Compare and contrast life in the two mead halls, Heorot in Beowulf and Camelot in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in a graphic organizer.I can write essays fine, I just cannot understand most...

Compare and contrast life in the two mead halls, Heorot in Beowulf and Camelot in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight in a graphic organizer.

I can write essays fine, I just cannot understand most literary works from the Middle Ages. Please help me? Thanks!(:

I need to include similarities and differences for the folllowing:


What was the appearance of both the halls?:

Entertainment of both the halls?:

Who was present/who was absent at both halls?:

What was the mood/atmosphere of both the halls?:

2 Answers

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amymc | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

When you create your graphic organizer, consider using a chart or perhaps a Venn diagram.

Here is a breakdown of each of these halls:


This is the mead hall featured in the epic Beowulf.  The Danish King Hrothgar made Heorot one of the most elaborate for his time period.  It had gold and jewel inlays and was massive in size.

Then, as I have heard, the work of constructing a building

Was proclaimed to many a tribe throughout this middle earth.

In time – quickly, as such things happen among men –

It was all ready, the biggest of halls.

He whose word was law

Far and wide gave it the name ‘Heorot’.

The men did not dally; they strode inland in a group

Until they were able to discern the timbered hall,

Splendid and ornamented with gold.

The building in which that powerful man held court

Was the foremost of halls under heaven;

Its radiance shone over many lands.

The Danish noblemen used the Heorot as a place to plan their battles and to celebrate their victories.  However, when Grendel attacks, many felt that it was a punishment for Hrothgar's vanity.

In the middle of the hall was a long table.  The king sat at the head of the table and the queen at the foot.  The noblemen would then take places according to their rank and station.

During this time period, life was rough, so heavy drinking was, indeed, a way to compensate for the harshness of daily existence.  Warriors would enjoy mead and wine fully during holidays and during celebratory feasts. Banquets and feasts were the primary entertainment functions of Heorot.   Battle strategy and securty were the business functions of the hall.

Men, women and children were allowed in the mead hall, but it was primarily a place for men.


The famous hall of King Arthur, Camelot is surrounded by mythology and folklore.  It is more of a castle with several rooms than Heorot which only had one main room.

Arthur, Guinevere and the knights held court proceedings there along with feasts and celebrations, so, like Heorot, Camelot had multiple functions.

One of the most outstanding features of Camelot was its Round Table.  This type of seating allowed all members to see and hear all other members, and it removed the concept that some seats at the table were more important than others.

Many people believe that Camelot is purely fiction and instead represented the culture and values of people.  On the other hand, the mead hall is a documented truth about its time period, whether or not Heorot, as described, actually existed.