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Beyond Abjection: The Problem with Grendel's Mother Again

Beyond Abjection: The Problem with Grendel's Mother Again Traditional critical paradigms have generally failed to come to grips with the character of Grendel's mother in Beowulf. As a monster in the heroic order, and as a female in a masculine world, she confounds simple definitions and crosses the boundaries that define the limits of agency. Grendel's mother functions as a nexus for the representation of the many dialectical tensions – male/female, human/monster, hall/wilderness, feud/peace, symbolic/semiotic – that both underwrite and critique the poem's symbolic order. As a result, the character offers insight into the symbolic process and the ways in which readers approach the distant world of the medieval text. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Parergon Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Beyond Abjection: The Problem with Grendel's Mother Again

Parergon , Volume 24 (1) – Aug 28, 2007

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Publisher
Australian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by the author. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1832-8334
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Traditional critical paradigms have generally failed to come to grips with the character of Grendel's mother in Beowulf. As a monster in the heroic order, and as a female in a masculine world, she confounds simple definitions and crosses the boundaries that define the limits of agency. Grendel's mother functions as a nexus for the representation of the many dialectical tensions – male/female, human/monster, hall/wilderness, feud/peace, symbolic/semiotic – that both underwrite and critique the poem's symbolic order. As a result, the character offers insight into the symbolic process and the ways in which readers approach the distant world of the medieval text.

Journal

ParergonAustralian & New Zealand Association of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Inc. (ANAZAMEMS, Inc.)

Published: Aug 28, 2007

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