In Beowulf, who is Hrothgar? Briefly summarize his boast to build Herot. What is the function of this building?



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Hrothgar is king of the Danes during the time of Grendle's attacks.  Hrothgar is the son of Healfdane, the grandson of Beo, and the great grandson of Shild, all Danes who were victorious in battles and highly regarded.  When Hrothgar inherited the throne, he led the Danes in battles with such honor and glory that men eagerly joined his armies.  Because of his battle triumphs, Hrothgar wanted to build a mead hall that would hold all his men and reach higher toward heaven than any other mead hall.  He did not want any lives lost in the building of his mead hall and he didn't want to take away any lands used for pastures.  The mead hall was built and named Herot.  This was the place where social gatherings were held.  These gatherings were feasts with sumptuous meals, large quantities of drink, much dancing and music.  It was all the merriment that angered Grendle and led him to attack the men in Herot.  Mead halls were a common sight in communities during this time.  They were the places where communal gatherings occurred.

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