Grendel Vs. Grendel 's The Death Of A Loved One Essay example

Grendel Vs. Grendel 's The Death Of A Loved One Essay example

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Despite her evil actions, it is evident that there is less malice in her than Grendel and she is less of a symbol of pure evil than he is. For example, her attack on Heorot is somewhat appropriate and could be considered honorable by the standards of warrior culture, as it marks an attempt to avenge one’s son’s death. In fact, the motive for her attack is similar to Beowulf’s motive for his attack on her: avenging the death of a loved one. One of the most interesting aspects of Grendel’s mother’s attachment to this vengeance-demanding code that the warriors follow is that she is depicted as not entirely alien or monstrous. Her behavior is not only comprehensible but also justified. In other ways, however, Grendel and his mother are indeed portrayed as creatures from another world. One aspect of their difference from the humans portrayed in the poem is that Grendel’s strong parental figure is his mother rather than his father. As Hrothgar explains it: “They are fatherless creatures, / and their whole ancestry is hidden […]” (ll. 1355–1356). The idea of an hidden ancestry is obviously suspect and sinister in this society, which places importance, or better yet—sacredness, on publicizing and committing to one’s lineage.
Due to her evil and creature like nature, it is not surprising that the way that Grendel’s mother impacts the plot development of Beowulf is through her attack on the hall. Grendel’s attack is hard enough as it is, but his mother decides to take away their trophy and kills men of great value within the society: “She had snatched their trophy, / Grendel’s bloodied arm […]” (ll. 1302-1303). This quote shows that not only did Grendel’s mother terrorize the Danes physically by killing so many people; she has also affect...


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...ure. When Grendel’s mother attacks the people of Heorot, she is also destroying the pride they had been building through the defeat of Grendel. Yet the character that her attack seems to impact the most is the prime hero himself, Beowulf. Grendel’s mother has robbed him of his newfound pride. We are introduced to Grendel’s mother as someone who not only poses a threat to the people of Heorot, but also Beowulf’s heroism. This beast that Beowulf has to confront is unlike any that he has ever conquered before. She poses such a challenge to him that he eventually drops his ‘fighting fair with no armory’ and uses a sword in order to kill her. This brief loss of heroism within Beowulf takes place as he decides to relieve the Danes of Grendel’s mother. As he leaves on his quest, Beowulf is confident that he will come back successful, having easily defeated Grendel’s mother:

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