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"In his far-off home Beowulf, Higlac's follower and the strongest of the Geats- greater...

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reedcapps | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted September 18, 2013 at 10:17 PM via web

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"In his far-off home Beowulf, Higlac's follower and the strongest of the Geats- greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world- heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out, proclaiming that he'd go to that famous kind, would sail across the sea to Hrothgar, now when help is needed. None of the wise ones regretted his going, much as he was loved by the Geats: the omens were good, and they urged the adventure on. So Beowulf chose the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and best of the Geats, fourteen in all, and led them down to their boat; He knew the sea, would point the prow straight to the Danish shore..."

After reading the lines above, what point in the story is Beowulf introduced?

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM (Answer #1)

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The epic hero in any tale is introduced in the midst of turmoil. This means that he (or she) is introduced in the middle of a time of great uncertainty, disturbance, or confusion. In the case of Beowulf's introduction into the Epic of Beowulf, the first time readers "see" him comes as the tale of Grendel has reached lands far from the Danelands (where Grendel and Hrothgar live). 

The textual support which illustrates that the conflict has already begun, and Beowulf is learning about it in the middle of the conflict, lies in the following: "Beowulf...heard how Grendel filled nights with horror." Grendel has already attacked Heorot (Hrothgar's mead hall). The battle between Hrothgar and Grendel is not over (if it was, Beowulf would not find it necessary to leave his homelands). 

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