- Hubris - overwhelming pride.
- Relationships among kinsmen were the most defining characteristic of Anglo-Saxon tribes. The death of a kinsman had to be
avenged. To kill a kinsman was the greatest crime in the Anglo-Saxon society. Cain, a brother-slayer in the Christian
Bible, symbolized the worst kind of person.
- Bravery and boasting was encouraged and rewarded. Unferth, who supposedly was the bravest among Danish people, refuses to fight with Grendel's mother. This is a shameful act, and the author describes him as a coward and a brother-slayer, even though we don't know if he actually killed anyone of his own kin.