Presentation on theme: "Grendel’s mother Who is Grendel’s mother? She has no name A monstrous hell-bride, spawn of Cain ‘branded an outlaw, banished’ in the fen ‘accursed, moved."— Presentation transcript:
Who is Grendel’s mother? She has no name A monstrous hell-bride, spawn of Cain ‘branded an outlaw, banished’ in the fen ‘accursed, moved into the wilds’ Grendel’s mother is ‘grief-racked and desperate for revenge’ She comes to Heorot Hall
Who is Grendel’s mother? She has no name A monstrous hell-bride, spawn of Cain ‘branded an outlaw, banished’ in the fen ‘accursed, moved into the wilds’ Grendel’s mother is ‘grief-racked and desperate for revenge’ She comes to Heorot Hall ravening
What does she take as her prize? She takes King Hrothgar’s most beloved retainer Her attack is described ‘as an Amazon warrior’s strength’ She takes Grendel’s bloodied hand – their trophy
Old Norse etymology ‘grindill’ – storm ‘grenja’ – to bellow ‘grinder’ - destroyer Grendel’s mother is identified by her position/ role as mother – no name.
Good Females vs Bad Females? The night before Grendel’s mother’s attack, the inset poem – Hildeburh – the model woman. Hildeburh is virtuous- she laments she cries, sorrowful = is passive. Queen – takes rhetorical role, political, entreats Beo to take care of her two sons. Gendel’s mother is raging, violent, active. Her sorrow = violence.
Beowulf as he readies himself for battle 1. Dons his fine-webbed mail tunic 2.His helmet 3.Takes Hrunting – Unferth’s sword
The Fight with Grendel’s mother Beo swims to the bottom for ‘the best part of a day’. She drags Beo to her watery court. The sword Hrunting fails him. Sees a sword from her armory, an ancient heirloom from days of giants,
Where was Beowulf? Was given lodging elsewhere, conveniently missed the attack
What is King Hrothgar’s reaction to the attack? Sorrow for Aeschere, who is taken Hrothgar describes Aeschere as a ‘ring-giver’
Where was Grendel’s mother before this? The country people mention seeing a female marauder, ‘warped’, prowling the moors. Fatherless creatures, who dwell among wolves on the hills.
Second phase of Beowulf’s development - maturity Hrothgar’s grief overtakes him, asks Beowulf to hunt Grendel’s mother Blood Feud - Beo reminds Hrothgar of the Heroic code, to avenge than to indulge in mourning “Bear up and be the man I expect you to be.”
Grendel’s mother’s watery lair Infested with sea monsters Bloodied and ‘hot gore’ Womb like
What does Beowulf wear to battle The monsters exemplify in their behaviors what the Germanic cultures feared and abhorred most – disloyalty, outlawry, cowardice, malice, and greed
3 ways to read Beowulf epic Aristocratic poem concerned with kings/kingship Archaeological relic – Old English Social life (mead Hall, female male gender roles), Old English Politics (ring giver, sword giver) Primacy – has literary merit Fame – the hero’s persistent goal of gaining fame
Christianity and the Warrior code of battle The poem is full of Christian sentiment. The Christianity is superimposed on a pagan code of battle – heroism- kingship- the warrior code