Beowulf Attacks Grendel's Mother
(A Short Description of the Passage)
Beowulf sees Grendel's mother in a cave. He tries to hit her with his sword, Unferth's Hrunting, but it fails to pierce her skin. So he throws the sword away and attacks the mother with his bare hands. He trusts "in his strength, his mighty hand-grip." Beowulf manages to throw Grendel's mother down; however, she quickly retaliates and is soon sitting on top of him. She tries to kill him with a dagger, but Beowulf's armor protects him this time. Beowulf managed to throw her off of himself and sees a sword of enormous size, which he immediately grabs.
This sword has a beautiful ornamented handle and a blade that is hinting that this is not an average sword. It …show more content…
Kennings and Other Elements
(Definitions, Identifications, and Explanations of Terms in the Passage)
Grendel's Mother - She is a woman with character. She is a beast with claws who fights pretty well. She is vicious and ill-tempered. All she wants is to avenge the death of her son killed by Beowulf. Sometimes she is called a Troll-wife. She dwells at the bottom of a mere in a cave.
Beowulf - He is strong; he is able to lift that which only four men can lift together - Grendel's head). Besides the head, he is able to lift the sword made by and for giants and fight with it. He is resolute, does not lose his coolness even though he is weaponless. He is pious, assigns all his victories to God's help. He is son of Ecgtheow, nephew of Hygelac, and later king of the Geats.
Fighting-gear, battle-gear Body armor
Life would have ended [...] Would have died under wide earth Handle
Hilt Lake, pond, swamp
PAGAN AND CHRISTIAN ELEMENTS AND IMPORTANT
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Beowulf discovers this and goes after the witch and battle. Beowulf is at the bottom of the lake and is fighting to death with Grendel’s mother. On page 60, “But her guest discovered that no sword could slice her evil skin, that Hrunting could not hurt her, was useless.” The quote explains once Beowulf knew his sword Hrunting had no effect on Grendel’s mother, Beowulf had to come up with another strategy to win the battle. Beowulf’s sword is destroyed while fighting Grendel’s mother, and tries to find a new weapon to fight with. On page 61, the quote says “Then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword, hammered by the giants, strong and blessed with their magic.” The quote is saying Beowulf uses the Giants strong, heavy, sword to fight Grendel’s mother and savagely cut through the witch’s neck. Now have killed Grendel and his mother. After defeating Grendel’s mother Beowulf decides to claim an award one last time for revenge. Page 62 quotes “Had sent him from Herot, then struck off his head with a single swift blow. The body jerked for the last time, then lay still.” Beowulf has cut off Grendel’s head as an act of revenge and claims the head as his reward and leaves Grendel’s body bleeding. Beowulf has slaughtered two monsters, claimed another prize, and once again saved the
In the novel Grendel and the epic poem Beowulf the reader receives a better experience through a first person point of view. In John Gardner's Grendel which is written in first person the reader is constantly engaged. The authors use of first person provides the reader of Grendel’s thoughts and emotion. While, in the epic poem Beowulf which is written in 3rd person does not give the reader any personal connection.
“[Grendel’s] mother had sallied forth on a savage journey,/ grief-racked and ravenous, desperate for revenge” (Beowulf, 1276-1278). Her desire to avenge her son is carried out, but it ultimately leads to her death. Beowulf’s desire to garner fame and respect overpowers all of the raw emotion and anger felt by Grendel’s mother. She serves the purpose of showing the purest form of revenge, and how its blindness can lead to one’s demise.
The battle between Beowulf and Grendel's mother has its similarities and differences as well. Throughout the movie, clues are given about Grendel’s mother when encountering mysterious hands breaching the water while
He is now complex, with character beyond his single appearance in Beowulf. It is still inarguable that Grendel is bad, but now the audience sees that he is not necessarily pure evil. They instead see his remorse, motivations, and emotions. No longer is he a fearless beast, but he experiences real emotions. When faced with the dragon, he is unable to move or speak. The dragon retorts to him, “‘now you know how [your victims] feel when they see you, eh? Scared enough to pee their pants!” (59). While the dragon takes joy from the ordeal, Grendel reflects on the fear he feels and causes. Grendel also feels for his mother. Despite her breakdown into her animalistic tendencies, he still loves her, and calls for her in times of need. After the fight with Beowulf he calls out, “Mama, Mama! I’m dying!” in an attempt for her to save him. He relies on her more than he knows, and she occupies one of his last dying thoughts (173). Grendel’s love also reaches out past his mother. In a confused manifestation of love and anger Grendel sees Wealtheow, and he “...was afraid… [Grendel] wanted to smash things, bring down the night with [his] howl of rage… She was beautiful, as innocent as dawn on winter hills. She tore [Grendel] apart…” (100). Grendel’s confusion and anger is surprisingly human. While not as extreme, many people feel anguished when faced with unrequited love and
In what other book is the monster, the character with more nobility? Both monsters, Grendel and Beowulf, are brave in what they do but being brave is not all it takes to be noble. Grendel is more noble than Beowulf because of the truth he portrays through what he believes in, the perseverance he has when put into a dangerous situation or position, and the fidelity he shows toward his mother.
