With what weapon does Beowulf plan to fight Grendel and why?
3 Answers | Add Yours
The line numbers vary depending on what translation of Beowulf you are studying, so I can't refer you to specific lines. Beowulf will use no weapon to fight Grendel because he says he is as brave and fearless as Grendel. He also indicates that it wouldn't be a fair fight since Grendel uses no weapon besides his strength.
Beowulf plans to use the strength of his body to do battle with Grendel. It is a matter of honor . Grendel does not use any, so he is going to refrain from it, as well. Beowulf possesses an honor code of heroes, and to use a weapon would indicate a weakness on his part.
Another possible reason Beowulf doesn't use a weapon is to add to his legendary reputation. Remember, for the people of Beowulf's time, they had to written language. Their only way to achieve immortality was to act so bravely that the bars would recite poems about their heroic deeds long after they are dead. This too could be one reason Beowulf is willing to fight Grendel without a weapon, knowing if he wins, his reputation as the bravest of warriors will be cemented.
Join to answer this question
Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.Join eNotes