Beowulf: Basic Questions
What were Hrothgar’s people known as?
Who is the son of Scyld Scefing?
What was Scyld’s funeral like?
He was put into a boat, covered with treasure and armor, and cast off to sea.
Who was Beow’s son?
Who are Healfdene’s 3 known children?
Hrothgar, Heorogar, and Halga
What did Hrothgar want to build?
A gigantic mead hall.
What was Hrothgar’s mead hall called?
Who attacked the mead hall?
Who is Grendel descended from?
Who did Cain kill?
How many people did Grendel kill on his first attack?
What irritated Grendel?
The noise from the mead hall.
Why was Grendel irritated by Heorot?
He felt that the danes were intruding on his land.
How long has Grendel been attacking Heorot?
Who is Beowulf a nephew of?
How many people, including Beowulf, set off for the land of the danes?
Where does Beowulf live?
Why does Beowulf leave Geatland?
To fight Grendel.
What is Wulfgar known for?
Who did Hrothgar know when he was younger?
Beowulf’s father, Ecgtheow
It is said that Beowulf has the strength of____ in each of his hands.
When does Grendel plague Heorot?
How does Beowulf plan to fight Grendel?
Why does Beowulf fight Grendel unarmed?
It would be dishonorable to kill an unarmed foe.
What does Beowulf say about whoever dies in the battle?
That whoever dies is meant to die by God.
What does Beowulf tell Hrothgar to send back to his family if he dies?
Some chain mail
Who did Beowulf’s father kill?
Heatholaf, a wulfing.
What did Beowulf’s father do to repay for his murder of Heatholaf?
He pledged his allegiance to Hrothgar.
What does Hrothgar warn Beowulf of?
That many men have attempted to kill Grendel and died.
Why doesn’t Unferth like Beowulf?
He is envious of the affection he is shown by his kinsmen
What does Unferth claim Beowulf once did?
Lost a swimming match to Breca
What does Unferth say will happen to Beowulf?
He says he will be defeated by Grendel
What does Beowulf claim happened in the swimming match?
He and Breca swam for five days and five nights, and Beowulf killed 9 sea monsters before washing up on Finland.
Who did Unferth kill?
Who is the queen?
Why does Wealhtheow believe Beowulf is there?
By the grace of God
What does Beowulf boast about his fight with Grendel?
He will beat grendel or die trying.
What does Beowulf do before his fight with Grendel?
Remove his armor
What does Beowulf believe will determine who wins the fight?
How does Grendel react after witnessing Beowulf’s strength?
He wants to escape
What does beowulf mean?
Why hasn’t grendel been killed?
His skin is too tough to pierce with swords
How does Beowulf defeat Grendel?
He rips his arm off.
What does Grendel do with Grendel’s arm?
He hangs it up on Heorot
Who was Sigemund?
A great hero who slew a dragon.
What was the Dragon guarding?
How does Hrothgar react to Beowulf’s success?
He things of Beowulf as a son.
What do the danes do after Beowulf’s success?
What does Hrothgar give to Beowulf?
Armor, Weapons, Treasure and Horses
Who was Finn?
King of the Frisians.
Who did Finn defeat?
Who did Finn kill in battle?
Hnaef, the danish leader
What occurs after Finn’s battle?
The danes agree to a truce with the Frisians.
Who is Finn married to?
When do the Danes rise up against the Frisians?
What does Wealhtheow present Beowulf?
a gold necklace.
What does Wealhtheow ask of Beowulf?
That he guide her sons
Why does Grendel’s mother attack Heorot?
She is angered by the death of her son.
What does Grendel’s mother take from Heorot?
Grendel’s arm, and Aeschere.
Where does Grendel’s mother live?
In a horrible swamp
After the second attack, what does Hrothgar ask of Beowulf?
To seek out and kill Grendel’s mother.
What does Beowulf find on his way to kill Grendel’s mother?
Describe the lake at Grendel’s mother’s lair.
The water burns and the bottom of it has never been reached.
What does Unferth give Beowulf?
His sword, Hrunting, which has never failed in battle.
What does Beowulf give Unferth before he enters the lake?
His own sword
How long did it take Beowulf to reach the bottom of the lake?
Half a day.
How long had Grendel’s mother been hidden in the lake?
100 half years
What happens when Beowulf attacks Grendel’s mother with Unferth’s sword?
It doesn’t work.
What does Beowulf use to kill Grendel’s mother?
A gigantic sword made for giants.
What does Beowulf see on the ground in Grendel’s mother’s lair?
What does Beowulf do with Grendel’s body?
He cuts off the head as payment for all the lives he had taken.
What happens to the giant sword, and why?
It begins to melt because of Grendel’s fiery blood.
What does Beowulf do once the sword begins to melt?
He takes the hilt of the sword and Grendel’s head with him to the surface.
How many men does it take to carry Grendel’s head?
Why does Beowulf claim he survived the battle with Grendel’s mother?
Because God wanted him to.
Where does Beowulf take place?
