How do the people celebrate Grendel's death in the epic poem Beowulf?For example, after beowulf rips off his arm and the people of the town see it the next morning, how do they celebrate?

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

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In the epic poem Beowulf, the epic hero (Beowulf) rids Hrothgar's mead hall, Heorot, of the monster Grendel. The monster Grendel has terrorized Heorot for over a decade and forced Hrothgar to close the doors to his beloved mead hall.

Once Beowulf comes and promises to rid Heorot of Grendel, Hrothgar promises Beowulf anything that he desires:

“Since I could lift up hand and shield, I never before trusted the guardianship of this noble Dane-Hall to any man—except to you on this occasion. Have now and hold this peerless house; remember your fame and be valiant; keep watch for the foe! No desire of yours will be unfulfilled if you come through the battle boldly with your life.”(Hrothgar)

Beowulf, a true hero, is not fueled by the promise of riches. Instead, it is his desire to keep and maintain his hero status which fuels his need to end Grendel's reign of terror.

After Beowulf takes Grendel's arm, the people of Heorot celebrate. The tale of the battle was told, in celebration of Beowulf's victory. Stories of Sigemund's saga was also told. Hrothgar spoke to Beowulf about his (Beowulf's) bravery and how Hrothgar felt about Beowulf.

“Now, Beowulf, best of heroes, I shall heartily love you as if you were mine own son. Preserve this new friendship from this time forth. Nothing in the world that you desire will you lack, so long as it is within my power. Often have I promised recompense for lesser deeds and given my precious hoard to a hero less famed who was less ready to fight.

“By your deeds, you have ensured that your fame shall endure through all the ages. May the Almighty ever reward you with good, just as He has now done!”

In the end, the hall was decorated and the people of Heorot celebrated.

Then the order was given to promptly bedeck the hall of Heorot, and the throng of men and women
who gathered to garnish the mead hall and bowers was dense. The tapestries glistened like gold, with many scenes of wonder that delighted each mortal who looked upon them.


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