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Grendel’s Mother in Film “Beowulf” Essay

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Updated: Jul 1st, 2020

One character in the film who is considered the most captivating of them is Grendel’s mother. She is a progeny of Cain who is remembered as the first killer. She is among the most intriguing characters in the entire motion picture, and she plays a significant role in the film. She does not have a name in the story although she is quite instrumental in molding the lives of other characters including Beowulf.

She is one of the main antagonists in the plot, and she is directly involved in the lives of the main characters. She played a crucial role in almost all parts of the movie, and without her, the film would have been less compelling. This piece aims at showing that even the worst opponent or villain can play a vital role in the lives of people around him or her.

The fact that humans cannot defeat her makes them think that she is immortal. However, Beowulf aims at changing this tale when he goes to kill her in her monster-filled lair, which is situated under the sea.

She is not as strong as her son Grendel. However, she still manages to show how powerful she is and how well she can fight her adversaries. Beowulf does not find it easy when he goes to kill her. He knows that he has to use extraordinary skill and strength to be able to subdue and get to kill her. At one point in the film, she knows her strength and even attacks the mead hall Heorot.

This happens just after she discovers who has killed her son and she starts searching for revenge. She has the rage of a mother who has been pushed to the brim by the threats accorded to her children. As everyone is aware, a mother can go to exceptional lengths to protect her children. Grendel’s mother is not different from other women, and she exposes this by her revengeful attack on the camp.

Grendel’s mother is one of the most devious characters. She uses her womanly charms to lure Beowulf when he goes to her lair to kill her. This is depicted when she seduces Beowulf while being disguised as a beautiful woman. She even manages to seduce him and appeal to the emotions of the great Beowulf.

Beowulf even goes to the extent of lying that he has managed to kill her, which is not true . With her seductive feminine form, she is able to convince Beowulf by offering him physical pleasures. She is quite astute, and she has used this method before with king Hrothgar.

He also fell for her manipulative tricks, and they ended up with a son named Grendel. Even the ardent king Hrothgar is aware of her powers and prowess. She has extra senses that she uses to find out when an intruder is approaching, and she senses when Beowulf gets the intention to kill her. These senses are more like super powers, which she uses to her advantage.

Grendel’s mother is not a weak character. She is obsessive with the idea to defeat Beowulf. He manages to get a sword that is near, and then uses it to slay the dragon that has been released by Grendel’s mother. He cuts the dragon up with the sword. It is fair to conclude that Grendel’s mother is a more sinister figure than the characters of traditional roles that are reserved for women in most of the depictions. Her role places her as one of the most fearsome, yet charming characters in the film. She even has feelings deep inside her heart.

This is shown when she kisses Beowulf during his burial at the sea. Grendel’s mother does not stop there. She continues to seduce the newest king Wiglaf who is Beowulf’s partner. Although the story ends before the audience gets to see whether Wiglaf falls for Grendel’s mother’s conniving mind when she seduces him by inviting him to go and seek pleasures with her, it is assumed that he succumbs to her whims. She has a knack for getting her way with all of the kings who have ruled the country.

In spite of the fact that Grendel’s mother is aware that she cannot always have her way, she knows how to appeal to the sexual side of the rulers of the land. There are some arguments that state that Grendel’s mother is not an evil character. They state that she has a subsidiary role in the film. However, it may be stated that Grendel’s mother is one of the most intriguing characters in the film, and her character is quite remarkable since she is the mother to all of the creatures that terrorize people in the region.

The fact that all of the kings are the fathers to the creatures that she has given birth to shows that they also have a demonic side within their hearts, which could have been overrun by their good nature but is exposed in their offspring. The ending is quite ambiguous because it leaves people wondering what will happen between her and Wiglaf.

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1. IvyPanda. "Grendel’s Mother in Film "Beowulf"." July 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/beowulf/.


IvyPanda. "Grendel’s Mother in Film "Beowulf"." July 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/beowulf/.


IvyPanda. 2020. "Grendel’s Mother in Film "Beowulf"." July 1, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/beowulf/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Grendel’s Mother in Film "Beowulf"'. 1 July.

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