Beowulf By Seamus Heaney: Battle Analysis

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Through both History and ancient literature, first told from firepit to firepit, to be written down by monks, stories of battles and wars have lasted forever. In Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, there are three battles that define the story. A first battle, which Beowulf brags about his incredible strength, boasting to both the King and Queen by fighting without both weapons and armor. A second battle, against an angry mother who wants to avenge her son’s death. In this battle, Beowulf uses both his armor and a sword, this armor , which is linked chain mail, protects Beowulf from every sea monster in this cryptic lagoon he must enter. Fighting the dragon was Beowulf's last battle, as he reaches almost seventy years old, he challenged the dragon to…show more content…
Then, she attacked, “She had pounced and taken one of the retainers in a tight hold, then headed for the fen. To Hrothgar, this man was the most beloved of the friends he trusted.” (1294) When Grendel’s mother attacked, she took only one man however, this man was Hrothgar’s best friend, a man that loved more than any of his other companions. This attack also caused, “uproar in Heorot. She had snatched her their trophy, Grendel’s bloodied hand.” (1302) Not only did Grendel’s mother kill and take Hrothgar’s companion but he also took the arm that Beowulf had severed from Grendel’s body and kept as a trophy. Directly after this attack, the Danes and Geats began to realize that, “The bargain was hard, both parties having to pay with the lives of friends.” (1305) Even though Grendel’s mother had taken and killed one of the Danes, there was reason behind her actions, Beowulf had killed her son. In preparing for the battle with Grendel’s mother to retaliate for the death of one of Hrothgar’s men, Beowulf decides that this battle will be considerably more difficult than the battle against Grendel. In order for Beowulf to slay Grendel’s mother, he determines that he will need much more than just his bare hands. He puts on his armor and then him and his men are off onto their quest. As they journey through the woods, they come to the foot of a cliff and they see Aeschere's head on the cliff, this is both a good and a bad sign. This is a bad sign because they now know for certain that Aeschere is dead. This is a positive sign though because they can now assume that they are very close to Grendel’s mother’s lair. Before long, the small army reaches the lair, and Unferth hands Beowulf an ancient blade named Hrunting that has never lost a battle. Then, Beowulf dives into the lake, as he enters, he is immediately swarmed by sea

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