Anglo-Saxon England

Research Article

Cain's monstrous progeny in Beowulf: part I, Noachic tradition

Ruth Mellinkoffa1

a1 The University of California, Los Angeles

One of the most distinctive features of Beowulf is the presentation of Grendel and his mother as members of Cain's monstrous progeny. What knowledge of a race (or races) of giants and monsters descended from Cain, and of their survival after the Flood, is the poet likely to have had? I take up the first part of this question in this article and the second part in an article to be published later in Anglo-Saxon England.