Beowulf summary



Beowulf summary


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Beowulf summary


Beowulf Summary


The Danish king Hrothgar was enjoying a great reign when he begins having trouble in his kingdom with a monster Grendel that has invaded his mead hall. The mead hall is the gathering place of the Danes where they sing and feast, yet Grendel occupies it nightly devouring any Dane who enters. For twelve years Grendel prevents anybody from entering the mead hall causing Hrothgar to be miserable.

From across the sea the Geats hear of the Danes terrible problem with Grendel and rush Beowulf and a group of his men to aid the Danes. The men arrive and immediately prepare to take on Grendel at night. They camp out in the mead hall and wait for Grendel. When he comes they are all asleep but Beowulf who is only pretending. Grendel snatches up one soldier and eats him. Next he reaches to eat Beowulf, who grabs Grendel's arm and rips it off. Grendel fleas leaving a long trace of blood, and Beowulf and his men rejoice knowing Grendel is dead. Beowulf hangs the arm from the rafters of the mead hall.


Later that night Grendel's mother comes to the mead hall to avenge her son's death and snatches up one soldier quickly while also picking up her son's arm. She fleas quickly however because she does not have the strength to battle like her son.

Beowulf and his men are enraged so they follow her to her home under a lake. Beowulf dives into the lake and finds her lair. He struggles with her and eventually finds a sword that is shining from the light of God, he takes and uses it to behead her. He later chops the head off of the dead Grendel and takes it to the surface. He comes out of the water and his men are all joyful as they go to give the great news to Hrothgar. Hroghgar is ecstatic and gives gifts to the men.

50 years later Beowulf is the king of the Danes, a Dragon is terrorizing the people. Beowulf by then is old and yet he still goes to fight the Dragon and takes a group of men with him. When they arrive all but one of them flea, Wiglaf, he helps kill the Dragon, who slashed at Beowulf's throat causing him to die. Beowulf did make a speech before dying saying that Wiglaf was the last true warrior. Wiglaf later yelled at the other men for running away. And when all was said and done the Danes built Beowulf a funeral pyre to honor him.

In the end it is obvious that Beowulf was a legend to the Danes and his legacy lived on for thousands of years. Wiglaf's bravery at the end to help Beowulf defeat the dragon makes Beowulf proud and is in the tradition of great warriors like Beowulf. This story has a great plot that develops because of the three problems that Beowulf encounters. It is very easy to follow and very good reading once the summary and general idea is given off to the reader.


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Beowulf summary

Beowulf Scene Summaries


Scene #

Grendel Attacks The Danes- #1



  • Place- Herot Hall (Castle)


  • Time- Night




  • Grendel (Antagonist)


  • King Hrothgar & Danes (from Denmark).



  • Grendel, an evil monster, goes to Herot Hall.


  • Grendel kills 30 Danes out of jealousy on the first night and continues his killing spree for the next several years.


  • King Hrothgar is left weeping with an internal conflict over the loss of his men.







The Coming of Beowulf


Scene #

#2- The Coming of Beowulf.



  • Land of the Geats (where Beowulf hears about the killings).


  • Denmark Shore (Greeted by guard).


  • Herot Hall


  • Daytime (Beowulf and his men look suspicious in war gear).



  • Beowulf and Geats (14 of his men).


  • Danish guard


  • King Hrothgar



  • Beowulf learns of Grendel’s killings and commands 14 of his bravest men to get a ship ready for Denmark.


  • The Danish guard greets Beowulf and his men rudely because they look suspicious wearing war gear in the day time.  Beowulf tells the guard that he means no harm and wants to help the Danes.


  • Lastly, he seeks permission to fight Grendel from King Hrothgar.  He convinces him by telling him about his victories in war.


The Battle With Grendel


Scene #

#3- The Battle with Grendel



  • Night time.


  • Herot Hall



  • Grendel


  • Beowulf & Geats


  • Danes


  • Warriors, princes, leaders (from faraway lands)



  • Grendel returns to Herot for another night of flesh-eating and kills one Geat.


  • Grendel attacks Beowulf only to be overwhelmed by his super-human strength.  Grendel attempts to run away.


  • After defeating Grendel, Beowulf hangs his arm as a trophy.  The following morning, everyone comes to the castle to join in the celebration.


The Battle With Grendel’s Mother


Scene #

#4- The Battle With Grendel’s Mother.



  • Daylight turns into night (Beowulf’s men thinks that Beowulf has been defeated- triumph of evil over good).


