Constructing the monstrous body in Beowulf

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The monstrosity of Grendel and his mother have long held the interest of Beowulf-scholars. Examining the bodily attributes of both figures in order to detect inter-textual patterns of diction, this article focuses on depictions of the monsters' skin, hands and blood. In analysing these attributes, it becomes clear that the Beowulf-poet's chosen descriptors align the monstrous body with manmade objects in general and with weapons and armour in particular. This blurring of body and human artifact creates an environment for monstrous existence that is between and outside of both human culture and nature.

Bibliographic note

license: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-181
Number of pages27
JournalAnglo-Saxon England
Early online date26 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014