Edward Pettit

Published On


Page Range

pp. 339-410

Print Length

71 pages

14. Grendel, His Mother, and Other Moon-Monsters

  • Edward Pettit (author)
Chapter 14 aims to demonstrate the widespread presence of lunar creatures in Germanic literatures, thereby supporting the likelihood that they may inhabit Beowulf too. Petitt gathers evidence to strengthen the suggestion that Grendel and his mother, as well as the poem’s climactic dragon, are, like analogous characters introduced earlier, creatures identified with the moon, especially during its waning or dark phase. Petitt levies evidence from a variety of differing texts to suggest the Old Norse revenant Glámr as an analogue of Grendel and various Old Norse lunar giantesses as comparable to his mother, as well as further general links between Grendel and his mother and traditions about the moon in world mythology. Petitt attaches the most importance to the direct comparisons he draws between Beowulf’s monsters and those of the Old Norse poem Vǫluspá.


Edward Pettit