Homework Help

Describe the presentation of King Hrothgar as he is introduced in Beowulf.

user profile pic

ShayMyName | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 28, 2013 at 12:12 AM via iOS

dislike 2 like

Describe the presentation of King Hrothgar as he is introduced in Beowulf.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:52 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Hrothgar is first introduced in this text as a brave and valiant warrior who is made into a king by his ever-increasing number of followers. It is clear that Hrothgar becomes king because of his bravery and strength, and when he becomes king, he shows himself to be a good king in the way that he rewards loyalty and treats his followers. In addition, he builds a name for himself and his people through the mead hall they build, which is named Hereot. Even this however is used to indicate his goodness as a king, as the construction of this hall is not just for the establishment of his own glory, as the following quote indicates:

It came to his mind that he would command men to construct a hall, a great mead-building that the children of men should hear of forever, and therein he would give to young and old all that God had given him, except for common land and men's bodies.

Even the mead hall, which could be seen as a symbol of Hrothgar's pride and arrogance, actually only serves to support the reader's impression of him as a good and generous king who is keen to share what he has been given with his followers. The text therefore presents Hrothgar as a king who is worthy of that title in the way that he seeks to do the best for his people and to build their reputation and name. Of course, the one problem with this comes in the form of Grendel, who, in the way that he terrorises Hereot, represents a threat and a danger to Hrothgar's kingship that must be responded to.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes