Beowulf Reader Response

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The poem begins with a discussion about Shield Sheafson , who was the king of the Thanes. He was a baby whose parents abandoned him and rose to the top. After Sheafson died, his son Beow became king in his place. Once he died, Hrothgar became the ruler of the Thanes. Hrothgar brought fortune and success to the Thanes and in celebration of it he built a hall called Hereot, where he and his men gathered for festivities. For a good amount of time the Danes enjoyed peace until one Grendel, who was descendant of Cain, attacked the hall and killed thirty men when they fell asleep. Grendel continued these attacks for twelve winters. After all this time, word begins to spread throughout kingdoms. Beowulf, who is the best warrior in the world, hears the horrible things that are going on and decides to travel to Hrothgar’s kingdom to help defeat Grendel. When Beowulf arrives the Danes question him at first. But Beowulf explains his want of repayment to Hrothgar and simply wants to owe his loyalty to Hygelac. Hrothgar accepts Beowulf’s offer to fight Grendel and invites him and his men to enjoy a feast. During the feast, Beowulf and a Dane named Unferth get into a little argument and Beowulf belittles him in every aspect. As night time approaches, the Danes leave Bewulf and his men alone in the hall. Beowulf lays unarmed with his men waiting for Grendel to arrive.

Grendel finally slams open the hall doors with a rage of fury and immediately kills one of Beowulf’s men. Then Grendel reaches out towards Beowulf and gets put into an arm bar and Beowulf wrestles him down. Beowulf’s men try to help by stabbing Grendel with their swords, but no weapon on earth can hurt Grendel. Beowulf used pure strength and simply rips of Grendel’s arm and the fight is over just like that. The next morning the Danes arrive in excitement and celebrate the death of Grendel seeing that Beowulf had the trophy of Grendel’s arm. When Hrothgar enters he thanks Beowulf and god for finally killing...
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