Introduction
Annotated Terms
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Grendel's Vocabulary

 

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Pagination follows
the Vintage paperback Grendel. New York, 1989.
Subentries are sorted by page number.

Created by Tom Murphy, O. Carm. 2000-2002. All rights reserved. Teachers, students, and readers at large may use for non-commercial, educational purposes only.

A
accident; see meaninglessness, mechanism
in the oak tree 18
world is pointless 28
easily dismissed 30
as apocalypse 71
in fight with Beowulf 171-74
actual entity 132
anarchistic 22
anarchy 120; see Red Horse
animals; see individual animal name, zodiac signs
wild 11
as art 31
domestic 31
enemies of old 173-74
anger's child 111
ants 14, 39, 71
apples, raining; see Unferth
arrow 125; see zodiac signs
art 42, 43, 47, 49; see illusion, lies, truth
"Ashes to ashes" 73, 108
Athelgard 7
atoms 68

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B
balance; see zodiac signs
is everything 91, 92, 110
is anything 109
rhythm is re-established 135
bats 36, 62
bears 8, 86
Hygmod's 97,105, 106, 107, 109  
Beowulf
Dragon's allusion to 70
old woman's allusion to 142
described 153-54, 155
his speech to coastguard 154
his reply to Unferth 161-62
his murderous tongue 163
fights Grendel 168-72
his wings 169, 172
echoes Dragon's words 170
lets out fire 171
Beowulf, passages from
of Scyld Shefing 41-42
Young Hengest 148
of Breca 160, 161-62
Nowhere on middle-earth 168
bird, birds; see wings
laying eggs 7
falls in Grendel's path 8
as thoughtless clay 11
human described as 25
related to Shaper's art 49
migrants 95
black hole 74
Blake, William, in epigraph
blindness
of prejudice 7
of the Shaper 12-13, 40-41, 49
of Grendel 14, 22
of instinct 21
boars 11
"boobies, hemorrhoids, boils, slaver" 59, 70; see Dragon [allusion to 1 Samuel 6:11]
boys and girls 50
Breca 160, 161
brute existent 73; see Grendel
bull; see zodiac signs
protecting calf 19-22
gone mad 78

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C
Cain and Abel, allusions to 51, 108, 146
cat and mouse 10
cave; see Grendel, cave
biblical allusions to
"The cave my cave is a jealous cave" 158
"The world is my bone-cave, I shall not want" 170
chained in a cave 122
cause 63
calf 18
Chance 70, 74
charm, charmed; see Grendel, charmed
childhood 28
coastguard 152-53
complexity 69-71
concresence 132
conformity 67
connectedness, essence of everything 64
conservationists 70
cows 6, 8, 31, 33, 35, 99
crabs 8, 46, 48; see zodiac signs
craftsmen 47; see goldworker, see wheelwright
cricket 23, 72
Cut A 94
Cut B 110

D
Danes, Danish
Scyld's influence 42
Hrothgar's 47, 53, 106, 144, 159-63
Finn's, 147, 148
coastguard, 153-53
Dark Ages 67
"Death, transfiguration" 73; see Dragon [allusion to Tod und Verklärung, tone poem by Richard Strauss, 1889]
deer; see Hart
on seeing Grendel 7
never killed by Grendel 8
as art 31
hunted by men 96
showing their ribs 125
tracks of 137
democracy 68, 69
desire 93, 132, 158
Devonian fish 72
dogmatism 14; see religion, theory
dogs; see watchdogs
silent under Grendel's spell 13
with guards 34-35, 96
as simile 40, 52
barking 77
waiting 141
"Dool-dool" 145, see language, Grendel's mother's
doom 53, 75, 165
dragon, a 15, 157
Dragon, the
not a friend 12
on men's theories 13, 64-65
another mind 48
invisible ancient presence 50, 54-55
Grendel falls toward him 56, 137, 152
described 57-58
his greed 60
a mind reader 61
his eye 61, 70
serpent to the core 61; see snakes
advice to Grendel 62, 74, 105; see gold
on the Shaper 62
on the dragon mind 62-63
his syllogism 64
on Time and Space 65-66
on the essence of existence 67-69
alludes to Beowulf 70
on dust and the transience of all things 70-71; see Ork on evil
on apocalypse 71
on the human mind 71; see thinking
on Grendel's effect on men 72-73
his ambition 73
charmed Grendel 75
scent of 77, 81-82, 84, 93, 102, 138, 150
his truths 108
quoted by Grendel 110
whispered syllables of 170

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E
eagle 12, 21
Ecglaf; [father of Unferth]
Ecgtheow 154 [father of Beowulf]
eel 147
enemies 91, 173
epigraph by William Blake
evil 132-33, 146, 174; see Ork
ewe 6, 44
Expression defined 68, 69
eternity 74, 110, 146
eyes of strangers 16, 17, 21

