When facing Grendel, Beowulf relies on God alone to protect him, saying, " may wise God, Holy Lord, assign glory on whichever hand seems good to Him" (36). When Beowulf tears off Grendel's arm, Hrothgar remarks, "I endured much from the foe, many griefs from Grendel" (39). It could be said that the Christian foe is sin, which causes much grief.
Against Grendel's mother, original sin, Beowulf becomes the Christian soldier. When Beowulf struggles against Grendel's mother, God grants him a precious gift:
"The Wielder of Men granted me that I should see hanging on the wall a fair, ancient, great-sword most often He has guided the man without friends that I should wield the weapon" (Norton, 48).
This great sword is further described as "a victory-blessed blade, an old sword made by the giants the work of giants" (Norton, 47). The sword used to slay Grendel's mother is work of her ancestral giants, who were godly until they fell from grace. "From (Cain) sprang all bad breeds, trolls and elves and...