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In Beowulf, describe the setting where the fight of Beowulf and Grendel's mother takes...

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ShayMyName | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted March 23, 2013 at 8:36 PM via iOS

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In Beowulf, describe the setting where the fight of Beowulf and Grendel's mother takes place.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 24, 2013 at 12:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Little is actually written in terms of a full description of the location of this momentous battle. It happens in the depths of the lake that Beowulf dives into and then in the vault that Grendel's mother takes him to. It is clear that both the depths of the lake and the vault are described as very dangerous places that threaten Beowulf's life. Grendel's mother is not the only beast, and as she clutches Beowulf and takes him with her to her underground lair, other creatures try and attack Beowulf:

...a bewildering horde

came at him from the depths, droves of sea-beasts

who attacked with tusks and tore at his chain-mail

in a ghastly onslaught.

The few descriptions that the reader is given of the location of this battle are variously a "hellish turn-hole" and a "vault." It is only after Beowulf has slain Grendel's mother that "The place brightened" and he is able to find his way to Grendel's corpse to behead it, but still little description is given of Grendel's mother's vault. Throughout the main focus is on the titanic clash between Beowulf and Grendel's mother and the allegorical nature of this battle as good meets evil and good finally vanquishes evil.

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