  • Grendel’s mother’s lair (Beowulf defeats Grendel’s Mother).

Beowulf’s descent into hell



  • Beowulf


  • Grendel’s Mother


  • Grendel


  • Geats (Beowulf’s men)


  • King Hrothgar and Danes





  • Grendel’s mother goes to Herot Hall to seek revenge and retrieves her son’s arm.


  • Beowulf dives into her underwater lair (descent into hell) and confronts her.


  • At first, Grendel’s Mother attacks Beowulf and has him near death.  Fortunately, Beowulf’s chest armor and Grendel’s Mother’s sword ultimately protects him and enables him to win.

Irony: Grendel’s mother is killed by her own sword.


  • Beowulf beheads Grendel’s corpse to replace the arm as a trophy.


The Battle with the Dragon



#5- The Battle with the Dragon



  • Dragon’s cave


  • Destruction in Beowulf’s kingdom(Night)



  • Beowulf


  • Wiglaf


  • Dragon


  • Slave


  • Geats (Cowards)



  • The slave went to the cave and stole gems from the dragon for his freedom.


  • The dragon burned the town down out of revenge.


  • Beowulf, as an elderly king, tries to help his people out and cement his legacy as a hero. 


  • The Geats run for the woods when the dragon attacks and Wiglaf comes to the rescue to help Beowulf defeat the dragon. Beowulf wants a monument built for him.


The Funeral Fire



#6- The Funeral Fire



  • Geatland (out to sea for Beowulf funeral).





  • Geats



  • The Geats held a funeral service for Beowulf and honored him by building a monument.


  • The Geats fear future captivity, possibly a war or some form of oppression.



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Beowulf summary

Summary and Analysis of Beowulf


Lines 1–193

The poem’s narrator calls for the attention of his audience and introduces his topic with a brief genealogy of the Scyldings (Danes). The tribe has taken its name from Scyld Scefing, a mythological hero who, many years earlier, reached their shores as a castaway babe on a ship mysteriously laden with treasure. Through industry, courage, and character, Scyld Scefing became a great leader and honored king. His son, Beow (sometimes called Beowulf but not to be confused with the epic’s central hero), continued the successful reign after Scyld’s death and sea burial. Beow ruled long and well, “beloved by his people” (54). Beow’s son, Healfdene, sired four offspring, the most notable of whom is Hrothgar, king of the Scyldings as the story unfolds. Hrothgar has been a great king and won many victories for his people. As a symbol of his success, he has built a great mead-hall, called Heorot, the finest of its kind. In Heorot, Hrothgar’s men celebrate with joyful laughter and songs from the king’s bard. The Scyldings prosper. An ogre named Grendel lives in the nearby moors and takes exception to his neighbors’ excessive happiness. A descendant of Cain, he envies and resents mankind. One night he attacks without warning and slaughters 30 of Hrothgar’s men. He returns the next night and soon drives the Scyldings from the great hall. His ruthless dominance lasts 12 years.


Lines 194–606

In the land of the Geats, today southwestern Sweden, the most powerful of all living warriors — Beowulf — hears of Hrothgar’s dilemma. A nephew and thane of King Hygelac, Beowulf carefully chooses 14 of the finest warriors in Geatland to sail to Denmark. A retainer of Hrothgar, assigned to guarding the coast, spots Beowulf and his men when they land and leads the group to Heorot. Almost everyone is impressed with Beowulf’s noble stature, enormous size, and obvious strength. Hrothgar’s herald, Wulfgar, strongly urges the king to meet with Beowulf and the Geats. Hrothgar needs little convincing. He once protected Beowulf’s now deceased father, Ecgtheow, from a blood feud and knew Beowulf when he was a boy. Hrothgar has already heard that Beowulf has the strength of 30 men in his hand grip and welcomes the visitors Beowulf confirms to Hrothgar that he is there to do battle with the ogre who terrorizes Heorot. The young warrior states his credentials: He has destroyed a tribe of giants, defeated sea monsters in night fight, and returned from battle covered with the blood of his enemies. He has driven trouble out of his native land. Beowulf states that he will fight Grendel without armor or sword, hand to claw, because the ogre does not use weapons. If Beowulf is killed, he wants his war-shirt (breast armor, mail) returned to King Hygelac. Hrothgar offers a joyful feast in honor of Beowulf’s arrival. The good cheer is interrupted by Unferth, a top thane of Hrothgar, who insults Beowulf and questions his reputation.


