Homework Help

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

user profile pic

reedcapps | Student, Grade 10 | Honors

Posted September 20, 2013 at 12:22 AM via web

dislike 2 like

"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 from Beowulf, which traits of Beowulf's might also be used to describe the British people and their origins?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 20, 2013 at 1:42 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Beowulf is an Anglo-Saxon poem which features the epic hero Beowulf. It stands to reason that he embodies the best characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon people, since people create heroes based on the best characteristics of themselves. In this passage, the description of Beowulf is essentially a description of the Anglo-Saxons themselves.

First of all, he is "great" and "strong." The Anglo-Saxons were conquerors who came and conquered the land, holding it for more than six hundred years until the Norman conquest.

He acts immediately to help where he is needed, and he selects men who are also full of valor:

So Beowulf chose the mightiest men he could find, the bravest and best of the Geats, fourteen in all,

Beowulf took his men down to the boat himself, so not only is he a warrior but he is a man of the sea. 

He knew the sea, would point the prow straight to the Danish shore.

Like Beowulf, the Anglo-Saxons were men who knew and lived on the sea.

Beowulf is everything the Anglo-Saxons both admired and were. They were brave, hearty seafarers who were willing to fight for a good cause. 

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes