Beowolf Questions

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[Prologue: The Rise of the Danish Nation] (Lines 1-85, pp. 33-34)

1. Realize that this prologue introduces the Danes, not Beowulf or his people the Geats. What was unusual about the way Shield came to be ruler of the Danes? What was his funeral like? What relation is Hrothgar to Shield? Unlike Hrothgar, Shield became king because he had the ability to take down the enemies. Hrothgar became king through wealth. When Shield died the Danes buried him and his treasures in the sea. Hrothgar happens to be Shield’s grandson

[Heorot is Attacked] (lines 86-188, pp. 34-36)

1. Grendel, the monster, attached thirty warriors while they were asleep and ran home with their bodies for a couple of nights. This devastated the Danes and the sorrow soon spread overseas. What magnificent work did Hrothgar undertake? Who attacked it, and with what result? How long did the attacks last? What was the response of the Danes?

[The Hero Comes to Heorot] (Lines 189-490, pp. 36-42)

1. What does Beowulf do when he hears of Hrothgar's problems with Grendel? When Beowulf hears of Hrothgar's problems with Grendel, he immediately rounded up a boat and his bravest men to go were there help was needed. (Denmark) 2. Whom do the Geats first meet when they arrive in Denmark? What does he do, and what do they do? When the Geats first arrive in Denmark, the meet Hrothgar’s lieutenant who was patrolling along the cliffs. He questioned the Geats to figure out why they were there and warned them no one passes without permission or a password/sign. They then replied they were there to save the Danes from the monster. 3. They next meet Hrothgar's herald. Who is he? What does he tell them? What does he tell Hrothgar? What does Hrothgar respond? Are you surprised that Hrothgar knows Beowulf so well? Hrothgar's herald interrogates the Geats about where they've come from and what they're doing. He's impressed by their mighty appearance. Hrothgar is thrilled the men are there to help which is strange because he doesn’t know them to well yet is letting them on the land.

4. What does Beowulf tell Hrothgar when he enters? What did Hrothgar do for Beowulf's father? Beowulf tells Hrothgar that his men follow Higlac. (King of Geats) Hrothgar knew Beowulf’s father because he was a famous soldier known as a leader of men.

[Feast at Heorot] (Lines 491-661, pp. 42-46)

1. What does Unferth accuse Beowulf of? How does Beowulf answer him? How is this episode relevant to the poem as a whole? What does Beowulf accuse Unferth of? Unferth accuses Beowulf of losing a swimming match and will once again have to have defeat with Grendel. Beowulf retaliates by accusing Unferth of drunkenness and describes what happen in the swimming match. This is relevant because Unferth may indeed be correct; Beowulf would have met defeat again if it wasn’t for Wiglaf.

2. What is Queen Wealhtheow doing during the feasting?
At the feast she offers drinks to all the men present. She distributes food and drink, and also strives for goodwill and peace.

[The Fight with Grendel] (Lines 662-835, pp. 46-49)

1. Heroic poetry normally has a scene in which the hero arms for battle. What is different about Beowulf's preparations for his fight with Grendel? Beowulf prepares for battle differently than any other heroic poetry scene. He doesn’t do much preparing. He is more anxious to get rid of the monster. He was prepared however to fight without a sword.

2. What happens when Grendel enters Heorot? How does Beowulf fight with him? What happens when Grendel tries to leave? Does Grendel escape? What does he leave behind? When Grendel enters Heorot, he became furious searching for the warriors until he found them and kills one Geat. While fighting the monster, Beowulf uses his bare hands. Grendel does escape, however; he somehow managed to leave behind his arm. [Celebration at Heorot] (Lines 836-1250, pp. 49-60)

1.When the Danes and Geats return from following Grendel's tracks to...
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