Lines 836–1,250 Summary and Analysis
Siegmund: the protagonist of a poem sung at the feast to urge “good character” in obtaining glory as opposed to Hermod, who demonstrated “bad character” in the same pursuit
Finn: also sung about in poetry to demonstrate “bad character” since he attacked his wife’s people without warning, killing her son and brother. He then forced his enemies into a peace treaty and was, eventually, murdered by them.
Hermod: a previous Danish king whose character was as poor as his military skill was great
Hrothulf: Hrothgar’s nephew who was raised by Hrothgar and Welthow after his own father died when he was a young boy
The next morning, crowds joyfully arrive to view the scene of the battle and Grendel’s dying path back to his den. Horse races are held and Beowulf’s praises are sung. Hrothgar, upon seeing Grendel’s claw, arm, and shoulder hanging from the rafters of Herot, offers Beowulf any reward he may desire, whereupon Beowulf apologizes for not having Grendel’s corpse to present to the Danish king. Unferth abandons any thought of taunting Beowulf and another feast is ordered by Hrothgar in celebration of the rebirth of Herot, which will once again be the home of the Danish warriors.
At the feast, Beowulf is presented with prizes by the grateful Hrothgar: a golden banner, a helmet, a coat of mail, an ancient sword, and eight horses with golden bridles—one wearing the jeweled saddle shaped like a war-seat which had carried Hrothgar to war. Toasts are offered and the other Geats are also rewarded. Gold is given as compensation for Hondshew’s life. Songs, laughter, and poetry ring in Herot. Welthow joins Beowulf as he sits between her two sons while being given even more gifts—jewels, this time—and tells him of her faith in him. The feast ends and the Danish soldiers prepare for sleep in Herot with their weapons at their heads and hands and...
(The entire section is 510 words.)