Who did Beowulf kill with his bare hands?
The novelist John Gardner wrote a book called Grendel that explores these ideas about Grendel more fully, and tells of the events of Beowulf from Grendel’s point of view. The Beowulf quotes below are all either spoken by Grendel or refer to Grendel.
The speaker wanted Grendel’s mother to emulate the devil, the worst kind of monster. During the battle, Beowulf brought many weapons and wore a lot of armor, which he did not do in his first fight. He thought that this would aid him in his fight against the evil of Grendel’s mother but it did not.
Second, Beowulf’s willingness to grapple with a monster bare-handed is a testament to his courage and bravery. Third, Beowulf’s dedication of the battle to Hygelec, his king, demonstrates that he is loyal to his ruler.
In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, the protagonist Beowulf insists on battling Grendel with his bare hands, instead of using a weapon, because, he says, Grendel doesn’t use one. The sense of honor Beowulf displays here is one of the main themes of the poem. Beowulf sees using a weapon against a beast that uses no weapon as dishonorable.
In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem, Beowulf, the protagonist Beowulf insists on battling Grendel with his bare hands, instead of using a weapon, because, he says, Grendel doesn’t use one. Beowulf sees using a weapon against a beast that uses no weapon as dishonorable. He will fight Grendel on equal terms.
Beowulf wants to fight Grendel in order to win treasure and, more importantly, fame (which he calls a warrior’s “best bulwark” [l. Hrothgar suggests that Beowulf may have chosen to fight Grendel in order to discharge a debt to him, when he tells the story of paying a large sum of money on Beowulf’s father’s behalf.
Why does Beowulf slay Grendel? Beowulf wants to fight Grendel in order to win treasure and, more importantly, fame (which he calls a warrior’s “best bulwark” [l.
Beowulf is not going to trust fate and his bare hands to protect him any more. He goes in with a shield and a sword and other warriors to help him. This is his concession to the fact that the dragon is a more powerful enemy than Grendel or Grendel’s mother. In this, the dragon represents all that is wrong with society.
Beowulf’s men heroically hack at the demon as Beowulf fights with him, but no weapon on earth is capable of harming Grendel. Beowulf summons even greater strength and rips Grendel’s arm completely out of its socket. Fatally wounded, Grendel slinks back to his swampy home to die.
Beowulf plans to use his bare hands because Grendel has no armor so he will fight Grendel as an equal. He also uses his bare hands because then they will not have to bury him because Grendel will carry him back to his lair and eat him.
When Beowulf uses his bare hands to fight Grendel, what does this reveal about his character? – eNotes.com.