Beowulf close reading

Essay by meghan12College, UndergraduateA-, September 2014

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Meghan Correia

Dr. McClintock

25 September 2014

ENGL-223: Survey of British Literature to 1800

Close Reading 1: Beowulf


The passage starts off with Grendel walking from his home towards the mead-hall. It articulates how he is an evil monster who hates joy and murders people. The passage ends with Grendel opening the doors of the hall and entering (710-727).


"Then from the moor, in a blanket of mist Grendel came stalking" (710-711) is a good example of visualization and descriptive detail.

"… he swung open the hall's mouth" (723-724) exemplifies the element of personification in the text.

Good imagery and descriptive details can be seen in line 723 "bloody minded, swollen with rage."

" Under the clouds he came until he clearly knew,"(714) is a good example of word choice, alliteration, and stylistic pattern.


Written between 700-1000, during a time when at any day your country could be conquered by another (i.e.

Rome) and you could be enslaved to that new ruler (63).

During a time when many different religions were accepted, (Christianity, pagan, Anglo-Saxon) often having conflicting ideas, influences, and attitudes. (63)


"Bloody minded, swollen with rage." I think this line has really good imagery. As one reads the words, the reader can picture Grendel, large and pulsing in fury, ready to devour whatever men he should find.

"… He swung open the hall's mouth." I think that the personification shown in this line is important because it shows that the mead hall is not simply a building but has a deeper meaning. The hall represents the community and it carries a great deal of symbolic weight. By attacking them here Grendel attacks the symbol of their country.

The idea that people could be conquered at anytime. I think this historical fact...