Beowulf

Biography

Nothing is known of the author of Beowulf.The poem itself was written in England, although it cannot be dated exactly. Some scholars believe that it may have been composed in the eighth century A.D., but others suggest an earlier time, as early as the seventh century or as late as the tenth.The events described in …

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Beowulf: Top Ten Quotes

They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships.the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasureswere piled on him, and precious gear. (lines 34-37) The Danes give their dead lord, Shield Sheafson a royal send off. In off the moors, down through the mist bands God-cursed Grendel came greedily loping.The bane of the …

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Beowulf: Theme Analysis

HeroismThe main theme of Beowulf is heroism. This involves far more than physical courage. It also means that the warrior must fulfil his obligations to the group of which he is a key member. There is a clear-cut network of social duties depicted in the poem. The king has an obligation to behave with generosity. …

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Beowulf: Metaphor Analysis

Beowulf was written in Old English, and the dominant feature of the verse is alliteration. Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonants in words placed fairly closely together. In the original Old English, each line in the poem is split up into two parts. Each line has four stressed syllables.  As Seamus Heaney, the translator, …

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Beowulf: Character Profiles

Aeschere: Aeschere is a close adviser of King Hrothgar. He is killed by Grendels mother. Beow: Beow was the son of the Danish king Shield Sheafson, and the grandfather of Hrothgar. Beowulf: Beowulf is the hero of the epic. He is a renowned Geat warrior who travels to the Danish king Hrothgar to aid him …

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Beowulf: Line2821-3182

It is hard for Wiglaf to watch his king die. The poet says that few warriors could have held out and killed the dragon as Beowulf had done. The warriors who had fled now return, ashamed. Wiglaf tries to revive Beowulf with water, but he can do nothing because God has decreed that Beowulf should …

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Beowulf: Lines 2397-2820

Now Beowulf must face the dragon. He takes eleven men with him, as well as the reluctant slave, since he is the only one who knows the location of the dragons den.  Beowulf sits on a cliff-top, sensing that this will be his last battle and that he will be killed. He recalls his early …

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Beowulf: Line:2200-2396

Beowulf rules the Geats wisely for fifty years. He inherits the throne after Hygelac, and later his son, Heardred, fall in battle. (Heardreds story is told later.)  A dragon that guards buried treasure is angered when a slave, fleeing from his master, accidentally stumbles on his lair. The dragon was asleep, and the slave stole …

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Beowulf:Line 1888-2199

The Geats march back to the shore and load up their ships. They give a sword with gold fittings to the man who had guarded the ships. Then they set sail from Denmark and arrive safely in Geatland, where they immediately head for Hygelacs stronghold on a cliff. It is a magnificent building, and Hygelacs …

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Beowulf: Line:1632-1887

The warriors make their way home. It takes four men to hoist the head of Grendels mother on a spear and bear it back to Heorot. At the mead-hall, everyone is shocked by the sight of the head. They stare at it in horror.  Beowulf tells of the battle, and attributes his success to the …

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