Beowulf – 24 Most Important QnA
1. Describe Herot.
The foremost of halls under heaven. It is spacious. It symbolizes human joy and happiness.
2. Describe Grendel’s lair. How does it compare to Herot?
It is a supernatural lake. It is filled with monsters and is not big compared to Herot which is spacious and beautiful.
3. What is the significance of Grendel being descended from Cain?
He is cursed by God and will continue to commit crimes because of his family tree
4. Why does Grendel attack Herot?
He hears songs and stories about God and worship
5. What had Herot symbolized before the coming of Grendel? After?
Before it was a place of happiness afterwards it was a place of defeat and sorrow
6. Why is Hrothgar’s lieutenant concerned about the arrival of Beowulf and his men?
He wants to receive credit for all he has done not just Beowulf
7. How does the lieutenant recognize Beowulf as a hero?
Beowulf receives his sword
8. Why does Unferth bring up Beowulf’s swimming match with Brecca? How does Beowulf respond?
He brings it up to make Beowulf sound like less of a hero but it ends up just giving Beowulf an excuse to tell the story of his great adventure
9. What is Welthow’s role in Herot? What does the narrator praise her for?
She is the peacemaker. She is calming and peaceful.
10. What is the significance of Hrothgar’s speech in lines 655-661 (44)
11. What are Beowulf’s thoughts as he waits for Grendel’s arrival?
He leaves the outcome up to God to decide and he goes to rest.
1. Why does Beowulf wait, allowing Grendel to kill one of the Geats, before he attacks Grendel?
He doesn’t want Grendel suspicious and he doesn’t want him to suspect him when he attacks
2. Describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel.
Grendel raised his claw to attack, but Beowulf put him in an armlock stronger than Beowulf ever felt before, they stumbled through the hall, Beowulf’s thanes defend him,and Beowulf drives Grendel under the fen, his armlock kills Grendel
3. Why can’t the other warriors come to Beowulf’s aid?
There is no sword on Earth that can defeat Grendel
4. How does Beowulf wound Grendel?
He cuts off his arm
5. What purpose does the comparison between Beowulf and Siegmund serve? The comparison between Beowulf and Hermod?
Both Sigemund and Beowulf have gained glory by slaying a beast on their own , and were given treasure. King Hemrods power decreased because he was hated, Beowulf’s power will increase because he was loved by everyone
6. How does Beowulf respond to Hrothgar’s praise at the feast?
He recounts the fight
7. How does Hrothgar reward Beowulf?
by giving him an embroidered banner,a helmet, a sword, an embossed ridge, a band lapped with wire, and eight horses with gold bridles
8. What does Hrothgar’s generosity say about his character?
he is a grateful king that is loved and respected
9. Summarize the story of Finn.
Hildeburh loses her son and brother on the battlefield, she is extremely distraught, Finn has too few troops, so he offers a truce, divide land between Danes and Frisians, The Danish survivors would be quartered and treated like allies, The Danes become homesick and resentful, spend a winter in exile,The Danes renew the feud and Finn is killed, his widow Hildeburh carried back to Denmark
10. Why is the story of Finn included just before Welthow appears?
Because Welthow warns Hrothgar to give his thrown away to his sons and avoid conflict, because feuds renew quickly and without warning or reason
11. Describe the scene at Herot as everyone goes to bed, after the feast celebrating Grendel’s defeat.
All the men feast on wine
12. Why does Grendel’s mother attack Herot? What does she take with her?
she is grief stricken and desperate with revenge she then kidnaps Esher
13. Who was Esher?
one of the best friends and counselors to Hrothgar
14. What does Hrothgar ask Beowulf to do once Esher is dead?
to kill Grendel’s mother
15. How does Beowulf respond?
he agrees to it
16. Describe the lake where the Grendel dam lives.
it is blood-shot, filled with hot gore, infested with Reptiles, surrounded by sea dragons, and monsters
17. What does Unferth give Beowulf? Why?
a hilted weapon, a rare and ancient sword named Hrunting.Because it had never failed before
18. Describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel’s mother.
Grendel’s mother catches Beowulf in an armlock, but he is unscathed, Beowulf slashes Grendel’s mother with a sword but she is unaffected, he flings his sword away and fights back with his bare hands,They struggle, and Grendel’s mother grabs Beowulf and points a knife at him, which the chain mail saves him from
19. How does Beowulf defeat her?
Beowulf found a sword and kills her
20. What does Beowulf do before he swims back to land? What do Hrothgar and the other warriors think has happened?
He beheads Grendel the other warriors think he’s dead
21. To what does Beowulf attribute his victory? Why?
God for giving him the sword
22. What two things does Beowulf present to Hrothgar?
the gold hilt, Grendel’s head,To be good to his own people unlike Heremod
23. What does Hrothgar warn Beowulf about in his speech?
curse of the pride
24. Describe Beowulf’s departure from the Danes.
Beowulf and his men exchange departures with the Danes and sail home