In the epic poem Beowulf, the monstrous Grendel terrorizes a mead hall. But the poem also throws in a mysterious detail: Grendel is said to be descended from Cain. This connection to a biblical figure known for fratricide (murdering his brother) seems interesting…

Is there a literal lineage here, or is there something more symbolic going on? I’m curious to understand how the poem uses this connection between Grendel and Cain.

Kennedy Answered question April 3, 2024
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