In Beowulf, how do the Danes feel about Beowulf after his battle with Grendel?

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iandavidclark3's profile pic

iandavidclark3 | (Level 2) Associate Educator

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After Beowulf vanquishes Grendel, the Danes shower him with praise. In particular, Hrothgar presents him with several gifts, such as horses, armor, and a sword. This act is particularly important, as gift giving was an especially important sign of respect during the period when Beowulf was written. Usually, kings or lords gave gifts to those who performed great deeds or services. Often, this meant that a king or lord would give lavish gifts to warriors who distinguished themselves in battle, just as Beowulf does. As such, Hrothgar's gifts are a sign of true gratitude and respect. Though the Danes' celebrations are short-lived (Grendel's mother comes to Heorot to cause mayhem and avenge her son), the ways in which they honor Beowulf mark him as a true hero, and Hrothgar's gifts signify the warrior to be an invaluable member of the community. Later on, once Beowulf becomes king, he is noted for being kind and generous, as he gives generous gifts to this followers in the same way that Hrothgar presented him with lavish rewards.  

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ms-mcgregor's profile pic

ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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As you can imagine, the Danes are thrilled. Crowds gather to view the battle scene and look at Grendel's bloody path. Hrothgar offers Beowulf any reward he wants. The Danes hold a huge celebration feast where they give Beowulf many valuable gifts. Unfortunately, they don't realize that Grendel has a mother who is still living and now is furious at both the Danes and Beowulf for killing her son.

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