Kennings and Other Elements
(Definitions, Identifications, and Explanations of Terms in the Passage)
- She is a woman with character. She is a beast with claws who fights
pretty well. She is vicious and ill-tempered. All she wants is to avenge
the death of her son killed by Beowulf. Sometimes she is called a Troll-wife.
She dwells at the bottom of a mere in a cave.
- He is strong; he is able to lift that which only four men can lift together -
Grendel's head). Besides the head, he is able to lift the sword made by and for
giants and fight with it. He is resolute, does not lose his coolness even though
he is weaponless. He is pious, assigns all his victories to God's help.
He is son of Ecgtheow, nephew of Hygelac, and later king of the Geats.
PAGAN AND CHRISTIAN ELEMENTS AND IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS
"to earn him lasting fame" -
refers to pagan idea of fame when the warrior fights a foe, who is very
powerful, alone because this way his fame will be greater, despite advises
of others to fight the foe in larger numbers.
"the bairn to avenged" -
vendetta is against Christian teaching.
"the tossing waters turbid grew, blood-stained the mere" -
a pagan omen.
"safe saw in combat downfall of demons" -
"vengeance (revenge) is mine" says the Lord.
Christian belief: Don't avenge - revenge is up to God.
Here we see that purpose of life is to avenge.
"holy God" - reference to monotheism indicative of Christianity.
"wisest Maker, The Lord of Heaven" - reference to monotheism indicative of
"wielding all seasons and times: the true God he!" - single God,
superior God who is above all.