The Beowulf-poet, like Dublittir and his predecessor, was untroubled by the “sober, cautious learning” that posited the post-Diluvian survival of monsters only through a spiritual inheritance from Cain via Cham, the son of Noah (174). the closest known relative to the Beowulf passage” (175), and recommends further investigation of Irish influences. “Legends of Cain, Especially in Old and Middle English.” PMLA 21 (1906): 831-929.
While Donahue does not argue that the Sex Aetates Mundi passage he examines is the direct influence on the Beowulf-poet’s treatment of the kin of Cain, he does argue that “it is . Emerson, true to his title, provides an exhaustive catalogue of Cain’s appearances in Old and Middle English literature.
In fact, concludes Bandy, “the monstrous progeny of Cain dwell everywhere and dine at every table” (249). “Grendel’s Descent from Cain.” MLR 23 (1928): 207-8.
“Cain, Grendel, and the Giants of Beowulf.” PLL 9 (1973): 235-49.However, the phrase was recorded some twenty years before Lincoln died.In truth, one 19th-century meaning of “mud” was a fool (as in a rustic clodhopper), not a good epithet to have attached to your good name.In fact, Bandy argues, the “moral ambivalence of gigantism” is ubiquitous in the poem (235), “[alerting] the reader to [the] peculiar temptations of pride” (239), and it effects Heremod, Hygelac, and Beowulf, all of whom display unusual size and stature.Thus the struggle between good and evil is visible to the Anglo-Saxon eye, according to Bandy, in the bodies of its heroes as well as its monsters; monstrousness is more a moral choice than an accident of birth.