Grendel’s Mother and Beowulf
Five-Week Assessment Fall 2008 12th Grade British Literature
1. Beowulf may have been first told by a scop who was an
a. Traveling entertainer
c. Epic hero
2. Two conflicting codes in this poem are
a. Christian and pagan
b. Materialist and idealist
c. Political and spiritual
3. Beowulf sails to Denmark because
a. He wants to fight Grendel
b. Hrothgar invited him
c. A big reward was offered
4. Grendel is a descendant of
5. Hrothgar once fought with
a. King Higlac
b. Beowulf’s father Edgethow
c. The king of the Wulfings
6. Beowulf kill Grendel’s mother with
a. A shaft of holy light
b. Her own son’s claw
c. A magical sword
7. Unlike Hrothgar, in his old age Beowulf seeks
a. A son figure
b. One last moment of glory
8. The dragon begins to attack the Geats because
a. A cup (golden challis) was stolen from its hoard
b. Its son was killed
c. God makes him punish the faithless Geats
9. This poem relates the adventures of the
a. Anglos and the Saxons
b. Celts and the Norsemen
c. Danes and the Geats
10. Herot is the home – Mead Hall (party hall) built by
11. Comitatus is
a. The bond between king and warrior
b. Christian charity
c. Courage in battle
12. When we first meet Beowulf, he appears
a. Calm and self-confident
b. Shy and uncertain
c. Boastful and rude
13. When Beowulf grabs Grendel’s hand, the monster
a. Immediately wants to escape
b. Breathes fire on the roof
c. Calls for his mother
14. Grendel’s mother kills
a. Hrothgar’s friend Esher (Ascher)
b. Beowulf’s son
15. Hrothgar warns Beowulf against
c. Too much trust in God
16. Beowulf slays Grendel to
a. Save Hrothgar and the Danes from the monster
b. Prevent Grendel from invading the land of the Geats
c. Enhance Unferth’s reputation as a warrior
d. Carry off the treasure in Grendel’s lair
17. Unferth challenges Beowulf because Unferth
a. Wants to prove that Beowulf is a liar
b. Envies Beowulf’s fame and courage
c. Knows that he is stronger than Beowulf
d. Thinks Brecca is a better man that Beowulf
18. Which of the following statements best supports the idea that Beowulf is an epic hero?
a. He displays intense pride in his country.
b. He becomes more humble over time.
c. He loves nature and abhors civilization.
d. He embodies the ideals of Anglo-Saxon society.
19. What last feelings does Beowulf express as he is dying?
a. A desire for respect and pride in his ability to protect his people
b. Bitterness because his soldiers did not help him fight the dragon
c. Fear that the kingdom of the Geats will disintegrate after he dies
d. Affection and longing for his family
20. After tearing Grendel’s arm off, Beowulf
a. Served the arm to the Danes for dinner
b. Burned the arm on a pyre
c. Hung the arm from the rafters of Herot hall True or False
21. When Beowulf arrives at the Danish land, Grendel has been attacking Herot Hall for six months.
22. Beowulf requests that Hrothgar allow him to fight Grendel without his weapons.
23. Beowulf states that no man is his match for strength.
24. Hrothgar gives Beowulf command of Herot, promising him treasures if he succeeds in killing Grendel
25. Grendel cannot be harmed because he is protected by God.
26. King Hrothgar cannot be harmed because he is protected by God.
27. Beowulf carries Grendel’s head to King Hrothgar and returns home with many fine gifts.
28. After Beowulf’s weapons fail him against the dragon, his men rush to help him, but he orders them away.
29. What does the alliteration in the following lines help most to emphasize? “But Higlac’s follower . . . /fastened those claws/In his fists till they cracked, clutched Grendel/Closer. ” A. Beowulf’s family background B. the sounds of the battle C. the courage of Beowulf D. Grendel’s fear
30. Beowulf believes that the outcome of all of his efforts is ultimately determined by
A. God and fate.
B. the strength of his will.
C. the strength of his body.
31. Beowulf reflects the belief that the battle between good and evil
A. is never-ending.
B. has been won by evil.
C. has been won by good.
D. ended with Beowulf’s death.
32. A lament is an expression of
33. People who relish competition are
34. Who is best known for his infamous acts?
A. Adolf Hitler
B. Mickey Mouse
C. George Washington
35. A pilgrimage always involves
36. A person’s muscles become taut when he or she is
37. All of the following qualities of Beowulf come out in the epic except
D. a sense of duty.
38. Which of the following elements is shown to be most powerful in Beowulf’s world?
39. Which of the following is not associated with Grendel’s realm?
40. How does Grendel respond to the realization that Beowulf will challenge his fighting skills?
41. Beowulf’s preparation for battle against the fire dragon differs from his preparation for battle against Grendel in that Beowulf
