Beowulf Questions and Answers

Beowulf

Beowulf is the story, in epic poem form, of a great Geat warrior who came to the aid of the Danish King Hrothgar in defeating a monster that was terrorizing his people. The monster, Grendel, was a...

Latest answer posted August 9, 2018, 4:10 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

A kenning is a type of compound metaphor which is very commonly found in Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse poetry and prose. The etymology of the word itself gives us some indication of how these...

Latest answer posted January 21, 2021, 12:03 pm (UTC)

6 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf embodies several traits that make him a textbook epic hero. Some of these traits include his larger-than-life physical strength, his courage in the face of extreme danger, and his loyalty...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2017, 2:32 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

Beowulf is above all courageous and loyal. These two traits inform most of his actions over the course of the poem. He is courageous in that he is willing to face monsters that give even other...

Latest answer posted December 15, 2020, 11:11 am (UTC)

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Beowulf

Beowulf is in search of glory and he hears of the terrible mess Herot and Hrothgar are in and is determined to make a name for himself. He states that he will fight this monster without weapons,...

Latest answer posted April 6, 2010, 2:08 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

A kenning is a distinctive feature of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse poetry. Essentially, it is a type of metaphor, but particularly it is a compound expression which would have a generally understood...

Latest answer posted November 8, 2019, 10:04 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

The dramatic showdown between the great hero Beowulf and Grendel takes place in the magnificent Herot Hall, which Grendel has been terrorizing for twelve consecutive years. The audience has been...

Latest answer posted September 27, 2020, 2:19 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

As other contributors have already pointed out, Grendel is acting out of envy and spite. Miserable, he lashes out at the Danes, jealous of the happiness which human beings can enjoy. In this sense,...

Latest answer posted December 2, 2020, 9:36 am (UTC)

6 educator answers

Beowulf

A kenning is a descriptive phrase, a compound word used to connote something other than what it literally describes. It is a form of metaphor, but it relies upon social understanding, and kennings...

Latest answer posted February 9, 2021, 10:57 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

Grendel is a supernatural villain, the first of three monsters that Beowulf must fight in the epic poem. He is first described as "a fiend out of hell" who "began to work his evil." He is said to...

Latest answer posted November 7, 2019, 7:30 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

Grendel is described as a very large, very strong, bloodthirsty, and cannibalistic creature. Beyond that, we get little physical description. He has been attacking Heorot, the mead hall, for twelve...

Latest answer posted June 28, 2019, 11:36 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Here, Beowulf is boasting that he is just as strong as Grendel, if not stronger. Hrothgar has already made it clear that, despite possible initial reservations, he ultimately trusts Beowulf to...

Latest answer posted July 16, 2019, 12:57 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf's behavior before and during his battle with Grendel is courageous, proud, and honorable. Beowulf, when he hears of Hrothgar's plight, doesn't hesitate to assemble a band of men to travel...

Latest answer posted February 3, 2021, 11:32 am (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf's extraordinary strength is made most plain when he fights Grendel in the first third of the poem. He battles with his own bare hands as opposed to using a weapon, which displays both his...

Latest answer posted September 5, 2020, 12:14 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

Heorot, the great hall of King Hrothgar and the Danes, has been under attack by the monster Grendel, the “notorious waste-wanderer” (line 100) and descendent of Cain. Grendel enters Heorot each...

Latest answer posted September 12, 2020, 2:40 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

Although her role in Beowulf is profound, Grendel's mother is a flat character. We are given very few details about her. We do not know much of her physical appearance—only that she is a swamp hag....

Latest answer posted April 1, 2021, 11:23 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Beowulf

The main plot of Beowulf involves his heroic quests and lasting legacy as a revered warrior and king of Geatland. On Beowulf's first heroic quest, he travels overseas to help Hrothgar, king of the...

Latest answer posted July 1, 2019, 1:47 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

According to poets.org, an epic poem is: a long, often book-length, narrative in verse form that retells the heroic journey of a single person or a group of persons. Elements that typically...

Latest answer posted March 31, 2020, 10:51 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

Grendel suffers a fatal wound during his battle with the revered warrior Beowulf in Heorot Hall. While the warriors sleep inside of the magnificent Heorot Hall, Grendel arrives with bloody...

Latest answer posted October 7, 2019, 5:36 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

Beowulf

The first way Beowulf demonstrates courage is to take the initiative to sail across the sea with his fighting men to confront the monster Grendel. Although his family does owe Hrothgar a debt from...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2020, 3:04 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

In short, Beowulf travels to Herot to challenge and vanquish the monster Grendel, who he has heard is wreaking havoc and horror upon Hrothgar's kingdom. Hrothgar is too old to fight and his sons...

Latest answer posted September 7, 2019, 6:36 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

In chapter XXII of Beowulf, Grendel's mother's lair is described (as Beowulf descends into the cave to destroy her). (On a side note, many epic heroes were required to make a journey into the...

Latest answer posted June 9, 2012, 8:52 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic poem written anonymously sometime around 1000 AD by an author commonly referred to as “the Beowulf Poet.” The work itself presents a moral struggle between good and evil and...

Latest answer posted November 4, 2020, 4:58 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

Beowulf

The sword that Beowulf uses to kill Grendel's mother is the sword that he discovers in her lair once he gets there and faces almost certain defeat at her hands. This sword is described as having...

Latest answer posted September 26, 2018, 9:03 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

I am assuming that you are referring to the 2007 release of Beowulf directed by Robert Zemeckis. Therefore, my answer will be based upon this production. There are many differences between the...

Latest answer posted September 30, 2011, 8:06 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Hrothgar believes that Beowulf is coming to Denmark to help defend his mead hall, Heorot, against Grendel because, years ago, Hrothgar helped Beowulf's father, Edgetho, end a feud with another...

