One important focus of these articles and books concerns the numerous, and at times opposing, translations of especially the Old English compound "ides aglæcwif" (1259a). (1979).  She argues that "aglæca/æglæca" is used in works besides Beowulf to reference both "devils and human beings". "Beowulf 1259a: The Inherent Nobility of Grendel's Mother". 450-1100)-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 6 November 2020, at 19:43. Benevolent Authoritarianism in Klaeber's Beowulf: An Editorial Translation of Kingship. Freyja, the daughter of the sea god Njörðr, was both a fertility goddess and a goddess of war, battle, death, seiðr, prophecy and was also sometimes associated with the valkyries and disir. Once on dry land, however, Beowulf is able to mount a counter-attack. Many of the celebrants spend that night in Heorot while Beowulf sleeps elsewhere. We must not follow Klaeber's distinction of 'wretch, monster, demon, fiend' for Beowulf's enemies, and 'warrior, hero' for Beowulf himself; and we must not abuse Grendel's mother when she is called aglæcwif by translating the word as Klaeber does, 'wretch', or 'monster, of a woman'. A few scholars have drawn from the work of Eric Stanley by exploring the term ides as "lady" when discussing Grendel's mother, such as Temple ("Grendel's Lady-Mother", 1986) and Taylor (who argues in his 1994 essay that the term Ides indicates that "Grendel's mother is a woman of inherently noble status. Other writers will have to enhance her tale. As Chadwick has argued, Grendel's Mother, that wælgæst wæfre 'roaming slaughter-spirit' epitomizes the earlier concept of the valkyrie.. While there is consensus over the word "modor" (mother), the phrase "ides, aglæcwif" is the subject of scholarly debate. "Aglac-Wif to Aglaeca". , Jane Chance argues in "The Structural Unity of Beowulf: The Problem of Grendel's Mother" that there are two standard interpretations of the poem: one view which suggests a two-part structure (i.e., the poem is divided between Beowulf's battles with Grendel and with the dragon) and the other, a three-part structure (this interpretation argues that Beowulf's battle with Grendel's mother is structurally separate from his battle with Grendel). "Old English Aglæca-Middle Irish Olach". " Battaglia thus suggests that Grendel's mother is the Early Germanic goddess Gefion (whom he states was also a form of Nerthus and Freyja). Instead of cowering in grief, the mother seeks revenge.  Gillam suggests: "Beowulf, the champion of men against monsters, is almost inhuman himself. She generally lacks humanity, but she does seek revenge for her son's death, which can be viewed as a distinctly human quality. She is introduced in lines 1258b to 1259a as: "Grendles modor/ides, aglæcwif". Christine Alfano also questioned standard translations related to Grendel's mother. If the poet and his audience felt the word to have two meanings, 'monster', and 'hero', the ambiguity would be troublesome; but if by áglæca they understood a 'fighter', the ambiguity would be of little consequence, for battle was destined for both Beowulf and Grendel and both were fierce fighters. Grendel's mother acts as a relative should, seeking revenge. Her motive is as human as it is monstrous as she seeks revenge for her defeated son and reclaims his arm, which from her point of view must seem a barbaric trophy. Both groups are closely allied in aspect and function: they are armed, powerful, priestly [...] The Beowulf poet follows the tradition of depicting the valkyrie-figure as a deadly battle demon in his characterization of Grendel's Mother. Though Grendel is dead, Grendel's mother still lives, and wants revenge for the death of her son. Damico later argues in Beowulf's Wealhtheow and the Valkyrie Tradition that Wealtheow and Grendel's mother represent different aspects of the valkyries. Cameron, Angus, et al. This lack of consensus has led to the production of some seminal texts by scholars over the past few decades. She enters the poem as an “avenger” (l.1258), seeking redress for the death of her son at Beowulf’s hands. Gillam, Doreen M. "The Use of the Term 'Aeglaeca' in Beowulf at Lines 893 and 2592". ") In addition, others have suggested that Grendel's mother may be associated with the Norse figures of the valkyries and of the goddess Gefion who may be an extension of Frigg and Freyja. Temple, Mary Kay. Although the Danes have heard that the swamp may harbor two ogres, they seem to believe that the problem is solved when Beowulf defeats Grendel. Although his sword, Hrunting, loaned to him by Unferth, fails to penetrate the mother's hide, Beowulf discovers a giant magic sword in the cave and is able to kill the mother with it. This brief and vague description is found in lines 1345 to 1353. For some scholars, this descent links her and Grendel to the monsters and giants of the Cain tradition, while others such as Kevin Kiernan in Grendel's Heroic Mother argue that there is "plenty of evidence for defending Grendel's mother as a heroic figure" as she "accepted and adhered to the heroic ethic of the blood-feud, the main difference between Grendel's feckless feud with the noise at Heorot and his mother's purposeful one exacting retribution for the death of her son. Summary. She spends most of her time in her underground lair and generally experiences the world in a purely physical way. [Aglæca/æglæca] epitomises, in one word, the altogether exceptional nature of the dragon fight.  According to Klaeber's glossary, "aglæc-wif" translates as: "wretch, or monster of a woman".
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