BEOWULF (non illustrated)


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by John William Sutton

Biblical Allusions in "Further Celebration at Heorot"

He does not want to give himself an unfair advantage over the monster. What is suggested by the final paragraph of chapter 10? This victory is his fate. What narrative technique does the poet use to transition between Chapters 10 and 11? What effect is created by this transition?

Grendel and Beowulf Were Two Pretty Boys

What does Grendel do to his victims? Grendel tears the bodies of his victims apart, drinks their blood, and devours their entire bodies. At what point does Beowulf seize Grendel to fight him? How heroic is Grendel?

Story of Beowulf

How do you know? Grendel is not at all heroic. Once he confronts Beowulf, he is not willing to fight fairly. When he realizes that Beowulf has a hold of him and that Beowulf is amazingly strong, all Grendel wants to do is flee to his lair. Grendel has used sorcery to make himself impervious to swords, lances, and other weapons. How does Beowulf defeat Grendel?


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We already know that Beowulf was going to participate in unarmed, handtohand combat against Grendel. This is a fatal wound for the monster. Thematically, why is the way Beowulf fights Grendel significant?


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The fact that Beowulf fought Grendel in unarmed, handtohand combat instead of relying on weapons emphasizes his strength and physical ability. It is just as significant to Beowulf that he has made good on his boast. What reminder of the oral tradition are we given in this chapter Chapter 8? What effect is achieved? The effect is to emphasize the amount of fame by seeming to minimize it with a double negative. His story is, thus, effectively incorporated into the oral tradition and history of the Danish people. Why is this significant?

The first thing Hrothgar does is offer thanks to God. This is significant because it illustrates his piety, a necessary quality of a good king. In what condition is Heorot? Heorot is in a state of near ruin: doors off their hinges, walls collapsed, only the roof left standing.

Beowulf Resources

What is implied by the introduction of Hrothulf? List the gifts that Hrothgar gives to Beowulf. What other benefits or gifts does Hrothgar bestow to signify his munificence?

Recent Class Questions

In AngloSaxon and early medieval poetry, alliteration was always used to create a rhythmic pattern and to emphasize key words in the alliterated passage. Who is Hildeburh, and how does the story that involves her, Finn, and the Frisians figure into the narrative of this chapter?

The themes of foreign invasion, of divided loyalties, of violating oaths foreshadows trouble for the Danish court, as was already suggested in Chapter How does Chapter 17 begin? What language convention cues the reader to this? The opening quotation marks before the first word of the chapter indicate this. This is an essential quality of heroic sagas like this. Wealhtheow praises Beowulf and reminds Hrothgar of his duty toward the young soldier: She tells her husband that it is his duty to take Beowulf as his own son, now that he has saved the Danes from disaster. She also reminds Beowulf of his duty to give riches and treasure, as well as sound council and guidance to his own kinfolk in order to ensure that the cycle of regard and loyalty continues.

She expresses her hope that the two families will henceforth support each other and be loyal toward one another. Wealhtheow also gives Beowulf a valuable collar herself, expressing her personal gratitude for his deeds. Giving treasure, loyalty, and gratitude are all elements of the heroic code. What problem does the second paragraph of Chapter 17 present to the narrative?

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How can a reader rectify this problem? The gifts are only now being presented to Beowulf, yet we are told that Hygelac carried the precious collar with him in his last battle when he was killed and the treasure was taken by the Franks. On what notes of foreshadowing does Chapter 17 end? Both Grendel and his mother are descended from the Genesis character of Cain, who was banished from the society of his family for murdering his brother, Abel.

In the oral telling of this poem, Chapter 18 may have been a stopping point. The adventure of Grendel is over, and some future strife has been foreshadowed. The fact that Grendel has no known male lineage emphasizes his lack of worth, his alienation from the culture and society of the Danes and the Geats. The poet tells us that she is considerably less fearsome, just as a female warrior would be less valiant than a male warrior.


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  4. Clearly, we are seeing the bias of a poet living in a patriarchal society. How do Grendel and his mother suggest a mixing of pagan and Christian traditions in the culture of the poem? Under what circumstances was this character first introduced to us? Of what promise does Beowulf remind Hrothgar before he plunges into his Underworld adventure? What supernatural elements are present in this episode that were not present in the fight against Grendel?

    Beowulf Is Not A Hero Essay

    Ultimately, however, it is the grace of a Christian God who assures his victory. What apparently supernatural aid does Beowulf receive in his battle in the underwater cave? What do their different reactions reveal about the two tribes? They do not believe that there is any chance Beowulf will return from his battle. Though they, too, doubt that Beowulf will be victorious, they are loyal to their leader and refuse to leave until they know for sure that Beowulf is dead.

    Their touch and blood were apparently so foul that the sword used to kill the mother and decapitate Grendel melts like ice on a summer day. Second, Beowulf is already heavily armed and must swim back to the surface in order to return to Heorot. It is probably impossible for him to carry anything more than he is already burdened with. How does Beowulf explain his victory when he returns to Heorot?

    Beowulf explains that God helped him when he allowed him to spot the ancient sword in the dungeon. What scene is etched around the sword hilt that Beowulf presents to Hrothgar? What is the point of the story of Heremond that Hrothgar tells Beowulf? Heremond was also a great and renowned warrior and hero, but he grew greedy, proud, and bloodthirsty. He forgot his humility and stopped rewarding his supporters as a good leader did.

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    BEOWULF (non illustrated) BEOWULF (non illustrated)
    BEOWULF (non illustrated) BEOWULF (non illustrated)
    BEOWULF (non illustrated) BEOWULF (non illustrated)
    BEOWULF (non illustrated) BEOWULF (non illustrated)
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