Gardner has used the twelve signs of the zodiac as a structural device or motif within the novel. Each of the twelve chapters contains some significant reference to the numerically corresponding sign.

Aries (Ram): March 21-April 19
Taurus (Bull): April 20-May 20
Gemini (Twins): May 21-June 21
Cancer (Crab): June 22-July 22
Leo (Lion): July 23-Aug. 22
Virgo (Virgin): Aug. 23-Sept. 22
Libra (Balance): Sept. 23-Oct. 23
Scorpius (Scorpion): Oct. 24-Nov. 21
Sagittarius (Archer): Nov. 22-Dec. 21
Capricornus (Goat): Dec. 22-Jan. 19
Aquarius (Water Bearer): Jan. 20-Feb. 18
Pisces (Fish): Feb. 19-March 20

I am grateful to Linda Lorenzo for this insight...and to Tom Fasano for posting the essay which discusses this structure - Craig J. Stromme, "The Twelve Chapters of Grendel," Critique 20 (1978: 83-92).

see zodiac at Columbia Encyclopedia

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