A. carries weapons.
B. doesn’t boast.
C. doesn’t seek fame.
D. doesn’t expect to be victorious.
42. When Beowulf realizes that the battle with the fire dragon will go against him, he
B. continues to fight.
C. curses fate and blames God.
D. allows the fire dragon to inflict a mortal blow.
43. Why does Beowulf want Wiglaf to bring him the jewels from the fire dragon’s castle?
A. He is afraid that they will fall to others.
B. He wants the comfort of seeing the prize he has won.
C. He wants to see if Wiglaf is brave enough to succeed him.
D. He wants to leave them to whomever will be king after he dies.
44. As Beowulf lay dying, his attitude toward his death is one of
45. The comment, “So gold can easily Triumph, defeat the strongest of men, No matter how deep it is hidden,” implies that lust for gold
A. makes men strong.
B. is ultimately destructive for all men.
C. is the hidden motivation at the heart of all actions.
D. motivates men to accomplish what they otherwise would never attempt.
46. Beowulf’s deeds require tremendous
47. The main struggle in Beowulf is between
A. love and hate.
B. good and evil.
C. peace and war.
D. courage and cowardice. The Anglo-Saxons
48. Great Britain has been invaded and settled by all of the following except
49. The cultural heritage of the United States has been profoundly influenced by English
a. Language, literature, and law
b. Political analysts, consultants, and humorists
c. Trading policies, regulations, and exchange rates
d. Climate, landscape, and geography
50. After the Romans evacuated their troops, Britain was left with
a. A strong army
b. Italian as its official language
c. A system of roads and architecture
d. A strong, centralized government of its own
51. Anglo-Saxon poets held an honored position in society primarily because they
a. Preserved heroic deeds in the collective memory
b. Became great warriors for their lords
c. Doubled as priests and scribes
d. Read old books and attained great wisdom
52. Through the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, King Alfred promoted the use of written
c. Old English
d. Danish Old English: where English came from
53. The ancestor of English, a language spoken from India to Europe at the dawn of recorded history, is called
a. Old English
54. The Roman occupation of Britain influenced the names the Anglo-Saxons gave their
55. The conversion of the Angles and Saxons to Christianity played an important role in the development of the English language because
a.Latin was the language of the Christian church
b. Britain was drawn into the mainstream of European civilization
c. Britain then had a state religion
d. Pagan rites ceased immediately
56. The powerful influence of the Church in Anglo-Saxon England is shown by the fact that most writing at that time was done in
d. German The Middle Ages
57. Feudalism’s religious concept of hierarchy featured
a. A caste system of overlords, vassals, and serfs
b. Strict treatment of knights in training
c. An emphasis on international warfare
d. Romantic attitudes toward women
58. In the Middle Ages, women of rank
a. Had political rights concerning domestic affairs
b. Were never allowed to manage their husband’s estates
c. Held social positions determined by the status of their husbands or fathers
d. Improved their social positions through negotiation
59. The 1170 martyrdom of Thomas a Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, led to
a. Hardships for the common people of England
b. The establishment of a new religion
c. Changes within the Church of England
d. Greater power for the Church of England
60. As a result of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France,
a. England lost half its population to disease and warfare
b. The ideals of chivalry lost popularity
c. An English national consciousness gradually developed
d. France ceded part of Normandy to England
70. The Black Death ultimately resulted in
a. Increased attention to problems of health and hygiene
b. Freedom for the serfs and greater power for the lower classes
c. Victory for the Lancasters over the Tudors
d. The reemergence of Anglo-Saxon religious practices
Short Answer Questions (Write on your own paper. )
Directions: Answer five short answer questions in complete sentences. Write on your own paper.
1. King Hrothgar’s hall has been deserted for twelve years. Explain why.
2. What is the outcome of Beowulf’s battle with Grendel?
3. What follows this outcome that brings further sorrow to King Hrothgar?
4. Describe the setting where Beowulf fights Grendel’s mother.
5. At the end of the selection, why does Beowulf ask Wiglaf to build him a tomb and call it Beowulf’s tower?
6. How is sympathy for Beowulf encouraged in this epic? Support your ideas with reference to the poem.
7. What are Beowulf’s virtues? How might these virtues be especially important to a warrior society? Support your answers with details from the selection.
8. What religious viewpoints are emphasized in Beowulf?
9. How do Christian and pagan elements mix and contradict in Beowulf? Provide examples.
10. What is Grendel’s grievance against Hrothgar and Herot?
11. What is the threat posed by Grendel? How do the Danes react to the threat of Grendel?
12. How is fate (wyrd) viewed in Beowulf?
13. What does Unferth suggest about Beowulf’s accomplishments (especially the long swimming event)? How does Beowulf answer Unferth’s allegations?
14. What does Hrothgar give to Beowulf as a reward for victory?
15. What does this reward say about Hrothgar’s character?
16. How is the home of Grendel’s mother described?
17. What causes the dragon to become enraged?
18. What comfort does Beowulf find even as he lies dying? What irony is there in Beowulf’s hopes for the future?
19. How is age used as a motif in Beowulf?
20. How does the idea of loyalty recur as a motif in Beowulf?
21. How does the imagery of weaponry recur throughout the poem?
22. How do the three monsters contribute to the development of the narrative? Do the monsters suggest anything more than threats to life and property? Explain.
23. What kind of universe does Beowulf take place in? Choose one essay topic and write a one-page, analytical essay.
A. Do you think the Beowulf poet was a secular or a religious person – in other words, a scop or a monk? Theorize about authorship by reference to the poem itself.
B. Discuss the epic poem Beowulf as a work of art – the language, style, characterization, structure, and content.
Bonus Question: Is good a more powerful force than evil in the modern world? Explain your opinion.