Chapter Four

How does Grendel relate to the Shaper's story of Cain and Abel? 

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Grendel spends his nights listening in to the Shaper’s songs in Hrothgar’s mead hall. The Shaper inspires Hrothgar to deeds of magnificence, culminating in the building of the most expansive and sumptuous of mead halls ever constructed. Grendel listens as the Shaper distorts the facts to make the stories better. He hears the story of “two brothers” (Cain and Abel) whose first feud spilt the world into two races: the light and the dark. Seeing himself as one of the darkness, Grendel is moved to beg for mercy from the men, even as he tells himself that both humans and monsters are equally accursed (as evidenced from the murdered man’s body Grendel has just found in the woods). The men of Hrothgar’s hall attack Grendel, who protects himself with the corpse. He discovers that their weapons are envenomed against him and flees for his life.