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Grendel - A demon descended from Cain, Grendel preys on Hrothgar’s warriors in the king’s mead-hall, Heorot. Because his ruthless and miserable existence is part of the retribution exacted by God for Cain’s murder of Abel, Grendel fits solidly within the ethos of vengeance that governs the world of the poem.
Beowulf was a hero. He helped the Danish king Hrothgar by killing the monster Grendel, and later the monster's mother. He reigned over the Geats for 50 years, until his kingdom was threatened by an angry dragon. When all his companions fled, one stayed: the young chieftain Wiglaf, who helped Beowulf kill the dragon. However, Beowulf became weakened by the dragon's poisonous breath, and, seeing that he was going to die, he left the dragon's hoard, along with his neck ring and armor, to Wiglaf.
Had to read this for a class in High School, but I fell in love and finished it ahead of time!
"some books are meant / to be read just like this / alone, with the evening, / a bowl of fruit ripening / waiting for the reader / to grow hungry, but / she won't, the book / will devour her, / and it / will soon / become / morning."