Unformatted text preview: The poet's description of the mere and its surroundings is especially eerie and effective. The imagery is specific, powerful, and dark. We are told that not even the wisest of humans knows what is at the bottom of the lake. The lake is so forbidding that a hart, chased by savage hounds, will die facing the dogs rather than seek safety by plunging into the water. "Not a pleasant place!" says the poet in classic understatement (an example of litotes). In fact, this place is very evil . The mere is "overhung with roots that sag and clutch" (1363); it seems to burst into flame at night, portending evil and reminding the audience of the ugly light that "shone out like fire" (727) from Grendel's eyes. In contrast to the joyful light of Heorot, here the hills are dark; black waves erupt from the mere; a "gloomy wind / stirs awful storms till the air turns choking, / the heavens weep" (1374–76)."gloomy wind / stirs awful storms till the air turns choking, / the heavens weep" (1374–76)....
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- Fall '09
- Beowulf, retinue accompany Beowulf