Grendel's Mother

Click to see actual home page

Grendel's Mother represents the depth of the ocean. (Fulk, 250.) Throughout the epic story of Beowulf , Grendel's mother, rather oddly, is described in human and social terms, with words like wif which is normally reserved for human women. She has the form of a woman and is weaker than a man and is more cowardly, for she flees for her life before she is discovered in Heorot. She is specifically called a wifunhyre, a "monstrous woman" (Fulk, 251.) and is also called an ides aglaecwif, a "lady monster-woman." (Fulk, 251.) Grendel's mother takes on herself the masculine role of a warrior or a lord when she literally revenges the death of her son, Grendel.

Return to Grendel's Mother's Attack