Lines 607–836

As the good will of the gathering returns, Queen Wealhtheow passes around more mead. Courteous and stately, adorned with gold and jewels, she makes an impressive appearance. She greets Beowulf and thanks God for his arrival. Beowulf pledges to defeat Grendel that night in the mead-hall or die trying. Hrothgar retires early. The party breaks up, but Beowulf and the Geats remain to spend the night in Heorot. Grendel comes up from the marsh hoping to find a human to devour. In some respects, he looks like a man: two arms (something like giant claws), two legs, one head; but he is much larger and stronger than most men and might be thought of as a huge, angry monster whose joy is destroying the joy of men. He is delighted when he sees several Geats sleeping in the hall. Beowulf lies awake, watching, as Grendel kills and eats one of the warriors. Then he reaches for his second kill, Beowulf. The Geat champion grabs hold of Grendel’s claw with the strength of 30 men and won’t let go. Grendel cannot escape, and a vicious match ensues, ending when Beowulf rips Grendel’s arm from its shoulder socket. Mortally wounded, Grendel flees. Beowulf hangs the giant’s claw under the roof of the mead-hall (926–983).


Lines 837–1062

Warriors and chieftains from considerable distances gather at Heorot the next morning to marvel at the trophy, Grendel’s claw, and to celebrate Beowulf’s victory. Some follow the ogre’s bloody footprints down to his lake where the water boils with Grendel’s blood. On the way back to Heorot, Hrothgar’s scop entertains the men with traditional songs as well as an improvised account of Beowulf’s victory. Included is the story of Sigemund, an ancient hero who is recalled in honor of Beowulf. In contrast, the scop also sings of Heremod, a bad ruler who brought sorrow and death to his own people. Hrothgar gives a speech from the porch at Heorot and thanks God for Beowulf’s triumph. Beowulf briefly recounts the battle, and even Unferth is impressed enough to keep silent. Work is begun to refurbish Heorot. A great feast is held in Beowulf’s honor at which Beowulf and his men receive numerous gifts.


Lines 1063–1250

As the celebration continues within Heorot, Hrothgar’s scop honors Beowulf with a story of another Danish victory, the Finnsburh episode.


Lines 1251–1491

On the night following Grendel’s death, the warriors sleep easy in Heorot for the first time in years, confident that the terror of the ogre is behind them. They don’t realize that Grendel has a living mother intent on revenge. She ascends from her mere and raids the hall, retrieving Grendel’s claw and murderously abducting one of the thanes. Before dawn, Beowulf and his men report to Hrothgar. The Geat hero agrees to pursue Grendel’s mother. Hrothgar promises more rewards and greater fame for Beowulf. Accompanied by warriors, Hrothgar leads Beowulf to the mere that harbors the vengeful mother. It is a dark and evil place. Huge serpents and water-beasts inhabit the lake. Beowulf dresses for battle and prepares to search the lake for the enemy. Unferth humbles himself by presenting Beowulf with his great sword, Hrunting. The Geat hero speaks what may be his final words.


Lines 1492–1650

Beowulf dives into the mere wearing his mail-shirt and carrying Hrunting in its scabbard. Deep in the lake, the mother grasps him tightly with her claws so that he cannot draw his sword. The mail-shirt protects him even though various water-beasts thrust at him as the mother carries Beowulf to an underwater cave, which is dry and lighted by “glaring flames” (1517). Once there, Beowulf manages to mount an attack, but Hrunting is ineffective against the ogre’s tough hide. Beowulf then tries to wrestle her, but he fails to gain the kind of death grip that defeated Grendel. Although she is knocked down, the mother immediately counters Beowulf’s attack and soon is sitting on him. She pulls her knife, but it cannot pierce his mail-shirt. Again on his feet, Beowulf spots a huge sword made by giants. Although he can barely lift it, he manages a mighty blow that severs the mother’s spine at the neck, killing her. A blessed light suddenly illuminates the cavern, revealing Grendel’s corpse. Beowulf lops off the head to replace the trophy of the claw that the mother retrieved.

Amazingly, the giant sword melts except for the hilt, which Beowulf carries along with Grendel’s head as he returns to the surface of the mere. Only his Geats await him. Thinking him dead, Hrothgar and the Danes have returned to Heorot.


