With that, Grendel’s mother is a character must not be overlooked, as she plays an important role in this epic poem as an enemy to Beowulf and the Danes. Differing from the monstrosity of Grendel’s mother and Thryth, Wealhtheow, who is the Queen of the Danes and Hrothgar’s wife, serves as a peaceweaver in this story.
Hrothgar, Beowulf, and their men track Grendel’s mother to a pond, and Beowulf dives into the underwater lair and kills Grendel’s mother with a sword.
This apparently unimportant task is more revealing than we may think; it establishes a hierarchy in the hall” (Word Press.com).
Prose translations may work best if you have limited time, but more advanced high school students can study poetic translations, which will better demonstrate the meter of the original piece.
The original , you can show students how the English language has changed over the centuries by reading passages from Old, Middle, and early Modern English.
In addition, a lesson on Germanic and Scandinavian history, Scandinavian legends, and Christian elements in will help students contextualize the poem.