As a detached observer, what does Grendel learn about Hrothgar and his theories? What shocks Grendel about man's behavior to other men and to nature? Why does Grendel feat Hrothgar?
Grendel discovers that Hrothgar is a powerful, influential king due to his theories and strategic warring. "He'd worked out a theory about what fighting was for, and now he no longer fought with his six closest neighbors (page 37)"; this quote shows Hrothgar's methods of gaining great power. He keeps the neighboring kingdoms as his allies and in a way, dogs on leashes by proving to them of his organizational skills (making roads, amassing a great army, etc.). What shocks Grendel are the constant, repeating bloodshed men bring upon each other. Grendel witnessed the same intimidations, provocative actions, and wars by men and is disgruntled by the pointless death and repetition. He's also shocked by how men treat other animals. "Sometimes a horse, mired to the waist, would give up and merely stand, head hanging, as if waiting for death, and the men would howl at it and cut it with whips, or throw stones, or club it with heavy limbs, until finally one of them came to his senses and calmed the others, and they would winch out the horse with ropes and wagon wheels, if they could, or else abandon the horse or kill it-first stripping off the saddle and bridle and the handsomely decorated harness (page 38)." The text testifies how cruelly and mindlessly men treated animals even if they were given the slightest reason to commit such actions. Grendel fears Hrothgar because of the Shaper. The Shaper has made Hrothgar so much more of a magnificent figure than he was before. In sense, the Shaper "shaped" Hrothgar's feats and reputation to a more amplified one, making Grendel fear the new and great Hrothgar by the skill of poetry and speech.