What are the characteristic of Grendel?

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Grendel is the poem's first major antagonist .  I say "first," because later in the poem Grendel's mother is the new antagonist.  Grendel is described as a man-eating demon.  It's not clear if Grendel is a man that is demon possessed, or if Grendel is a legitimate demon.  I've always,...

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Grendel is the poem's first major antagonist.  I say "first," because later in the poem Grendel's mother is the new antagonist.  Grendel is described as a man-eating demon.  It's not clear if Grendel is a man that is demon possessed, or if Grendel is a legitimate demon.  I've always, in my head, pictured Grendel as an actual monster with big teeth and claws.  I've come to think that is incorrect.  The poem states that Grendel is a descendant from the Biblical line of Cain.  Cain was the first human to commit murder and was banished to a far off land by God.  

"Grendel, who haunted the moors, the wild Marshes, and made his home in a hell Not hell but earth. He was spawned in that slime, Conceived by a pair of those monsters born Of Cain, murderous creatures banished By God, punished forever for the crime Of Abel's death."

Because Grendel is a descendant of Cain (a human) I believe that Grendel is a man.  

It doesn't really matter though if Grendel is a human or not though.  All of the other characteristics would stay the same.  Grendel loves violence.  He loves killing people, and he does it night after night.  Man eating means that Grendel is also a cannibal.  Yuck.  He's a successful killer, which tells me two things.  First, Grendel is smart.  He has to be to successfully infiltrate Hrothgar's stronghold and kill warriors over and over again.  Second, Grendel must be quite strong.  He's battling and defeating experienced warriors.  Beowulf is a beast of a man, and the fight with Grendel is not a walk in the park for Beowulf.  

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