Beowulf @ Ellis

Sarah S.

Analysis: Grendel’s Mother Grasping For Life

           Beowulf is a leader, a warrior, and a hero.  He has the many traits of a leader: strength, wisdom, independence. He stands his ground, fights for his life, and has faith in God. Beowulf possesses all of these great characteristics.  My artwork shows Grendel’s mother grasping onto Beowulf’s lighthouse as if to try to bring it down with her.  She is trying to get revenge on the symbol of Beowulf because he has destroyed something that met so much to her.  He had to do what he thought was right, with the strength of thirty men, and his faith in God.  The will of God had helped him to defeat the evil that tried to overcome his strength. 
            In my picture Grendel’s mother seems to be grasping onto Beowulf’s lighthouse.  She is trying to fight to save her own life as well as getting revenge on Beowulf for killing her beloved son.  Grendel is a threat to Beowulf as Beowulf is to Grendel’s mother.  Beowulf has a great amount of strength. In the picture it shows that the mother won’t leave her swamp for anyone.  She wants Beowulf out of her presence and wants to destroy him.  She can’t; he won’t budge, because he is strong and stands for himself.  He stands tall and unbreakable, the lighthouse won’t crumble down. 
            The sky is black to symbolize the dark side of Grendel’s family.  They were descendents of Cain who was extremely evil.  He was on the cursed side of God.  There is nothing light in the sky except for Beowulf’s light located on top of the lighthouse.  Beowulf uses his light to guide people to safety.  He doesn’t want them to get close to the edge and be in danger.  His light is acting against the dark to show that it powers over the evil.  The light shines past the darkness to get a signal out to those who are going the wrong direction in life.  Light is the good side.  Light represents peace, love, care, perseverance, and warrior-like strength. It also represents belief in God, faith, guidance, protection, and dedication.  Beowulf and any other good leader would have these traits.  Dark portrays light.  Dark is Grendel’s side of the family.  Everyone wants to destroy Herot and put it in flames in order to completely get rid of it.  Grendel’s mother wants to destroy him for destroying her son.  The dark symbolizes hate, misery, depression, misunderstanding, death, and evil.  No one wants to enter the dark if they don’t know what there is to come.   It’s difficult see in the dark.  But, it’s visible what the dark can bring.  The evil, pain, and agony inside of Grendel is easily recognized.  Neither side really understands the other.  The swamp is colored blue to symbolize sadness, pain, and depression.  Grendel’s mother is grieving, depressed and pained over the death of her son.  All she wants to do in my drawing is get revenge on Beowulf.  Her tail is dipped in the water to show her territory; it is her place, and not Beowulf’s. No one can invade it.  Beowulf won’t move because he overcame a fear I felt he had, a fear of losing his power.  He fought for what he wanted, overcame his fears, and won against the evil.  I made the lighthouse out of bricks which are strong and seem indestructible.  Each brick symbolizes a stage of Beowulf’s journey of being a warrior.  The bricks represent the qualities he has as a hero, leader, and warrior.  There are a numerous amount of bricks which show the many different traits he possesses.  The bricks are like Beowulf.  They are unbreakable and unable to be harmed or destroyed.  Nothing can stop Beowulf.  As the bricks continue to stand strong, so does Beowulf.
            The lighthouse stands tall like the great hall of Herot.  Beowulf is trying to reach God as he deserves to do so.  He died fighting for his city; he died fighting for what he believes. He was protecting everyone.  No one else had the strength of thirty men.  Weapons wouldn’t hurt Grendel so he used his hands.  Beowulf believed in God and God gave him the ability to use his own strength and not have the need to rely on manmade weapons. God helps those who help themselves.  It is as if God gives his hand to those who believe in him and need his help.  The light on top of the lighthouse signifies a light to guide people in the right direction.  Beowulf doesn’t want them to “fall” like Holden felt in The Catcher in the Rye.  Holden wanted to help others and lead them on the right road to be successful in life.  Just like Holden, Beowulf doesn’t want them to crumble and fall in the end.  Beowulf’s light helps boats not to get too close to the edge.  He wants his people to live happily with the feeling of contentedness.  The lighthouse is indestructible, stands strong, and continues to do so.  The rocks at the edge of the picture are drawn to be a barrier.  They act as permanent guards; which are jagged and rugged to hurt those evil ones who try to take over or enter the lands of Herot. I made it as if Grendel’s mother is not allowed anywhere but her swamp; the rocks would stop her before she could get to Herot.  
            Beowulf sees himself as a humble, strong hero. He has confidence and pride as every brave hero should.  I think his people want to follow in his footsteps and be remembered like he is.  Every warrior must have high courage and be famous for wisdom and strength.  A lighthouse is made for Beowulf to mark his pride, to show his dedication as a warrior, and stand his ground. In all, my picture shows the strength of Beowulf and the struggle Grendel’s mother puts up to fight for her son.  It represents the love Grendel’s mother has for Grendel and the wisdom Beowulf has as a leader.  The colors and objects in the picture all represents a stage in Beowulf’s life.


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