For Spencer's benefit, I've illustrated my post with a picture of Grendel. Somehow I feel that this depiction isn't too accurate though.
Grendel sees Beowulf as being insane - in some ways it seems that Grendel could even see Beowulf as not being human (for example when Grendel thinks that Beowulf suddenly has wings) although on pg. 169 Grendel refers to him as his "dear long-lost brother, kinsman-thane" and says "he is only a man."
In Beowulf, it says that Grendel was killed by Beowulf's extreme strength. However in Grendel Beowulf seems to win through his rhetorical tricks and brainwashing.
Grendel refuses to accept that Beowulf could possibly be stronger or smarter than he is. He continually reminds himself that Beowulf caught hold of him through trickery and accident. His last words echo this: "Poor Grendel's had an accident." He cannot believe that any living creature could get the better of him. He thought that he was immortal and this new realization is hard for him to believe.
Grendel begins with a quote from Romantic poet William Blake: "And if the Babe is born a Boy/He's given to a Woman Old,/ Who nails him down upon a rock,/ Catches his shrieks in cups of gold." What does the quote mean and how does it relate to the novel? Mayb want to revisit it as you read each section....
The meter and imagery in Beowulf is very different from modern English poetics (and remember to include Shakespeare in that modern category). What are your favorite lines? Why? Could be a cool image, description, etc. or maybe they're just fun to say (like HROTH-gar!)
OK -- time to travel back to freshman year, The Odyssey, the epic hero. What do you see in Beowulf that would still be considered "epically heroic" today? Will Beowulf replace the Dark Knight (Spencer...) in your pantheon of heroes? What is dated or downright bizarre in the poem for a modern reader?