Beowulf Attacks Grendel's Mother


Abel - Killed by his brother Cain.

battle-lightning - sword.

Beowulf - A Geat, and the hero of the poem; son of Ecgtheow; nephew of Hygelac; later king of the Geats.

Cain - Killed his brother Abel.

Danes - Beowulf makes his journey to Denmark to help them destroy Grendel and his mother. The Danes were first ruled by Scyld Scefing and later by Hrothgar.

earl - warrior, nobleman.

Ecgtheow - Beowulf's father; married to King Hrethel's only daughter; slays a man and escapes to Denmark. Hrothgar pays the wergild.

fetter - a chain or shackle for the feet

Geats - a member of a Scandinavian people of southern Sweden to which the legendary hero Beowulf belonged

Grendel's mother - Grendel's hag-like mother; sometimes called a Trollwife. She dwells at the bottom of a mere (a large swampy pond) in a cave.

Grendel - Known as the "monster who terrorized Hrothgar's mead hall; Killed by Beowulf.

hale - retaining exceptional health and vigor.

heirloom - something of special value handed on from one generation to another

Hrothgar - Danish King; builder of Heorot

Heorot - mead hall built by Hrothgar and ravaged by Grendel.

hilt - a special handle of a sword.

Hygelac - Geat's king and Beowulf's uncle.

mere - an expanse of standing water

Scyld Scefing - arrived mysteriously as a child in a drifting boat and began a new dynasty, many years after the death of Heremod.

thane - a free retainer of an Anglo-Saxon lord; especially : one resembling a feudal baron by holding lands of and performing military service for the king

wield - to deal successfully with.