Who does Hrothgar contrast Beowulf with?
The evil King Heremod
What does Hrothgar warn Beowulf not to do?
Become prideful and arrogant
What does Hrothgar claim about death?
That it is destined for all men.
What does Hrothgar say about wealth and power?
That they can make a man forget that death is inevitable.
What does Hrothgar urge Beowulf to do after he kills Grendel’s mother?
Focus on Eternal Rewards and not material wealth.
What is Beowulf’s attitude towards death?
He is indifferent toward it.
What does Hrothgar tell Beowulf will happen?
He will suffer some catastrophe eventually, regardless of his good deeds.
Who is Hygelac’s wife?
Who was Modthryth?
A queen who killed/tortured anyone who even looked at her the wrong way.
What tamed Modthryth’s temper?
Her marriage to Offa
Who is Freawaru engaged to?
What does Beowulf predict will come of the engagement between Freawaru and Ingeld?
It will reignite the feud between their families.
What is the purpose of the engagement between Freawaru and Ingeld?
To end the feud between the Heathobards and the Danes.
What does Grendel carry with him?
A bag made of dragon skin.
What does Beowulf give to Hygd?
The gold necklace he was given by Wealhtheow.
How does Hygelac die?
In battle with the Scylfings.
How long does Beowulf rule the Geats?
What does the thief steal from the Dragon’s treasure hoard?
A gem-covered goblet.
How does the Dragon react to the thief’s stealing of the goblet?
It is enraged and leaves to find the thief.
Why did the original owner of the Goblet leave it there?
He realized it would be of no use to him, as he was destined to die.
How long has the Dragon been guarding the treasure?
When the Dragon can’t find the thief what does it do?
Begin to go on nightly rampages across the land.
What happens to Beowulf’s hall?
It is burned down by the dragon.
How does Beowulf react to the destruction of his hall?
He begins to plot his revenge.
What does Beowulf plan to use to protect himself?
A mighty shield that can withstand dragon flame.
Why does Beowulf fight the dragon alone?
He feels no fear and remembers he fought Grendel alone and won.
Before Beowulf fights the Dragon what does he sense?
His impending death.
Why is Beowulf going to fight the Dragon?
For the glory of winning.
How many men does Beowulf bring with him to the Dragon’s lair?
Which of Beowulf’s men is loyal enough to aid him?
What is the name of Beowulf’s sword?
What does Beowulf realize about the dragon’s bite?
It is poisonous and fatal.
What does Beowulf ask Wiglaf to do before he dies?
Show him some of the treasure.
What does Wiglaf predict will come from Beowulf’s death?
All of their enemies will attack them.
What spell was the treasure hoard under?
One that prevented anyone from opening it unless by the will of God.
When was Beowulf composed?
The Mid 7th century
When are the events of Beowulf?
Late 5th or Early 6th Century
When was the Beowulf manuscript written?
Late 10th or Early 11th Century
How is Thesis 1 (the monster’s body is a cultural body) reflected in Beowulf?
The mead hall represents anglo-saxon england. Regardless of what happens, it is constantly attacked by new invaders for no apparent reason. Just like the constant invasions of Anglo saxon England.
earthly mutability in the wanderer
Everything ever loved dies. The speaker’s relatives die. Buildings crumble into dust. Pleasures disappear and time passes into nothingness.
fate in Beowulf
Beowulf claims to hold success only by god’s will. Hrothgar’s warning to beowulf that death is inevitable also shows this. It is stated that before his final battle “fate was driving him forward”
Kinship strife in beowulf
All throughout beowulf, kin are betrayed. Cain kills able. Hrothgar accepts Beowulf as his son whilst ignoring his actual sons. Beowulf abandons his people, his kin, for glory.
Why is the main speaker of the wanderer sad?
His relatives are all dead.
earthly mutability in beowulf
All of Beowulf’s favorite things fade away. His hall is suddenly burnt to the ground. He does not get to take his treasure with him to the afterlife. Beowulf built up an incredible reputation but it did him no good.
What does “The wanderer” seem to urge the reader to do?
Seek favor with God, rather than focus on earthly pleasures.
What does “the wanderer” say are fleeting?
Gold, Kinsmen, and People
Man and the natural world in the wanderer
The character is surrounded by cold winter and open ocean
Who curses Grettir?
Who was Thorhall?
A farmer with a haunted farm
Who does Thorhall hire for his farm?
Who is the second man Thorhall hires?
What is Glam’s attitude toward religion?
He thinks it is pointless
Who is Grettir’s uncle?
free will in Beowulf
It is highly suggested by Hrothgar that Beowulf had a choice between pride and good fortune. Beowulf chose to fight the dragon.
What does Glam’s curse do?
Make Grettir have bad luck, become an outlaw, and become afraid of the dark.
What is the second haunted location?
How did Grettir kill the she-troll?
He cut off its arm
When did Julius Caesar take his army to Britain?
When do the romans return under Claudius?
When did the Saxons invade Britain?
When do the Vikings conquer about half of Britain?