Grendel, the offspring of Cain the outcast, is a demon. He is a scaly creature that lives in a swampy area. He is a reptilian human, with spikes on him. He is a human-like figure, in which the way he stands. He stands on two feet, and has arms. In the book Beowulf removes Grendel’s arm and shoulder, defeating him. This must mean he has a shoulder blade and can walk like a human. He also has razor-sharp talons as it says in the book “Venturing closer, his talon was raised to attack Beowulf where he lay on the bed” (Heaney 51). One night when he is prowling around, he hears the King and his kinsmen singing out to the Lord. He hears the songs of how great God is, and is outraged. As the outcast of God, Grendel despised of God. The songs and happiness, pushes him over the edge. He plans the downfall of the hall, in spite of their songs. He will attack at night, as everyone sleeps, and butcher them dead. He sneaks in at night, watching over the guards, ready to pounce. He rips apart the men eating them alive. “Suddenly then the God-cursed brute was creating havoc: greedy and grim, he grabbed thirty men from their resting place and rushed them to his lair” (Heaney 11). This shows just how When the king awoke the next morning he grieved for his men, but little did he know Grendel would attack every night for 12 winters. Once again Grendel sets of for a night of ravishing, but the king has a plan. He has set out more guards to keep watch over the kingdom, as he sleeps. When Grendel
Beowulf sets his sights towards Grendel 's mother shortly after the second attack on Heorot. Grendel 's mother is similarly linked to Cain just as her son was. According to the selection, it is said that after Cain was cast away by God, his mark of murder followed him. Everywhere Cain walked, monsters and shadows arose from the ground in which Grendel 's mother is a result of. It is interesting to note that the story of Beowulf effortlessly contorted the Christian story of Cain by adding Pagan influences such as monsters. Nonetheless, like previous battles, the fight against Grendel 's mother was a result of vengeance. Grendel 's mother lived miserably in dark, monster infested waters, but caused no harm until the death of her son whom she was obligated to avenge.
However, their sleep did not last long. During the night, Grendel’s mother came to avenge her son’s death. She enters the hall and grabs Aeschere and her son’s arm. Beowulf goes to follow her and swims for an entire day in her pool before he sees the bottom of the mere. When Beowulf descends into Grendel’s mere, he loses ground as the fight progresses. It is then assumed that Beowulf is fighting desperately for his life. Then, the water closed over him. It was “the space of a day,” before he could see the bottom of the mere (Burlin 121). The hero’s physical powers grow far beyond human dimensions. Beowulf is about to attempt to use a weapon although they were useless against her; “then he saw, hanging on the wall, a heavy sword...but so massive that no ordinary man could life its carved and decorated length” (72). Once he is in Grendel’s mother’s mere, Beowulf remains underwater for more than a day (Burlin 120). Finally, Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother, and her blood melts his sword (Bloom 16).
This equation, compounded with the great monster 's desire to avenge her son 's death, made for an interestingly even fight. Adding to the advantages of Grendel 's mother was the fact that she too was invulnerable to any sword of human creation. The immunity of Grendel 's mother again depicts the failure of Beowulf 's weapons. The sword that was used to defeat the monster, however, was forged by the giants. Following his return, Beowulf is again rewarded handsomely by the leader of the Danes in gratitude for his courageous dealings with the demon.
Grendel’s mother: Griselda, I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you. You are having a tough time because of your husband! How dare he makes you naked in front of everyone and ride horse as a test? Although it is a test to make sure you are a righteous woman, but it is a shame to treat you like that. I know Hrothgar 's queen is the one every man thinks of righteous and beautiful, I do not think she has any autonomy! Hildeburh, daughter of the Danish king Hoc also did not do anything but mourn when she her son and brother were “killed in the first battle with [her husband]” (1259). I understand that they had to be submissive and be quiet for if they refuse to offer themselves as a pleasing gift of men, they will be treated like Great Queen Modthryth who punished a man if he ever look her in the face (1279). Still, it is not a tolerable behavior of him to see you low because of your class. Why were you so silent? I heard that he killed your children, and still you were silent? I revenged since I could not stand Beowulf, and that made me feel better even though I failed.
In the poem Beowulf, the most evident theme is the importance of the Germanic heroic code. The heroic code was what made Beowulf so famous and god-like during his renowned life. The code is displayed in the opening lines of the poem and continued to show up throughout the duration of the poem. Heroism is often painted with a protagonist, which causes some acts of heroism to be overlooked when an antagonist follows the heroic code. Throughout the poem, there are many acts of heroism displayed, but many people overlook the way that Grendel’s mother followed the Germanic heroic code. Grendel’s mother follows the Germanic heroic code by showing courage, strength, and honor as Beowulf does throughout the poem, something that is frowned upon in the Anglo-Saxon culture.
Before Beowulf goes into the sea, Unferth offers him his sword, Hrunting. During the ensuing battle Grendel's mother carries Beowulf to her underwater home. After a terrible fight, Beowulf kills the monster with a magical sword, probably put there by the Al-Weilder, that he finds on the wall of her home. He also finds Grendel's dead body, cuts off the head, and returns to
Contrasting points of view in Grendel and Beowulf significantly alter the reader&#8217;s perception of religion, good and evil, and the character Grendel. John Gardner&#8217;s book, Grendel, is written in first person. The book translated by Burton Raffel, Beowulf, is written in third person.