The key to writing an epic poem is to show that there is a predominant hero whopaved the way for a nation. This hero should be someone who shows qualities suchas loyalty to his followers, bravery and courage just to name a few. Strophe 8in Burton Raffels translation of Beowulf shows all of these qualities inBeowulf. Strophe 8 is the tail of Beowulfs first of three battles with deadlybeasts.
It starts out by telling the reader that Grendel is coming “out fromthe marsh… bearing Gods hatred”(394-395) revealing to all that Grendelcomes from a hellish hole and is all that is evil. Little does Grendel know thatthis trip for prey shall not be as easy as the previous many. The monster whoonce took 30 men to his slimy hell of a home to eat would “gnaw the brokenbones of his last human supper”(417-418). The great Beowulf and his 14warriors have been called upon to save Hrothgars people and destroy this beast.After devouring one man with ease, Grendel grasped Beowulf and found himself tobe at the mercy Beowulfs deadly grip.
The battle through the beautiful hallof Herot proved to be successful when “him who of all the men on earth was thestrongest”(471-472) defeated the retched beast. Beowulf proved to all that hewould back down to no one. Any good battle can make a story exciting, and thatis exactly what the battle with Grendel does to this story. At the verybeginning of this strophe the reader is informed about Grendels living quarterssetting the mood in an evil tone. It is already known that Beowulf is the idealof good, thus setting up the ever-exciting battle of god versus evil.
The battlewas so intense that “the high halls rang, its roof boards swayed and Danesshook with terror”(449-450). Such an intense battle is so enthralling that itis hard not to be enveloped in all the commotion. Grendel the beast who couldnot be defeated by any ordinary man “whose hands were harder”(434) and therewas nothing he could do about it. This great power Beowulf showed in the battletruly set him apart from all other normal men.
The whole time I was reading thispart of the poem I was anxious to find the result of the battle. The translatordid an excellent job of capturing the parts of the strophe, which made it soexciting. The way it was described that Grendel “snatched the first Geat..
.drank the blood from his veins and bolted him down”(421-425) shows how graphicthe language is in this poem making it much more exciting. I really becameinterested in the plot after this strophe because of the vivid and colorfulimagery that was used to describe the battle. Imagery is very important part ofcapturing your audience and this strophe did exactly that. When trying totranslate any type of literature it can be very hard to capture the excitementin the original work. When you have a specific point to get across it can bemuch harder, but in Beowulf is very clearly shown that Beowulf is loyal to hispeople, brave and courageous the true characteristics of a hero.