Beowulf and Grendel a Tale for the Ages
Born just miles apart from one another, who would have known that these former boyhood neighbors would grow to become the fiercest rivals during the entire Middle Ages.
Born to an aristocratic family in a large castle on the hillsides of England, Beowulf was given everything a young knight would need to obtain success as a knight. A squire at first Beowulf would learn from his brother Theowulf. It was obvious that Beowulf was in awe of his brother who was known as the most valiant knight throughout all the land. Beowulf would watch is his brother with a gleam in his eyes with hopes of once taking the title his brother possessed.
Simultaneously the meanest monster of this era would hatch from an egg in the swamps at the bottom of the hillside. From deep within the swamps of England Grendel was not blessed with the same opportunities as Beowulf. His parents taken by the poachers for their leathery skin, Grendel was forced to live on his own. So he did what any monster would do, he ate, and developed the chip on his shoulder that would place him in villain status.
Much different from their childhoods was the formation of this rivalry. While it may seem awkward, this battle started with a woman. Yes, woman the most common cause for hatred between men actually sparked the rivalry between man and beast.
Sandra, a woman with the fairest skin, hair, and eyes wooed every man she laid eyes upon (or monster for that matter). It all began as the two legendary rivals were walking alongside one another and Sandra approached the duo. Surprisingly, she batted her eyes, and blushed but not at Beowulf, she was in fact interested in Grendel. But like any proud human Beowulf lashed out at the monster and tried to claim the woman for himself no matter what Sandra had in mind for herself. As Beowulf drew his sword, the fair maiden fell to her knees and fainted, Grendel however just turned his back and told the knight that he would have no part in it, and told him he was in fact a lover not a fighter.
Following his knight training, Beowulf did what he saw fit and scooped Sandra from the ground and “saved” her from the “wrath” of Grendel. The knight then began to court her and with Grendel nowhere to be found, Sandra gave way to Beowulf’s proposal and decided to wed the knight.
As time passed, Grendel remained in hiding. He was aggravated with the man who he was neighbors with as a child, so he kept to himself and his hatred for Beowulf grew and grew as he waited for his opportunity to return to the surface and avenge the loss of a woman he loved.
With little Beowulf’s running wild throughout the castle, and Sandra’s beauty fading with the birth of each child, Beowulf decided to disobey the defining rules of society (the commandments) and become infidel. Word had spread of the knight’s un-satisfactory behavior and it was not long until the monster heard of mistreating of his love.
Grendel rose from the depths of England’s darkest swamp and began his quest to avenge the woman he had loved for many, many years.
Following the crusades, and the various battles throughout the Grendel crept silently behind Beowulf and waited for the perfect time to spring his attack upon the night. Battles in northern France and Germany drew the two closer to their homeland where Grendel would make his move and confront the un-valiant knight.
As Beowulf returned from the crusades in hopes of resting after such a long drawn out battle, Grendel would show his face for the first time in many years. Surprised by his appearance Beowulf stood calm and collected and awaited the inevitable. Grendel lashed out at the knight and thus the saga has begun. It is ironic that the once friendly neighbors have evolved into what has become the most noted rivalry in all of the middle ages.
An epic has evolved from the tales of a childhood full of anger for one and satisfaction for another. While the past has laid the brickwork, who would finish the victor? Only time will tell.