The Curious Case Of Grendel's Mother

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The Curious Case of Grendel’s Mother To the Anglo-Saxons, the most important figure was the ring-giver, followed by his warriors. Fighting was a great honor and the ability to fight well was highly prized. Yet, women could not fight nor were they expected to, and because women were restricted from the most universal form of honor, they were relegated to lesser roles in society. Women lived away from the battlefield, obtaining roles such as, but not limited to, peace-weavers, mistresses, and mothers. Beowulf is commonly used by scholars in the assessment of the archetypal role of women. Within the poem, characters such as Hildeburh, who plays the role of a peace-weaver who married the enemy in hopes of diffusing the discord between two families, and Wealtheow, Heorot’s mistress who presided over the hall table with Heorot during meals, closely embodying the expected female configuration.…show more content…
One argument is of what she is in the first place. Is she beast, woman, or both? If she is analyzed on the ground of being a woman, she seemingly breaks the concrete boundary between man and woman, warrior and servant. Scholar Hennequin describes Grendel’s mother as a “noble and brave opponent…sympathetic character” (504). Through the assessment of Grendel’s mother on the grounds of a woman rather than an animalistic creature, Grendel’s mother is different than the other women presented in the poem, and seemingly possesses a form of honor strictly stowed under the realm of the masculine

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