome and gory death awaited any and all who Grendel wanted to kill. Years began to pass, and Herot became abandoned, thus making Grendel the only inhabitant. No longer were stories told of the creation of the world, but instead of Grendel’s power and hatred.

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