.Jangler

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary 1913 provides this definition:

Jangler
(Jan' gler) n. [Cf. OF. jangleor.]

1. An idle talker; a babbler; a prater. Chaucer.

2. A wrangling, noisy fellow.

In the midst of the mockery of his apple attack, Grendel calls the blustery, blundering Unferth "Poor Jangler" (85). From this point on, a reader comes to recognize Unferth's most pitiable condition.

Through this and other episodes, Gardner is developing an emotional history for Unferth. By detailing the recent life of the unlikeable drunk in Beowulf, he gives us a way to understand Unferth's cynical attack on Beowulf's heroic reputation. We can see in Unferth the little man, the fellow who just wasn't good enough to play with the big guys, who had to live with the humiliating knowledge of his own inadequacies.

What, if anything, do you feel for the character of Unferth?

view complete index A - L

view complete index M - Z