Summary of Beowulf Attacks Grendel's Mother

      The epic story of Beowulf is about a young hero who fights in battles against the monster Grendel and his mother and later concerns Beowulf's final fight with a dragon. Beowulf is the prince of the Geats. He is also the son of Ecgtheow, who travels to Heorot where the great mead hall of Hrothgar king of the Danes, is located. Hrothgar, is the great grandson of Scyld Scefing.

      In this passage Beowulf goes underwater and fights with Grendel's mother in a cave. During his descent to her lair, Beowulf is attacked by Grendel's mother and dragged to her cave. He tries to hit her with his sword but he does not succeed in piercing her skin. In rage and frustration Beowulf attacks her with his bare hands. He manages to knock down Grendel's mother, however, she is swift and manages to fight back and ends up sitting on top of him. With her dagger she desperately tries to kill Beowulf, but his armor protects him from her attacks. Beowulf then spots a large sword made by giants on the wall of the cave and throws Grendel's mother off him and grabs the sword.

      The sword Beowulf finds is amazing. It has a very ornamented handle called a hilt and the blade is bigger than the average sword. Beowulf strikes Grendel's mother with the sword slicing her in two and splitting her collarbones. After the attack, a light illuminates the cave, "just as from the sky heaven's candle shines clear." (Norton 47) Beowulf notices Grendel's body and he instantaneously cuts off the monster's head to present it to Hrothgar.

The blade of Beowulf's new sword then begins to melt because the blood is too hot and poisonous for it. Beowulf notices all the great treasures in the cave but he does not take any of them. He swims to shore with Grendel's head in one hand and holding the hilt with the other. He is then received by his fellow warriors who are waiting in hope to see Beowulf again. Four warriors carry Grendel's head to Heorot where the victory will be celebrated. The head is carried around as a trophy for all to view in the great mead hall of Hrothgar.