Beowulf's Battles

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Beowulf’s Battles

Beowulf, like Anglo-Saxon culture generally, strikes us readers as a peculiar blend of traditions, resulting in a Christianity that is dark, realistic, anxious, violent-in short, and oddly modern. Moreover, it results in a heroism that Beowulf portrays throughout the story. Beowulf’s victories allow for the continued existence of the Danes, while also allowing him to correspond with his unending subsistence through heroic performances. Throughout the poem, Beowulf clashes with three different monsters.

The first battle comes with a summoning for Beowulf because a beast named Grendel has recently attacked Heorot, and King Hroogar has no other alternative but to apply for his assistance. Beowulf arrives in Heorot with no weapon because he feels as if he would have an advantage over Grendel. The men fall asleep while waiting for the beast to return, and the devilish monster engulfs one of Beowulf’s men. “...He grabbed and mauled a man on his bench, bit into his bone-lappings, bolted down his blood and gorged on him in lumps, leaving the body utterly lifeless…”(740-43). Beowulf then awakes from his sleep, and grabs Grendel by the hand. Their battle becomes so hostile, it seems as if the hall might cave in. Beowulf uses his immortal strength to eventually rip Grendel’s arm from his torso. Subsequently, Grendel scampers back to his lair in the wetlands where he would eventually breathe his last breath… “ Grendel was driven under the fen-banks, fatally hurt, to his desolate lair. His days were numbered, the end of his life was coming over him…”(818-21).

The second battle in this Anglo-Saxon Heroic Epic comes when Beowulf tries his fate with the furious mother of Grendel. The fight begins with Grendel’s angry mother attacking at hall of Heorot. Beowulf and his men go to the lake where he prepares to battle Grendel’s mother in her underwater lair. During this fight, Beowulf decides to use a sword as a weapon. The sword has been given to him from...
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