Beowulf seeks out the hag in her underwater lair, and slays her after an almighty struggle.
Once more there is much rejoicing, and Beowulf is rewarded with many gifts.
Kiernan believes that the folio was erased to make room for a revised text and that gaps in the text furthermore reveal that the revision was never completed.
This surmise 'opens the possibility that the Beowulf manuscript amounts to an unfinished draft of the poem' (p 14).
Given the poet’s compositional skill—widely relational and eclectic at its core—and his affinity with the practicing skalds, these strings of parallelisms could scarcely have been coincidental.
Rather, Damico argues that examined within the context of other eleventh-century texts that either bemoaned or darkly satirized or obversely celebrated the rise of the Anglo-Danish realm, the Beowulfian units may bring forth a deeper understanding of the complexity of the poet’s compositional process.
Beowulf encounters Grendel in unarmed combat, and deals the monster its death-blow by ripping off its arm.
There is much rejoicing among the Danes; but Grendel’s loathsome mother takes her revenge, and makes a brutal attack upon the king’s hall.
Beowulf is a classic tale of the triumph of good over evil, and divides neatly into three acts.
Damico illustrates the poet’s use of the tools of his trade—compression, substitution, skillful encoding of character—to reinterpret and transform grave sociopolitical “facts” of history, to produce what may be characterized as a type of historical allegory, whereby two parallel narratives, one literal and another veiled are simultaneously operative.
, not as a monster narrative nor a folklorish nor solely a legendary tale, but rather as a poem of its time, a historical allegory coping with and reconfiguring sociopolitical events of the first half of eleventh-century Anglo-Saxon England.
The intrinsic difficulty of the dating problem is reflected by great diversity in method and opinion.
Codicological, linguistic, metrical, historical, stylistic, and archaeological arguments are mustered.