How does Grendel die in Beowulf?

5 Answers

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rabinos | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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At night, Beowulf and his men lie in wait for Grendel in Hrothgar's Mead Hall. When Grendel invades the hall, he kills and eats two of Beowulf's men, which gives him a false sense of security. As he reaches for his third vicitm, Beowulf, he is shocked to discover that his claw is being bent backward causing him immense pain. Their battle concludes with Beowulf's ripping Grendel's arm off, fulfilling his promise to Hrothgar to kill the monster with his bare hands. Beowulf nails Grendel's severed arm to the mead hall rafters and, although Grendel runs away, he is later found to have bled to death in his underwater lair.

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khenson | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

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Although the answer is never presented clearly, Grendel appears to die as a result of blood loss.  Beowulf fatally injures Grendel in the meadhall and the beast skulks home to its mother to die.

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Beowulf kills Grendel in a great battle, and as proof of his conquest, hangs the monster's arm and claw over the rafters of Hrothgar's Great Hall.  Grendel had terrorized the kingdom for a dozen years and killed many, many warriors.  There is no sympathy for the monster and his defeat cements Beowulf's reputations as the greatest of the great. 

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alenna | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

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  • Grendel dies as a resuly of loss of blood.
  • Beowulfs first "Blood trophy" was grendels arm.
  • Grendel attacked Herot fo 12 years.
  • To Defeat Grendel, Herot used his bare hands.