Latest answer posted July 27, 2019, 12:10 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Grendel's mother lives in a cave beneath what is called a mere. A mere is a 12th Century term for a standing body of water. The Old English term can mean a lake, but given the amount of time it...

Latest answer posted July 7, 2015, 11:08 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

The Latin word "comitatus" refers to a feudal relationship between a lord or king and a free warrior who fights for him. Comitatus is an important concept in Anglo-Saxon warrior culture and imposes...

Latest answer posted September 6, 2020, 7:38 pm (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Beowulf, the hero of the Anglo-Saxon epic poem of the same name, and Grendel, the villainous monster whom Beowulf must slay, certainly have some similarities, despite their opposing roles. They...

Latest answer posted November 30, 2019, 2:50 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

Oral epics tended to function to pass on cultural traditions and values in societies lacking both literacy and widespread systems of schooling. Although a small number of monastic schools taught...

Latest answer posted July 18, 2016, 9:34 am (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf asks Wiglaf to build him a tower as a tomb to signify that he, Beowulf, was the greatest warrior of all time.Wiglaf explains: He was still himself, Alive, aware, and in spite of his...

Latest answer posted October 4, 2017, 1:40 am (UTC)

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Beowulf

Beowulf believes he must fight the dragon primarily because it is his duty to do so. As king of the Geats, it is his overriding responsibility to protect his kingdom from all threats to its...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2020, 11:25 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Beowulf shows the centrality of the mead hall as the symbol of Anglo-Saxon values. In this world, nature is not a benign manifestation of divine goodness where one's heart leaps at rainbows and...

Latest answer posted November 9, 2019, 1:45 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

The death caused by Grendel’s mother was far too close and personal for Hrothgar. Grendel’s mother took Aeschere, a warrior and close confidant of the king. Grendel’s mother was on a mission to...

Latest answer posted March 21, 2016, 1:27 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Grendel's mother is a worthy match for Beowulf, but ultimately Beowulf is able to triumph over her. Both he and Grendel's mother are able to survive under water for far longer than any ordinary...

Latest answer posted November 6, 2020, 2:23 pm (UTC)

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Beowulf

When Beowulf enters Hrothgar's Herot, he wants to present himself as the warrior who is going to free the Danes from Grendel's terror. Never one to be timid, Beowulf touts his own accomplishments...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016, 12:28 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf travels to the land of the Danes to kill the monster, Grendel. There are two main reasons for him to do this, beyond the general idea that monsters are bad and ought to be killed. The first...

Latest answer posted September 8, 2020, 11:05 am (UTC)

5 educator answers

Beowulf

Grendel’s mother avenges her son by attacking Heorot at night, killing Hrothgar’s friend Aeschere, and taking with her the trophy of her son’s dismembered arm. Unlike Grendel, the mother’s...

Latest answer posted October 2, 2016, 6:06 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

The first encounter Beowulf has with monsters is presented in retrospect, taking place before the main action of the epic. This involves a swimming contest during which Beowulf encounters and...

Latest answer posted September 22, 2016, 4:27 am (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

At the end of Beowulf, in his final battle the aging Beowulf dies of poisoning when the dragon bites him. Nevertheless, he is able to wield the final blow that kills the dragon, once again...

Latest answer posted September 17, 2020, 12:44 pm (UTC)

5 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf is an archetypal hero, which means he represents the ideal qualities for his culture and in fact for many cultures. In the Anglo-Saxon world, the idea of warrior-king was highly revered,...

Latest answer posted November 16, 2019, 10:10 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

This quote from the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf contains consistent alliteration which contributes to the meaning and tone of the quote. Beowulf has been king for fifty years, and now he prepares...

Latest answer posted September 24, 2013, 3:13 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Part of the reason Beowulf is an epic hero is that he performs heroic deeds not just for his own reputation but also for the good of his people. The poem illustrates Beowulf's concern for both his...

Latest answer posted December 6, 2019, 4:44 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

Examples of alliteration, epithets, hyperbole, kennings, and litotes occur throughout the Old English epic poem Beowulf, and often many of these traits appear together. Notice, for instance, how...

Latest answer posted August 29, 2011, 6:26 am (UTC)

1 educator answer

Beowulf

Herot or Heorot Hall was commissioned by King Hrothgar to be built as a mead hall for his warriors. In the poem, the mead hall is called the "greatest of hall-buildings." It is where King Hrothgar...

Latest answer posted September 16, 2016, 9:43 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

In poetry, alliteration is a literary device using repetition of sounds between words placed closely together. Usually, the repetitive words begin with the same consonant letter. This device is...

Latest answer posted October 13, 2020, 1:59 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

Envy and revenge are both central themes to Beowulf, and they're both addressed in numerous ways. Envy: The clearest example of envy can be seen in Grendel's response to Heorot's happy, rowdy, and...

Latest answer posted September 21, 2016, 1:46 pm (UTC)

2 educator answers

Beowulf

Beowulf has ruled as the King of the Geats for fifty years when a dragon starts to threaten the land as revenge for a slight against him (a desperate man has stolen a golden cup from the dragon's...

Latest answer posted September 23, 2017, 9:13 pm (UTC)

3 educator answers

Beowulf

When he faces the dragon as an old and wise king, Beowulf knows that his death is very likely imminent. Take, for instance, the following quote from Seamus Heaney's translation of the poem: After...

Latest answer posted October 14, 2016, 2:40 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

Beowulf

As a young man, Beowulf is mostly focused on external conflicts. He is a warrior, and he goes looking for battles to enhance his reputation and his glory. He finds his chance for lasting fame at...

Latest answer posted October 21, 2020, 2:22 pm (UTC)

4 educator answers

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