Beowulf: Epic Poem Analysis

Beowulf: Epic Poem Analysis

Christian beliefs- sin of pride
Beowulf ultimitely dies because of pride. It caused destruction.
Christian beliefs- Gods sovereignty
God is the giver and taker away of life and all things
Christian beliefs- Gods protection
Hrothgar wasn’t able to be touched by Grendel because he was protected
Christian beliefs- sacrifice
Wiglafs men sacrifice themselves for Beowulf
Christian beliefs- separation
The separation between God and Satan is heaven and hell. It’s grendels origin
Christian beliefs- satan attacks
Grendel attacks when they don’t expect it like satan
Anglo Saxon – bravery
Beowulf fought on behalf of hrothgar when his close friend was killed. He did this after his name was great.
Anglo Saxon- skill in battle
Beowulf defeated Grendel with his bare hands
Anglo Saxon- courage
Beowulf fought Grendel knowing he had never been defeated
Anglo Saxon – loyalty
Wiglaf stayed to fight the dragon even though Beowulf had died
Anglo Saxon- dignity
Beowulf shows dignity when he goes to Herot to fight for people he barely knows
Anglo Saxon- manly living
Beowulf always wanted to be like his father
What does Grendel resent about Hrothgar and his men?
Hrothgar’s men are happy and play music in the hall
Contrast the description of Herot with the dwelling of Grendel, what can you infer?
Herot is lovely like trees and leaves
Grendel is loud and dark like hell
What does the story of grendel’s origin suggest about the beliefs of the Anglo Saxon culture?
Believe in God, demons, heaven, hell
Cain and his deeds= sinful nature of man
Describe Grendel’s attack. How does this characterize him?
Grendels attack was a silent surprise, which shows that he was a coward. He killed 30!
How does the length of hrothgar’s suffering increase the epic feeling in the tale?
Increases for 12 years he was sad. Which means there needs to be a bigger hero to save them.
What element of epic tradition is identified in lines 59-60?
Fighting for the righteous
Good vs evil battle
How does the poem establish that the coming battle is not just a battle between a hero and a monster? In lines 80-85
Because he dares not to touch the throne of God
What qualities are valued by Anglo Saxons? In lines 109-122
The qualities are might, bravery, love, and loyalty
A sea warrior
What is he mindset of the geats in lines 125-131
Whatever happened they were proud going where their hearts took them.
Took the best men to travel to Herot
How do word choice and other stylistic features of the watch and speech, add a serious, epic tone to his question? In lines 151-171
Surrounded by water, man watches who enters the city. Watchmen says I have stood on this coast and fought pirates. But yet he can’t kill Grendel
Analyze Beowulf’s response to the watchman’ challenges. What does this suggest about the values of the Anglo Saxon culture? Lines 173-179
Believe and honor values. Beowulf is proud of his father, he wants to be as good is better than him.
How do beowulfs boast of his great deeds and his announcements of his plan establishes him as a hero? Lines 237-284
Boasting about swimming in darkness of night also being a skilled warrior a haunting monster, by being brave.
– local legend and people believe in him
What values and beliefs of warrior culture does Beowulf attitude toward death express? (Think of how Christians view death)
Grendel sought out death and was filled with darkness and evil. Beowulf attitude isn’t positive towards death.
– God will decide wether I live or die
How is suspense achieved in lines 285-302
Grendel attacks at night like a fog and dark
What are the “renamings” of Grendel in line 325? How do these names emphasize the weighty significance of the battle that is about to begin?
Shepard of evil and garden of crime
Which details from the description of the battle between Beowulf and Grendel add realism? What details add grandness? How so?
Realism- hung head in the meat hall.
Grendel tore open the iron fasteners with a touch of a hand and tore apart the geats with his powerful jaw.
In line 385 who is Grendel thought to be feuding with? How might this change his perspective?
Feuding with God because he knows he can’t win
Kennings
Deep- keeled
Alliteration
His horse has hooves
Caesuras
My self- and my men guard your ship
Although Beowulf is brave and Grendel is spiteful, both might be said to act out of pride.
3 examples to support this idea.
– Beowulf shows pride in his fathers name
– Beowulf is brave when he defeats Grendel and is a protector
– Grendel brags and is spiteful when he comes to battle in the night, giving him a better chance because all the men in the hall were sleeping and couldn’t fight back.
In lines 450-465 how does this speech characterize Beowulf?
Willing to fight on behalf of the king
Beowulf boast about beating Grendel
Grendels mother finds son dead, she gets angry then goes to Herot and kills Hrothgar(king best friend) then mother goes to meat hall and steals sons body back
In lines 470-491 how does the setting of this battle add to its epic significance?
The battle is underwater
There are waves of fire its Ike going down to hell
What is beowulfs view of fame? Lines 500-509
He longed only for fame, he only values himself
How do lines 645-692 present a turning point?
Beowulf chooses to battle dragon with his weapons. He realizes he can’t do it.
Beowulf sword broke and he is defeated
3rd battle dragon for treasure
According to wiglaf what is Beowulf relationship with his followers? Lines 745-760
Not afraid because he’s gonna die. Beowulfs followers are willing to sacrifice themselves for him, and he relies on that
Looking at lines 762-772 what does wiglaf decision suggest about the way in which a legendary hero can inspire heroism in others?
People can learn by example from others, the men should fight.
Beowulf dies.
What details show the importance of Christian beliefs in the epic?
God vs satan
God vs anointing
God desires the glory
God desires us to love like him
Satan is deceitful
Consequences of sin
List two heroic characteristics of Beowulf. Find a passage that shows the Heros more human side. Explain.
Shows heroic characteristics by being strong and influential
Do you think Beowulf’s deeds make him a good role model?
Yes because Beowulf has courage and fights for good of others and no because he is prideful and arrogant them leads himself to failure.