Describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel.  

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analiesev | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Assistant Educator

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The battle between Beowulf and Grendel is full of a mixture of excitement, horror, violence, and glory. To begin with there has been a lot of suspense rising in the 735 lines leading up the battle. We know that Grendel has so far been undefeated and killed a countless amount of men prior to Beowulf's arrival. Beowulf himself recognizes the danger he will encounter and does not seem particularly worried that he could die in the upcoming fight.

When Grendel arrives at the hall where Beowulf and his men are housed, he attacks immediately by mauling and devouring one of the men. He is then about to pounce on Beowulf too, but Beowulf seizes him in an arm-lock more intense than anything Grendel has ever suffered before. Grendel panics and tries to retreat at this point, but Beowulf does not let go. Locked in Beowulf's grip, Grendel starts thrashing around, causing the two of them to crash into everything in their way as they grapple with one another. Even the mead benches are being smashed. All the Danes within earshot are horrified by the pain-filled wail of Grendel as he tries to free himself. The fight apparently lasts for quite some time, and eventually Grendel feels himself losing his strength. Beowulf has not stopped clutching him the entire time. Suddenly the hide and muscles of his shoulder split apart leaving Grendel with a bloody hole where his arm had been. Only then is he able to flee back into the countryside and go home to die in his lair. Beowulf is left holding the arm as a trophy and hangs it up on display.

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