F
falcons 14; see warfalcons
fate 162
fiddlesticks 61, 72; see Dragon
Finn 147; song of 148
firesnakes 9, 86, 152
described 16
fish; see zodiac signs
Grendel's mother's smell of 29
Devonian 72
"Beware the fish" 145, 149
Beowulf's beard 154
"there will be fish" 170 
Form is function 91;
fox 8, 32, 136
Freawaru 120-21; [Hrothgar's daughter] see Hrothulf
Ingeld's intended 121, 164; see Finn
free will 63
freedom 15,119, 157
frog 23
funeral pyre 14, 149

G
games 15, 64, 114, 163
gannet 152
Geats
Beowulf's introduction 154
as limit to Grendel's desire 158
as saviors 159
Beowulf as beardless leader of 160
united with Danes by the queen 163
as stones 167 
glory 53, 84; see hero, see Unferth
goat 139, 149, 165; see zodiac signs
God, god; see Ork, religion
Grendel as an ugly god 22
made the world 51, 55, 74
gray as geometry 53
"does not exist" 65
as history of Chance 74
Shaper sings of 77
and Hrothgar 77, 81
"has vanquished mine enemies" 79
ghostly Destroyer 127
ground of actuality/rationality 131
His mystery 133
gods
images of 39, 127, 128-29, 165
lifeless sticks 52
greatest of 74
their absence 109
King of 131-33
made this world 138
gold 70, 116,
cups of, in epigraph
thrown onto funeral pyre 14
missing from destroyed meadhall 34
gild his wisdom 42
phrases, magnificent, golden 43
Shaper's product 49
Hrothgar's 53
the Dragon's 57, 62
seek it out and sit on it 74
on Shaper's eyes 145
gold-egg-laying goose 93
gold-friend 49; see Hrothgar
goldworker, the 35; see craftsmen
Grendel
his war with Hrothgar 5, 30, 76, 92
his victims 6-7, 52, 54, 76, 78-79, 142
figurative names
earth-rim-roamer 7, 116
shadow-shooter 7
walker of the world's weird wall 7
Ruiner of Meadhalls 80, 91
world-rim monster 87
Hrothgar-Wrecker 91
truth-teacher, phantasm-tester 110
anger's child 111
old hellroads-runner 116
world-rim-walker 127
The Destroyer 130, 159
his friends 8
his cave; see biblical allusions
first described 8-9
where mother sleeps 11
explored by young Grendel 15-16
large old shapes in 16
eyes of strangers in 17
back in by dawn 18
uses for tree limbs in 22
Grendel in 28, 101, 151, 173
Grendel returns to 55
sounds of 156 
his voice 10
sickness 11
named
by thanes 12
by self 18, 51, 169, 174
by the Dragon 63 
killing humans 12-13, 78-79, 81, 142, 168
his early games 15
his early discoveries 16
charmed 16, 75, 78, 81, 101
his youth 16-29
his brothers, uncles, shapes 16, 17, 21, 28
mother-cave identity 17
his fear of death 18
abandonment in oaktree 18ff., 137, 173
an ugly god 22
his first human encounter 23-27
observing self 29
his decision to destroy Hrothgar 30
watching men
evolution of human society 30-36
among lovers and a corpse 50
Hrothgar's armed camp 95-96
people repairing stone gods 129
Hrothgar's family sleeping 136
the daily life of humans 140-42
mysterious behavior of humans 156-57
poetry's effects on 43-45
defined by Shaper's song 51
his attempt at friendship with men 51-52
his loneliness 53, 76, 77, 80
encounters Dragon 57ff.
as symbol of human mortality ("the brute existent") 72-73, 91
his first raid 79-86
his place in universe 81, 158
his language 83
attacks Unferth with apples 85
his poems and songs
Pity poor Hrothgar 92
Hrothulf 111-15
Wealtheow 116
Hrothgar's dream 123-24 [from T. Kinsella's "Wormwood"]
I am not 149; see monster
The wall will fall 172
his law 93
his second year of raiding 94
as Nature lover 94-95
his first view of Wealtheow 100
observing Wealtheow and Hrothgar 102-08
attacks queen 109-10
quotes Dragon ("long dull fall of eternity")110
creature of two minds 110
shaper of Hrothgar's nobility 122-23
a machine 123; see mechanism
and children 125, 142
on winged creatures in snow 126
on wrecking idols 128-29
his spell 136
addressing the goat 139-40
his laughter 153
impressed by Beowulf 155
bursting doors 167
caught by Beowulf 168
Grendel's Mother
her nightmares 9
sleeping 11
her presence in cave 16, 29
her eyes17, 23
loved Grendel 17; see love
"Mama" 18-19, 80, 146, 158, 170, 172-73
not-my-mother 19
her absence 21
attacks men 27
mute 28-29, 56, 149
her disapproval 36, 147
pitiful 55-56
toward Unferth 86
self-sacrificing 102; see Wealtheow
warns of Beowulf?
"Warovvish" 145
Beware the fish 149
her insanity 145-47
set aside 147-58

