A word used many times in the epic poem Beowulf to apply both to protagonists and antagonists but which is selectively translated by overly-glossy translators to "wretch", "monster", "demon", or "fiend" when it refers to Grendel or the dragon and as "warrior" and "hero" when it refers to Beowulf and Sigemund.

Many contemporary readers appreciate the pathos got from realizing that the original authors applied the same language (roughly fairly translated to "formidable one") to both the "good guys" and "bad guys", and some scholars believe that painting both characters in the same colours allows the interpretation of Grendel as a human berserker rather than an utter monster.

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