Grendel is none other than the horrifying beast that continuously ravages King Hrothgar's legendary mead-hall Heorot. One can only imagine what the creature must look like. "The bane of the race of men" (712) is characterized as having a raging temper, enormous strength and razor sharp talons. The beast finally meets his match once Beowulf comes to give Hrothgar some assistance. A detailed description of Grendel is given as he makes his appearance at Heorot on Beowulf's first night in Denmark:

Spurned and joyless, he journeyed on ahead
and arrived at the bawn. The iron-braced door
turned on its hinge when his hands touched it.
Then his rage boiled over, he ripped open
the mouth of the building, maddening for blood,
pacing the length of the patterned floor
with his loathesome tread, while a baleful light,
flame more than light, flared from his eyes.
He saw many men in the mansion, sleeping,
a ranked company of kinsman and warriors
quartered together. And his glee was demonic,
picturing the mayhem: before morning
he would rip life from limb and devour them,
feed on their flesh; but his fate that night
was due to change, his days of ravening
had come to an end. (720-734)

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