In what specific way does Heorot contrast with the place where Grendel lives?relates to Beowulf

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luannw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Heorot is a grand mead hall built to honor Hrothgar and his men for successful battles.  It is also is protected by God.  It is described in glowing terms in the first few cantos of the story (among the first 500 lines) with glittering towers, etc.  Grendel on the other hand, comes from the depths of hell under a lake that is described as roiling and full of serpents and other nasty creatures.  Grendel lives beneath this lake with his mother.  This place isn't described until Beowulf is preparing to battle Grendel's mother.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Herot is the Anglo Saxon word for "heart".  It is the center of all the activity of the city, and the lifeblood by which the city operates.  It is full of ceremony and celebration.  It is also the place where the King's throne is set--a throne that has been "blessed by God" and so therefore is off-limits to Grendel. 

Grendel's home, on the other hand, is dark, dank, miserable, and void of happiness or love.  There couldn't be a more obvious contrast.