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Beowulf Attacks

By | November 2006
Page 1 of 3
Heorot Hall has fallen into despair. A loathsome beast has ravaged the Danish town center. A confident hero comes and proclaims himself defender of the hall. Comparing components of this story with those countless archived children's tales stored away in our memories, we must ask ourselves if there is something more universal and more essential to the human condition here than meets the eye. What is this hall that it draws the valiant warrior Beowulf across ancient feud lines to offer his mighty sword and impose his will upon any and all offenders? What does the hideous beast seek to destroy that is so genuinely valued by the Danes and the Geats alike?

Beowulf stands up as protector of something much deeper than the mere surface expectations of the reader for bravery and honor; he passionately fights to protect the deep solidarity that Heorot represents for humanity. Viewing Grendel's assault on this human solidarity, we must conclude that the value of the hall regarding international relations and the power of the human spirit is that for which Beowulf must so ardently fight.

Heorot Hall represents the togetherness and fellowship of all peoples; a true monument to the oneness of the human spirit. "Far and wide through the world, I have heard, / orders for work to adorn that wall stead / were sent to many peoples. And soon it stood there, / finished and ready, in full view, / the hall of hallsÂ…" (7). Hrothgar, the newly appointed ruler of the Danes, sent orders to the known world for the construction of a great hall. With great gusto, laborers from around the world came to "adorn the wallstead" and to place their mark as a remembrance of the fellowship that would be contained within the very walls of Heorot.

It is no great stretch of the imagination to therefore conclude that Beowulf, upon hearing of the threat against Heorot, took it upon himself to stage a defense against him who would destroy the very building that for the people represented the...

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