Edward Pettit

Published On


Page Range

pp. 123-142

Print Length

19 pages

5. Whose Sword Is It, Anyway?

  • Edward Pettit (author)
Chapter 5 concerns the ownership of the giant sword. Pettit argues that the giant sword could have been the possession of a ‘righteous solar deity’ before Grendel stole it. If so the monser was likely motivated by a desire not only for self-protection but also for sunlight. Pettit likens this to the theft of the lightning-hammer of Þórr, the Norse thunder-god, before highlighting the recurrent theme of thievery in Beowulf. Pettit then concludes with comments on the basis for detecting Germanic myth in the poem, considering the likelihood that it was written in a pre-Viking conquest England.


Edward Pettit