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What obstacle does Beowulf face in his confrontation with Grendel's mother? How does...

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guetta17 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 17, 2008 at 5:12 AM via web

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What obstacle does Beowulf face in his confrontation with Grendel's mother? How does he overcome the obstacle? 

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted March 17, 2008 at 5:39 AM (Answer #1)

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Grendel's mother has already done away with several worthy warriors. She is especially enraged by the death of her beloved son, making her all the more dangerous.

As for Beowulf, he has to not only overcome her physically, but he must also resist temptation by not becoming too enamoured with the bountiful treasures the monster has hidden in her watery cave. Beowulf “carried no spoils from those quarters / except for the head and the inlaid hilt / embossed with jewels; / its bladehad melted / and the scrollwork on it burt, so scalding was the blood / of the poisinous fiend who had perished there” (1612-1617).

There are complete, and free, lessons on the entire epic of Beowulf available at eNotes. For the lesson on Grendel's mother, and a history of all the lessons and discussion questions, click the links below.

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