Grendel In Beowulf

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Grendel represents the Anglo-Saxons’ greatest fears of being destroyed and forgotten forever. And while today, we are better able to protect ourselves physically from outside terror, the fearful destruction he represents is still present. Grendel, Cain’s descendant, begins his nighttime assault on Heorot hall. He heartlessly kills and often eats the sleeping Anglo-Saxons. The poet recalls this terrible time for the Danes:

So Grendel ruled, fought with the righteous,
One against many, and won; so Heorot
Stood empty, and stayed deserted for years,
Twelve winters of grief for Hrothgar, king
Of the Danes, sorrow heaped at his door
By hell-forged hands. His misery leaped
The seas, was told and sung in all
Men’s ears: how Grendel’s hatred began,
How the monster relished his savage war
On the Danes. (Heaney 11-13)

This passage reveals the Danes’ understanding of Grendel as a creature in direct opposition to God who destroys and literally consumes human life. They believe him to relish
…show more content…
In the article, “America, Cowering to an Imaginary Enemy, Is Not the Country I Once Knew” Simon Jenkins states that “On every visit to America I am stunned by the pervasiveness of fear. Terrified officials pounce on the slightest deviation from security rules. Americans must strip almost to their underwear to board even the shortest domestic flights . . . Computers must be dismantled. National guardsmen troop out at dawn to protect New York installations ‘against the terrorist threat’” (1). Because of previous attacks, we too are afraid of destruction by those we cannot fully understand. And like the Danes, we aim to keep the fallen in our hearts and memories. The political slogan “never forget” and Operation Never Forget aims to remember the men and women who sacrificed their lives for America. And we will never forget because we so greatly value the remembrance of a human

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