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In Beowulf, what was King Hrothgar's response to learning that Beowulf had come to his...

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ShayMyName | Student | (Level 1) Honors

Posted February 28, 2013 at 12:14 AM via iOS

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In Beowulf, what was King Hrothgar's response to learning that Beowulf had come to his kingdom?

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

Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:43 AM (Answer #1)

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According to custom, guests had to be introduced to the king by a herald, and thus it is the herald who brings Hrothgar news of Beowulf's arrival. However, it is absolutely clear that Hrothgar is delighted to have Beowulf and his men visit him, as he hopes that Beowulf, the fame of whom has already reached his hall, will be the long-awaited deliverer he and his people have been waiting for who will be able to release him from the terror of Grendel's night-time visits. Note how Hrothgar responds to the news of Beowulf's arrival:

Holy God of His grace has sent him to us West-Danes, as I hope, against the terror of Grendel. I shall offer the good man treasures for his daring. Now make haste, bid them come in together to see my company of kinsmen.

Hrothgar therefore sees Beowulf's arrival as an answer from God to his plight and situation. The way that he plans to offer Beowulf riches shows how important the arrival of Beowulf is to Hrothgar, and the haste with which he bids his herald welcome them in formally only underlines this importance. Hrothgar therefore welcomes Beowulf with open arms, seeing in him a potential saviour for himself and his people.


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