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As seen in Beowulf, why is Hrothgar's lieutenant concerned about the arrival of Beowulf...

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user4286721 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 1, 2013 at 12:49 AM via web

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As seen in Beowulf, why is Hrothgar's lieutenant concerned about the arrival of Beowulf and his men?

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

Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM (Answer #1)

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As Beowulf and his men arrive on Hrothgar's lands (in the epic Beowulf), the Scylding scout (or Hrothgar's lieutenant) is concerned. The men, "with war-gear in readiness," land upon the shore unannounced. The Danes knew nothing of the Geats' arrival or of their intentions upon the Danes' land. 

The scout states that he has never in his life seen men arrive upon Hrothgar's lands so openly or wonderfully armored. He immediately recognizes Beowulf's greatness and the nobility of the warrior. The presence of the men is, essentially, overwhelming, and the scout demands that the men tell him why they are there. 

Not only is the scout in awe of the men, each man Beowulf and his thanes approach immediately recognize their greatness. Although not as concerned as the lieutenant, Beowulf and his men arrive in full battle dress (so as to visually speak to their intent to defeat Grendel). 

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