Lines 1651–1887

Beowulf presents Grendel’s head to Hrothgar and briefly recounts his battle with the mother. Assuring the king of Heorot’s safety, he places the gold hilt of the giant sword in Hrothgar’s hand. The king examines the hilt and then speaks to Beowulf, giving a sermon on the dangers of fame and success and the vicissitudes of life. Hrothgar notes that he himself had great fortune as a young man and ruled successfully for 50 years until Grendel brought him down. Now he thanks God for Beowulf’s victory. The warriors feast and sleep safely. In the morning, Beowulf returns Hrunting to Unferth and receives numerous gifts before he and his men exchange farewells with the Danes and sail for home.

Lines 1888–2199

Beowulf and his men return to their ship and set sail for Geatland. The poet interrupts his report on Beowulf’s return to discuss the Geats’ Queen Hygd and the qualities of a virtuous queen as contrasted to a wicked ruler like Queen Modthrytho. After this interlude, the narrator returns to Beowulf’s arrival at King Hygelac’s splendid hall. Hygd passes among the thanes serving mead, reminiscent of Wealhtheow’s admirable hospitality at Heorot. Hygelac asks about Beowulf’s journey, and the young champion recounts his visit to the Scyldings, digressing to consider Hrothgar’s attempt to make peace with the Heathobards. Returning to his own story, Beowulf briefly reports on his victory over Grendel, the surprise attack by Grendel’s mother, and his triumph at the cave beneath the mere. Beowulf presents various treasures to Hygelac and Hygd, most notably presenting the queen with the magnificent gold necklace that Wealhtheow gave him. Hygelac rewards Beowulf with a rare heirloom, a sword covered with gold. He also honors the young warrior with “lands, seven thousand hides, / a hall, and gift-throne” (2195–96). Beowulf is now a lord of the realm, but it is clear that he still owes his allegiance to Hygelac.


Lines 2200–2400

Years pass. Hygelac is killed in battle. His son, Heardred, inherits the throne, with Beowulf’s support, but is also slain. Beowulf becomes king of the Geats and rules well for 50 years. To everyone’s alarm, however, a terrifying dragon begins to stalk the countryside at night, destroying homes — including Beowulf’s great hall — with his fiery breath. For 300 years, the dragon has peacefully guarded a treasure-trove, originally the riches of a now-defunct tribe but long hidden in a “high barrow-hall, / towering stone-mound” (2212–13). A lone Geat fugitive, apparently a servant or slave escaping a cruel master, has stolen a single flagon from the hoard, outraging the dragon and inciting him to vengeance. When Beowulf hears of the dragon’s night raids, the king initially wonders if he could have angered God in some way, bringing this trouble to his people. Before long, however, the aging warrior focuses on his responsibility as protector and prepares to face the monster in battle. Although he is now an old man, Beowulf believes that he can defeat the dragon by himself. He remembers victories against Grendel and Grendel’s mother, as well as a heroic escape from Frisia after Hygelac was killed. Always conscious of weapons and tactics, Beowulf prepares by ordering a new shield, made of iron, since the dragon-fire would make short sparks of his usual linden-wood. Courageous and determined, if not quite the man he once was, the old warrior sets off.

Lines 2401–2630

With eleven of his most trusted retainers, men who have gladly accepted the gifts of a generous king, Beowulf sets out to find the dragon. Reluctantly guiding them is the fugitive who originally stole the cup from the treasure-trove. The dragon’s barrow lies near the sea, between a cliff and the beach. Once there, Beowulf pauses to reflect on his life and he recalls his own glory days and the victories that he earned for his king and their people. Beowulf presents his last war speech to the select company. He will face the fire-dragon alone. Discovering an entrance to the barrow under the stone cliff, Beowulf decides that he cannot enter due to flames already covering the passage. He calls out the dragon, and the two face off. Beowulf’s new shield is less protection than he had hoped. His sword fails to penetrate the dragon’s hide. Wounded and burned, the great old champion needs help. At this crucial time, all but one of his retainers abandon him, fleeing to safety in a nearby wood. Only young Wiglaf remains. Although this is his first battle, he cannot desert his king.


Lines 2631–2820

Wiglaf calls to the other ten retainers and reminds them of the promises that they made to Beowulf. In exchange for his protection and gifts, they all had vowed to fight for their king whenever he needed them. Even though Beowulf intended to deal with the dragon one-on-one, he now clearly needs help. The other thanes do not return. Although he realizes that he may die in the battle, Wiglaf rushes to Beowulf’s defense. Wiglaf’s wooden shield burns as the dragon attacks again. The young retainer ducks behind Beowulf’s iron shield, which is no great help but is better than nothing. Beowulf musters the strength to swing his mighty sword, Naegling, one last time; unfortunately, it snaps on the dragon’s head. The dragon charges again, piercing Beowulf’s neck with his sharp fangs. Although his hand is sorely burned, Wiglaf finds a vulnerable spot well beneath the dragon’s head and thrusts his sword into the monster. The dragon’s fire decreases. Beowulf rallies to use his knife and is able to cut into the monster’s entrails, killing him. Realizing he is dying, Beowulf speaks his final words as Wiglaf attempts to comfort him.