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H
hairless one, the 25-26
Halga the Good 111; see Hrothulf
harper 40-41, see Shaper
harper, the former 43
Hart 105; see Hrothgar, meadhall; [Heorot in Beowulf]
shattered 14
greatest of meadhalls 46
named by Hrothgar 47
antlered hall 96
hart, hunter and 126-27; see zodiac signs
harvest 76, 77
harvest virgin 84, 90; see virgin, zodiac signs
heart-sucking 80
Heathobards 121; see Ingeld
Heaven 65, 91
hedgehogs 11
Hell 53, 64, 91, 162
Helmings 96, 104, 106, 109
Hengest 147; see Finn
herbalist 143
Her-kapf 128
hero; see glory, Unferth
Shaper singing of 34, 77
Unferth acting as 84-85
Unferth on meaning of 88-89 
heroism; see gold
a golden trinket 87
dismissed by Grendel 90
inner 164
Herogar 13 [brother of Hrothgar]
Hildeburh 147; see Finn
Hoc, Hildeburh, Hnaef, Hengest 147; see Finn
holy 92; see God, gods
honor 35
hope 77
horses 23-27, 38-39, 95; colt 35
Hrothgar [king of the Scyldings]
hall of; see meadhall
mentioned by Grendel 10, 12, 42, 48, 158
shattered 14
the greatest 46
sung by the Shaper 47
Hrothgar by the door of 78
location of 155
is alive 169
during a Grendel raid 12
his wife 12; see Wealtheow
first meets her 100-01
mired in sin 13
to be feared 30
as successful war theorist 37
establishes kingdom through tribute 39-40
harper and 41-43
his power and peace 44
lights of his realm 45
first thoughts of a meadhall 47
his goodness 48
gold-friend 49; see gold
may not understand the Shaper 53
his sons 53, 120
God and 77
confronts Hygmod 96-97
as bowl-bearer 106
old 107, 121-22
his brother 111; see Halga the Good
his nephew 111, 120; see Hrothulf
his daughter 120; see Freawaru
as an old king 121
his knowledge and fear 122
ignores religion 128
mentioned by Beowulf 154
speaks of Beowulf 164
Hrothgar-Wrecker 91; see Grendel, figurative names
Hrothulf 111, 157, 164 [nephew of Hrothgar]
his father 111
arrival at Hart 112
as sweet scorpion 113; see zodiac signs
on violence 114
on his own will to power 115
described 116-17
his counselor 117; see Red Horse
on freedom 119
his cousins 120-21; see Freawaru
at Shaper's funeral 148-49
humans; see men, see women
hunter and hart 126-27; see zodiac signs
Hygilac 154 [uncle of Beowulf]
Hygmod 96, 105 [brother of Wealtheow]
his alliance with Hrothgar 100
in hall with Wealtheow and bear 106
his song 107
his hatred of Hrothgar 107

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I
illusion; see art, lies, truth
Shaper's song as 48, 62, 65
Unferth stripped naked of 104 
killing the queen as an 110
Grendel tries to drive out 169
imagination 54; see Shaper
importance 68
Ingeld 121 [king of the Heathobards]; see Freawaru

J
jangler 85; see Unferth
justice 35
Jutes 147

K
kennings; see Grendel, figurative names
king and queen; see Hrothgar, Wealtheow
at Shaper's deathbed 143
King of the Gods 131
king; see Hrothgar
linked to ram 5
without men 147
king, young; see Hygmod
"Know thyself" 74
knowledge, knowing 63, 75; see Dragon

L
lake; see mere
lamb 44
language; see talking/telling, poetry, words, whispering
spinning a web of words 8, 15
creates the world 28-29
Grendel's mother's 28, 145, 149
making speeches 36
relates Grendel to humans 36
hills brought low by 42
Grendel's 83
noble 84
words for raging 52, 54
religious 127-28
Grendel whispering 168, 169, 174
Beowulf whispering syllables 169-72
law 115, 118
lie, lies, lying; see art, illusion, truth
Shaper's phrases 43, 108
about a loving creator 55; see God
Grendel of the Dragon 72-73
speeches of Hrothgar's and Hygmod's sides 101
of the watchful mind 157
lion 123; see zodiac signs
lizards 10
lizard tongues 14
logic 24; see syllogism
love
Grendel's mother's parallel to the queen's 102
rhetoric of 115
the queen's endearment to Hrothulf 116
Grendel's mother's is history 173

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Grendel Index M - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Created by Tom Murphy, O. Carm. 2000-2002. All rights reserved. Teachers, students, and readers at large may use for non-commercial, educational purposes only.