> I don't know, I think it's kind of an interesting "meta" take on the
> story. Like a "what if" the original author of Beowulf was recording
> real events and this was his interpretation of the events was the
> fight against a monster when maybe it was just a human being that was
> so different from them that it appeared alien.
Hadn't thought of it that way. But I will say that the poet leaves us in some doubt as to just what Grendel is (less doubt about his mother whose blood melts swords that are the work of ancient giants)...he is called an aglaeca, monster, but so is Beowulf, he can not and does not salute the throne in the hall, hardly a concern of a monster, and of course is a descendant of Cain, human. On the other hand, light gleams from his eyes (love that line in Beo!), swords can not hurt him, and he's immensely strong (shatters even the iron holding Heorot together.) and so on. Part of that mystery of just who or what Grendel is makes the poem interesting to teach in my view.
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