Approaching the mere, the hunting party finds Aeshere’s severed head placed at the entrance to Grendel’s mother’s lair. What earlier action within the story does this placement of a trophy parallel? How and why is the reaction of the thanes different when they encounter this trophy than their reaction to the earlier trophy which was displayed. What does this difference in reaction reveal about us as humans?
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Earlier in the story, Beowulf hangs and displays Grendel's arm from the rafters amidst cheers and celebration. Their reaction to the death of their foe is far different than the sorrow and anger inspired by the death and desecration of their friend.