according to grendel, grendels first visits to Heorot were just out of curiosity.

how and why did this curiosity turn to violence

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Grendel heard the good cheer and songs emanating from Herot Hall. He was curious about these creatures, humans, who seem to have so much purpose. When Grendel beholds the merriment, he reflects on his own isolation and dark existence. This makes him angry and drives him to violence.