Beowulf Symbolism

Dragon is symbolic of Beowulf’s fate and his imminent death.
Beowulf (defeats Grendel with bare hands) shows how the will of God works through his instruments.
Mead-hall is the symbol of a society and represents the achievements of the Spear-Danes.
Golden Torque/Collar is a symbol of the bond of loyalty between the people and Beowulf.
Great Banquet represents the restoration of order and harmony to the Danish people.
Gold can be seen as a symbol of social interaction: a lord rewards the loyalty of his warriors, and in doing so inspires further loyalty
Sword represents masculinity and family honor.
Grendel’s Mere as described in Christian imagery, it has characteristics of hell.
Cave is symbolic of the lives of the monsters as outcasts; and their heritage as descendants of Cain. They are associated with sorcery, black magic, demons, ancient runes, and hell itself.
Grendel’s Claw is a symbol of Beowulf’s victory; and represents Grendel’s mother personal loss and mankind’s gruesome sense of what might be an appropriate trophy.
The Dragon’s Treasure represents the vanity of human wishes as well as the unpredictability of time.

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