Beowulf Essay

756 Words Jun 1st, 2011 4 Pages
Beowulf Essay
There are many metaphors for Beowulf’s sword, weapon, his hilt battle flame, the edge, his rare treasure, spiral patterned, precious in it class, shift and skel-edged all are references to his sword.

Personification: Beowulf’s circled sword screamed on her head a strident battle song.”(Lines 1521-1522)

This passage (lines 1513-1556) describes the battle between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother, “…this water-hag” (line1518). This monster’s femininity is very evident and her love for her son who had been conquered by Beowulf is understood. ‘She was down on this guest of hers and had drawn her knife, broad burnished of edge: for her boy was to be avenged, her only son.” (Lines 1545-1547)

Although obviously a monster,
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The description is violent, the action is intense but in context with two enemies intent on the destruction of the other. The passage enables the reader to discern the characters’ wualities and to see that neither is prepared to yield in any way to the other. However, the reader knows that Beowulf is “a man”(line 1534) found in mortals. Interesting neither Beowulf nor Grendel’s mother are referred to by their names in this extract. They are both reduced to beings fighting for their lives.
It struck me that Grendel’s mother is a violent character with a bloodlust for the man who kileled her son. However, the way in which she is portrayed presents her as a bereft mother still grieving for her son. I cannot sympathise with her murderous urges but I can fell for her loss. Does this make me support violence perpetuated by mothers who seek retribution against those who kill their children. No. Our world has changed and we live in a society where violence is condoned. However, Grendel’s mother’s emotions are recognisably human even if she isn’t.

It is interesting to read the final four lines of the passage because Beowulf does have help from”...the

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