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Give me a short summary of the epic poem Beowulf?

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nittoh-bittoh | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted November 19, 2011 at 4:41 AM via web

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Give me a short summary of the epic poem Beowulf?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 19, 2011 at 5:08 AM (Answer #1)

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Beowulf is one of the most famous poems in old English. It is about three thousand lines long and the story revolves around three battles.

In the poem, Beowulf, a warrior from Geats comes to the rescue of Hrothgar, the king of the Danes whose land is being attacked by a monster, Grendel. Beowulf succeeds and defeats Grendel. To show his prowess, he even kills Grendel with his bare hands. However, the tension of the story escalates, because Grendel's mother is now on the warpath to get revenge. As the story progresses, Beowulf kills Grendel's mother in her liar with a sword that giants of a past time once used.

After this victory, Beowulf returns home to Geats. Fifty years pass. However, there is one final battle. There is a dragon that plagues his people because of stolen treasure. More importantly, Beowulf now has to defend his people. He fails at first, but then with the help of Wiglaf, a servant, chases the dragon into its lair and kills it. However, in the process, Beowulf receives a fatal wound and dies. Finally, he is buried by the sea.

 

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted November 18, 2014 at 7:36 PM (Answer #2)

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Beowulf is a young warrior in Geatland, who comes to the aid of the Scyldings. Hrothgar is the Danish king and he and his people have been terrorized by a monster. Beowulf brings 14 of his finest men with him. He is returning the favor, Hrothgar sheltered Beowulf's father during a deadly feud. He also wants enhance his reputation and gather treasure for his king, Hygelac. The monster, Grendel comes and attacks them, but Beowulf cuts off his claw and the monster is mortally wounded. The mother of Grendel, not as strong as her son, but deeply motivated, plans revenge. She sneaks in and gets her son's claw. Beowulf and the men follow the trail of the mother and are lead to a dark swamp. Beowulf dives in to find the mother. He tries to fight her with his sword, but to no avail. He suddenly sees a magical sword and slices through the neck and spine of the monster, killing her. When the monster dies, he sees a great treasure, but he leaves it there, only bringing the head of the monster back with him.

He returns home and ends up becoming king and rules for 50 years. He has one last battle. This one is with the fiery dragon. He kills the dragon, but is mortally wounded in the battle and dies.

Beowulf is the longest surviving Anglo-Saxon poems today. It is a literary masterpiece. To know that a work of literature has lasted for this many years is remarkable. This poem is considered one of the most important works of literature today. It is truly one of the most amazing pieces of literature we have in our use today. 

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