"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

Monday, August 30, 2010


In off the moors, down through the mist-bands
God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping. (Beowulf 710-11)
This has got to be one of the best lines from Seamus Heaney's translation of Beowulf. One can almost see a huge misshapen form lurching across the cold moor; the wafting mist now concealing, now half revealing the monstrous descendant of banished Cain.

Who is Grendel? Grendel is the rapacious envy of man given living shape. He cannot stand the happiness of others in the mead-hall. If he cannot share it, he must destroy it.

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