Lines 2821–3182

Grieving over the death of Beowulf, the man who was “dearest in his life” (2822), Wiglaf bends over the corpse, gently washing his king as if hoping to restore him. The other ten retainers come out of the woods and receive a harsh lecture from their new king. Wiglaf sends a messenger to speak to other Geats who are not far away, waiting for news of the battle. The messenger reports Beowulf’s death. Anticipating renewed problems with the Swedes, he recounts the history of their feud with the Geats. Sadly Wiglaf calls the company to visit Beowulf’s death site where they can see the huge (“fifty foot-paces” long, 3042) body of the dragon as well as Beowulf’s corpse. Wiglaf speaks to the assembled Geats, informing them of the old king’s funeral directions and setting them to work on the pyre at Whale’s Cliff. With seven thanes, the new leader hauls the treasure out of the barrow. The audience learns that the cache had been cursed and is to be buried with Beowulf. The funeral pyre is immense; the grief of the old king’s people is profound. One nameless woman sings a lament for the fallen hero, expressing terror at the future of the Geats without his protection. Constructing the funeral barrow takes 10 days. In it are placed Beowulf’s ashes and the treasure for which he died. It is said that they lie there even now


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Beowulf summary

                                      Beowulf  1 - 8 (ln558)


concept  epic poem  A long narrative poem dealing with the trials and achievements of a legendary hero or heroes.


            Epic hero:  a character who resembles the admired qualities of the people, has extraordinary strength and may determine the fate of many people.  Many of their qualities are celebrated in today’s modern stories.


focus:  To analyze the main characters of the story.




-- A brief history is given on how Hrothgar was born, a great king who won many victories for the Scyldings (Danes).

--  Hrothgar builds a great mead hall called Heorot.

--  Grendel takes offense to the celebration coming from Heorot and attacks without warning.

--  He returns the next night and drives the Scyldings out.

--  Grendel rules the area for 12 years.

--  Beowulf sets out from the land of Geats (Sweden) to help Hrothgar.

--  Beowulf states that he will fight the monster without weapons.


Points to Ponder



How can you tell that Beowulf is a legendary hero? (he is larger than life and remember from tales long ago)

What might Heorot be symbolic of?

What is the motivation for Beowulf to help Hrothgar?

Describe Beowulf. (brave, loyal, cares about reputation, desires fame.)

Describe Hrothgar.

Describe Grendel

Why does Beowulf not want to fight Grendel with weapons?  What does this say about his personality?

How is “reputation” shown as a theme in this section? Elaborate please!

How is “honor” shown as a theme in this sections? Elaborate please! (How do you know that he is an honorable man?  He fights Grendle without weapons because the monster has none.)

Why might “Beowulf” be considered a legendary story?


                                               Beowulf 9 -15  (ln 1049)


focus:  To examine the imagery used within the poem.




--  Unfrerth insults Beowulf at the great feast.

--  Grendel comes up from the marsh looking to devour a human.

--  Beowulf attacks Grendel in the hall and rips off one of his arms.

-- Grendel flees and Beowulf hangs the arm on the wall.

--  Beowulf is honored with a great feast and work gets under way to rebuild Hereot.


Points to Ponder:


Who insults Beowulf?  What does he say?  Why might he do this?

What is Beowulf’s response?   What does this say about his character?

What lines paint a vivid picture of Grendel?  Describe the monster.

Describe the imagery used in the battle scene?  710  -- What does it focus on?  What does this show?

What does the poet give credit for Beowulf’s victory over Grendel’s mother? (God’s judgement)

How is the theme “change of fortune” shown so far in this poem?

Describe in detail the various ways in which Beowulf’s victory is celebrated.

What might be some minor themes displayed in the story?


                                               Beowulf 16 - 21 (ln 1470)




--  One of Hrothgar’s musicians sings  the story of another great Danish victory.

--  The warriors sleep easily for the first time in years.

-- They are unaware that Grendel has a mother who is intent on seeking revenge.

