Lines 1-370 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why is Hrothgar’s lineage given?

2. Why is Grendel’s lineage given?

3. What is Herot?

4. Why did Hrothgar build Herot?

5. Why did Herot lay empty for 12 years?

6. Why did Grendel attack Herot?

7. Why hasn’t Hrothgar rid Herot of Grendel?

8. Why does Beowulf come to Denmark?

9. Why does the sentry personally lead Beowulf and his men to Herot after hearing their reason for coming to Denmark?

10. Why does Wulfgar, the herald, urge Hrothgar to see Beowulf?

Answers
1. Hrothgar’s lineage is given to establish that he is a king. It also serves to ready the audience for the kind of poem it enjoys—one dealing with royalty, myths, or history.

2. Grendel’s lineage is given because the audience of the poem belongs to a culture shifting from paganism to Christianity. While the monster is a pagan symbol, he is descended from Cain—a fallen Biblical character—and lives “down in the darkness,” a metaphor for Hell. He is a bridge between paganism and Christianity and also holds out the promise of a battle between good and evil in the poem.

3. Herot is the sumptuously-built meadhall ordered by the Danish king, Hrothgar. It is a beautiful, huge, towering place with hammered gold gables.

4. Hrothgar ordered Herot built as a meadhall for his brave...

(The entire section is 488 words.)