Asked by MichealEnglish 🇬🇧

When Grendel says Unferth's "beard and hair straight down like seaweed" (86), what literary device is being used?

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Michael Harding

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There are few devices being used at once. It's an image that uses a simile, I.e. saying something is like something else. However, it's also a form of inverse anthropomorphism, in that it attributes a human quality to something non-human. "Hair like seaweed." The idea is to make a character (Unferth) seem connected somehow to the sea; bear in mind that Unferth at this point in the story is bragging that he is the best swimmer in the world.

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