--  Grendel’s mother retrieves the claw and captures one of the men.

--  Accompanied by warriors, Beowulf goes to the mother’s lair.

-- Unferth gives his sword to Beowulf.


Points to Ponder:


How is the theme “revenge” presented in this section?

What motivates Beowulf to take on this task?

What uses of imagery are effective in creating the picture of the lake? 

Although the mother is less powerful than Grendel, what might be working in her favor?

Why did Unferth give his sword to Beowulf?

How is the theme “change in power” shown here?

How is honor and reputation shown as a theme in this section?



                                               Beowulf  22 - 26



focus:  To examine the main character of the poem.




--  Beowulf dives into the lake and finds that his sword Hrunting is ineffective against the mother’s tough hide.

--  The monster makes an attack as well, but can’t pierce Beowulf’s armor.

--  Beowulf grabs a sword made by giants and kills Grendel’s mother with it.

--  Beowulf returns with the Grendel’s head as a trophy.

-- The next day Beowulf and his men sail for home.


Points to Ponder:


Describe in detail the battle scene.

How is “change in power” shown in this section?

Describe Beowulf’s personality in this section.

What warning does Hrothgar give Beowulf?  Why does he do this?

What treasure is probably the most important to Beowulf?  Why?

Describe the King’s personality.



                                               Beowulf    27 - 34  ln2390


focus:  To examine the characters present within the story and to review foreshadowing.





-- Beowulf returns to Geatland and recalls his adventure to King Hygelac.

--  Beowulf presents various treasurers to the King and queen.

--  The king rewards him with land , a hall, and a throne.

--  Beowulf is now a lord but still under King Hygelac’s rule.

-- Beowulf becomes king of the Geats after Hygelac’s son is killed in battle.

--  A dragon attacks the country side in a rage over stolen treasure.

--  Even though he is much older now, Beowulf sets out to defeat the dragon.


Points to Ponder:


Contrast the two queens Hygd and Modthrytho.

Compare Hygd with Wealhtheow.

How is the importance of generosity shown so far in this poem?  How might it be a theme?

What is the motivation behind the dragon and Beowulf?

What does ln 2311 foreshadow? 

What else in the book foreshadows the outcome of this battle?

What is your opinion of Beowulf’s mission?


                                               Beowulf  34 - 43


focus:  To examine the themes present within the poem.




--  Beowulf sets out with 11 men to find the dragon who lives by the sea.

--  Beowulf pauses to reflect on his victories and gives his last war speech.

--  Beowulf realizes he can’t defeat the dragon alone.

--  All of his soldiers have left except for Wiglaf.

--  The dragon sinks his teeth into Beowulf as Wiglaf strikes a weakening hit.

--  Beowulf cuts the dragon with his knife killing him.

--  Beowulf speaks his final words as he lays dying.

--  Beowulf is laid to rest with much respect from his countrymen.


Points to Ponder:


How does Beowulf’s excessive pride bring about his downfall?

Does Beowulf think he may die?  Explain.

Describe in detail the speech Beowulf gives to his men.

Describe in detail the battle scene.

Describe in detail Wiglaf’s speech to the deserters.  How does this fit one of the themes?

Describe in detail the main points given in Beowulf’s dying speech.

What does it mean when Beowulf gives Wiglaf his gold necklace?

Why does Beowulf want a tower built for him?

What is the irony when they build it?

Describe Wiglaf’s personality.

How do some of the themes studied work into the last section of the poem.

How do you know that “Beowulf” is an epic poem?












Epic Hero Characteristics



  1.  Male Hero of noble birth
  2. Hero performs courageous acts
  3. Hero’s actions determine the fate of this people
  4. Formal tone and diction
  5. Hero delivers long formal speeches
  6. Plot involves supernatural beings and a dangerous journey into foreign lands
  7. Deals with universal themes (good vs. evil)
  8. Displays the characteristics admired by the people of the time



Anglo Saxon Period


  1.  What years does this literary time period span?



  1. Who were the first settlers in Britain and what religion did they practice?



  1. What significant changes did the Romans bring to Britain?



  1.  How did Britain change under Anglo-Saxon rule?



  1. Describe Anglo-Saxon life and religion.



  1. Why were bards so significant to the Anglo-Saxon culture?



  1.  How did the work of Christian Monks (monasteries) preserve literary classics and great oral traditions?  Comment on how this may have impacted Beowulf, and all other classic literature as well.




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Beowulf summary



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Beowulf summary