Beowulf's Battle with Grendel's Mother
By natez, Updated
Beowulf, the hero of the epic poem Beowulf, is presented in the stage of the Road of Trials. In this stage he must overcome certain tasks, trials, and challenges. During this phase, he will receive indirect help from a spiritual/supernatural being, often through some amulet or object that grants great power. Also, as he overcomes challenges, Beowulf will become stronger and more prepared to face the source or greatest evil. Finally, as Beowulf completes this part of the Hero's Journey, he will gain glimpses of what the peaceful world he will achieve after he completes his journey.
"With Hrunting I shall gain glory or die" (1491).
"A hurt to...every one of that noble company when they came upon/ Aeschere's head" (1419-1420). Beowulf descends into the lake to fight the Hell-dam along with the legendary sword Hrunting.
"So she lunged and clutched and managed to catch him in her brutal grip...the mesh of chain-mail/saved him on the outside" (1501-1504). Beowulf is captured by Grendel's mother.
The sword Hrunting fails Beowulf and "the shining blade/ refused to bite" (1522-1523).
"Then he saw a blade that boded well/ a sword in her armoury, an ancient heirloom" (1557-1558).
"It was easy for the Lord...to redress the balance" (1554-1555). God intervenes apparently by showing Beowulf a powerful sword.
"[He] swung... a resolute blow... toppling the doomed house of her flesh"(1564-1568). Beowulf achieves victory over Grendel's mother.
Beowulf returns and remarks to the king Hrothgar...
"It was hard-fought, a desperate affair / that could have gone badly...But the Lord of Men allowed me to behold...an ancient sword" (1656-1663).
Beowulf then assures Hrothgar his kingdom is safe from the demons...and in the process gets a preview of what his own peaceful world will be after he has completed his journey.
"And this I pledge...you can sleep secure with your company of troops / in Heorot Hall. Never need you fear / for a single thane" (1671-1674).
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