Grendel as drawn by J.R. Skelton
Beowulf's author often uses substitute phrases for Grendel's name like this one, the mearc stapa
("mark-stepper"), an inhabitant of the borderland.
Grendel is one of the three antagonists in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf (AD 700–1000). Grendel is usually taken to be some kind of monster, though this is the subject of scholarly debate.
In the poem, Grendel is feared by all but Beowulf, who kills him and his mother at the end of the poem. He is the descendant of the biblical murderer Cain.