Beowulf and Grendel

When JT is teaching his class, he refers to demons, specifically Grendel from Beowulf. I found this tidbit on the net:

Beowulf -- The original Grendel was a monster in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf. Descendant of Cain, mere-dweller, and with the meanest mother around, he was the hero Beowulf's first foe in the work.

Beowulf eventually fights Grendel, defeating him by taking off his arm.

There is so much here that is important for this episode and this series, that my head is swimming. Some intial thoughts:

1. A descendant of Cain, the original murderer.

2. He had the meanest mother around (Livia)

3. Beowulf the hero takes away an arm from Grendel, like the Zombie in "Cleaver".

Can anyone with a knowledge of great litereature help me understand further the implications of this reference to Tony, the family and the lifestyle choices that Tony must make?

</p>Edited by: <A HREF= ... ac72261</A>
at: 3/27/06 12:17 am

Re: Beowulf and Grendel

I haven't read Beowulf in years, but here are a couple ideas your post gave me.

1.Beowulf is a poem that deals with the Warrior code of that culture or codes of honor, if you will. Being as the poem is set in Scandinavia, it might not be a stretch to think there's something to Sil asking ," What? Am I speaking in Norwegian?" The last two episodes we have seen plently of evidence that most of Tony's crew are out for themselves. Vito is the prime example, but you can see it in almost all the major charecters. Silvio is my pick as the one who will stick with Tony untill the end.

2.Family linage is also tantamount in Beowulf, which could be tied in to Tony's loss of identity in his coma state and in the show in general.


Re: Beowulf and Grendel

That was a good pickup--it is very much like Beowulf...

In Beowulf, the men who serve Hrothgar live according to the bonds of comitatus (omerta?), a social schema whereby the lord is obligated to his followers to provide them with treasure, community, and a home, when those followers are loyal, brave and willing to defend their comrades and lord at any cost (sound familiar???). This mutual obligation creates a bond among all the men and a community in which all know their position (the hierarchy is well set, but with Tony in the hospital, the hiearchy is in turmoil, with some of the members trying to assume the top role). Therefore, Grendel's (Junior, possibly) rampage disturbed more than a house (Tony's nuclear family); he also broke apart the bonds of a community (the Soprano Crime Family) when he destroyed Heorot (shot Tony), the symbol of community, itself.

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