As seen in the following passage, Beowulf's glorious sword, lent to him by Hrothgar's spokesman Unferth, is unable to harm this strange monster: "He gave a great thrust to his sword--his hand did not withhold the stroke--so that the etched blade sang at her head a fierce war-song. Then the stranger found that the battle-lightning would not bite, harm her life, but the edge failed the prince in his need..." Because of the sword's failure, Beowulf has to use his hand strength just as he did earlier with Grendel. This battle is one of avenging previous wrongs. Grendel's mother wishes to avenge her son's death, while Beowulf fights to restore order and peace to the warriors of Hearot. He is able to clutch her hair and cast her to the ground only to be greeted by her and her knife. When he spies the old sword made by the giants, he knows victory was his. The large size of the sword does not inhibit his victory. With one elegant swing, he is able to remove Grendel's mother's head.
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