Beowulf: Summary Flashcards

Beowulf: Summary Flashcards

What was the name of the monstrous beast in the story?
Grendel
Where are the murders taking place?
Denmark
Who was Beowulf?
A hero called to kill Grendel
The legend of Beowulf is a ____ story, inspired by _____
Fictional, facts
In what century do they believe the story originated?
7th or 8th
The poem reflects a society with a _____ past, recast in a _____ mold
Pagan, Christian
In the poem, Grendel is descended from the line of _____ mankind’s first ____
Cain, murderer
Grendel is jealous of ______
All the humans feasting
The only clue to Grendel’s physical appearance in the original text is the phrase ________
A fiend out of hell
How long does the monster hold Denmark under siege?
12 years
Who is the one person Grendel cannot harm?
The Danish king, Hrothgard
What qualities are Beowulf known for?
Strength, courage, ambition
What is Beowulf primarily seeking?
A good fight/glory/high honor
What is the one way that Beowulf can achieve everlasting distinction?
Slay Grendel
What does Beowulf do to lure Grendel out?
Start a feast
What happens when the warriors try to attack Grendel?
Grendel is impervious to metal and weapons
Where did the real story that Beowulf is based on occur?
Sutton Hoo
Who do they think was buried in the site that archaeologists found?
Anglo-Saxon criminals
What is Beowulf’s one weapon against Grendel?
His bare hands
How does Beowulf gain the advantage?
He twists Grendels arm
Where does Grendel die?
In the woods
What does Beowulf hold high as his trophy after killing Grendel?
Grendels arm
What grim reality soon sets in?
There are many bodies to bury
In a ship burial, what was custom?
The people and their values would be set to flames and pushed into sea
What was found in 1939?
A buried ship
What types of things were found buried?
Buried treasure
What did the excavation prove?
The legend of Beowulf is not all fiction
What other discovery was made through excavation? What do they believe is may have once been?
A real ancient hall; hall of king Hrothgard
What else has been found in the area?
Jewelry/ coins/ knives
What fact-based accounts have more clues to the connections of Beowulf to real-life events?
Legendary sagas
Who comes back to get revenge on Beowulf after the death of Grendel?
Grendel’s mother
When is the attack?
When everyone is asleep
What does Beowulf do that the king doesn’t?
Take action
Where does Grendel’s mother live?
Bottom of haunted mire
What did the serpents represent?
Pagans
What do Beowulf’s men give him for his battle?
Sword with blood stains/ never failed in a battle
What proves useless in the battle against Grendel’s mother?
The sword
How does Beowulf kill Grendel’s mother?
Severs her head
The death of Grendel’s mother is a metaphor for what? Explain.
Dawn of a new hope/ paganism is dying/ Christ has risen
What did the Romans do to the pagan temples?
Converted them to Christian use
What is the name of Beowulf’s kingdom?
Geatland
Who ere the Geats?
Warriors from Southern Sweden
What was the setting of the battle between the Geats and Swedes?
On a giant lake of ice
How is this third battle of Beowulf’s different?
Its against his fellow man
What was offered to Beowulf in return for his heroism?
The throne of Geatland
What evidence points o the fact that this ice battle really happened?
There was historical record of a real battle occurring there
How is Beowulf different when he fights his fourth battle?
he’s older
Who must he fight?
Dragon of Earnaness
What happens that leads to the battle with the dragon?
A runaway slave stole a cup from the dragon
What is the ultimate insult that leads to Beowulf’s revenge?
The dragon burned down his home
Who is Wiglaf?
Young son of a fallen warrior/ immature
What makes him stand out in the battle with the dragon?
He stayed to help Beowulf when others ran away
In the Christian tradition, what do dragons represent? What do they represent in the Pagan tradition?
Satan/ power and mystery
What do some believe the images of the dragon were based on?
t-rex bones
How does Beowulf slay the dragon?
He stabs the chest
What happens to Beowulf in the fight?
He gets bit
What does he ask to see as he dies?
The treasure they fought for
What does he give to Wiglaf? Why?
his sword and helmet; he has no heir
What do the final stanzas of the epic prom describe?
Beowulf’s funeral
What does Beowulf’s death represent?
All men and all their works will die