Sunday, August 26, 2012

Beowulf Questions

The questions took me an hour and a half individually but my group contributed as well to the questions. My group consisted of Kris Green, Justin Thompson, Josh Ng, Jason Reinwald, Will Versoki, and Ryland Towne.

[Prologue: The Rise of the Danish Nation] (lines 1-85, pp. 33-34)
1. The way Shield became ruler of the Danes was unusual because he was an orphan that was adopted by the king of the Danes. Shield’s funeral was one of the most magnificent and noteworthy for a king because he was laid to rest on a ship covered in gold and treasure. Shield is Hrothgar’s great grandfather.
[Heorot is Attacked] (lines 86-188, pp. 34-36)
1. Hrothgar undertook the responsibility to construct Heorot, it was a mead-hall, the greatest the world had ever seen. Grendel attacked the Heorot everynight for 12 years killing many men which brought sorrow to Hrothgar and the Danes. The Danes lost hope in God and went to temples, idols, and even tried praying to the Devil to rid Grendel from their land.
[The Hero Comes to Heorot] (lines 189-490, pp. 36-42)
1. When Beowulf learned of Grendel he gathered soldiers and set sail for the Danish nation that Grendel terrorized.
2. When the Geats first arrive in Denmark they encounter the sea-guard of the Danes. The sea-guard warns the Geats not to raid the Danes, however, Beowulf informs the guard that he has come to help Hrothgar slay Grendel.
3. Hrothgar’s messenger is named Wulfgar and he tells Beowulf and his men that he has never seen braver strangers as them. Wulfgar tells Hrothgar to exchange words with Beowulf because of his flabbergasting bravery and stature. Hrothgar tells Wulfgar to bring Beowulf to him so that they may discuss about Grendel. I am surprised Hrothgar knows so much about Beowulf.
4. Beowulf tells Hrothgar that he will slay Grendel if Hrothgar in return provides shelter and food to his men during his time in Denmark. Hrothgar paid off Beowulf’s father’s feuds and now Beowulf has returned to repay an old favor.
[Feast at Heorot] (lines 491-661, pp. 42-46)
1. Unferth accuses Beowulf of vanity and losing to Breca in a contest. Beowulf explains that he was busy killing nine sea monsters, and declares his strength. Then he accuses Unferth of being responsible for the death on his family. This does indeed show Beowulf's arrogance and will to prove himself to others.
2. During the feast Queen Wealhtheow greeted everyone including Beowulf, and she thanked god he had come.
[The Fight with Grendel] (lines 662-835, pp. 46-49)
1. Instead of arming for battle Beowulf disarms for battle, removing his armor and putting away his sword.
2. Grendel kills a man grotesquely when he enters the room then goes after Beowulf. Beowulf grabs Grendel and Grendel thrashes around trying to break free. Beowulf tore off Grendel's arm as he tried to escape. He does escape, but loses his arm, a fatal wound.
[Celebration at Heorot] (lines 836-1250, pp. 49-60)
1. Beowulf is like Sigemund because he is a hero who saved others from a monster and he's not like Heremod because Heremod was a selfish king who never protected his people, unlike Beowulf.
2. Hrothgar considers Beowulf as a son, and gives him a sword, a shield, a golden set of armor, and a helmet. Unferth has nothing more to say as Beowulf is clearly a hero.
3. Finn's (leader of the Frisians) step brother (leader of the Scyldings) dies in battle, and his second in command makes truce in the war with the Frisians. With the truce the Scyldings stayed with Finn over winter, eventually killing him and leaving back with his sister Hildeburh. Using a woman to heal relations is not a good idea.
4. Wealhtheow asks Hrothgar not to give the throne to Beowulf.
5. The necklace Beowulf is given, Beowulf eventually gives to his uncle Hygelac. Wealhtheow asks Beowulf to look after and care for her sons.
6. So many men remain in the beer hall because they don't know the danger to come, that Grendel's mother is soon coming to find revenge.
[Another Attack] (lines 1251-1382, pp. 60-62)
1. Grendel's mother has come to Heorot because she is angry about the death of her son. It is not for the same reason that Grendel had, she has come in anger and vengeance for her son.
2. Hrothgar is in great sorrow after Grendel's mother takes the kings advisor and close friend, Aeschere. Hrothgar offers Beowulf chests of gold and riches to slay the evil monster and free them yet again from evil.
3.  The mere is like a lake, except it has water that boils and is full of sea serpents and dragons. No man has ever reached the bottom of the mere and very few have ever gone near it. It is where Grendel and his mother have their den.
[Beowulf Fights Grendel's Mother] (lines 1383-1650, pp. 63-68)
1. Beowulf tells Hrothgar to respond to Grendel's mother by sending Beowulf and his men to slay her so that they can be free from the demons.
2. Before Beowulf enters the mere, he shoots one of the serpents with an arrow that lives within the dark waters of the mere.
3. Beowulf prepares for battle by dressing in “noble garments”.  Unferth gives Beowulf the sword popularly known as Hrunting.  It is a sword which has failed no man in battle.
4. When Beowulf enters the mere he spends the majority of the day swimming to the bottom.  When he finally reaches the bed of the mere, Grendel’s mother feels Beowulf’s presence and grabs him.  Grendel’s mother lives in a cave at the bottom of the mere which is engulfed with the blood and gore of humans that the giants have killed.
5. The sword that Beowulf borrowed from Unferth becomes useless when trying to penetrate the skin of Grendel’s mother.
6. Grendel’s mother cannot penetrate the armor of Beowulf which allows Beowulf enough time to escape from yet another blow of her knife.
7. Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother by slicing at her neck with a sword made for giants.  When Grendel’s mother dies a light appears guiding Beowulf out of the cave.  Yet before he leaves he cuts off the head of Grendel’s body, and brings it to the surface.  The blood of Grendel melts the sword he used to kill Grendel’s mother.  The hilt of the sword is still intact however so he brings it to the surface along with Grendel’s head.
8. He finds his small group of Geats awaiting his return.  His men did not expect him to return.
[Further Celebration at Heorot] (lines 1651-1798, pp. 68-71)
1. Beowulf gives to Hrothgar the head of Grendel and the sword hilt he used to kill Grendel’s mother.
2. Hrothgar tells Beowulf that he will provide protection for him and that Beowulf must be good to his people.  Hrothgar tells us that Heremod was a terrible king who searched only for death and destruction.  He tells us this so that Beowulf understands how to be a just and fair leader.  Heremod dies alone because of the pain he beset on his people.  Hrothgar teaches us the example of how to lead when given an overwhelming source of power.
3. Unferth receives the sword he let Beowulf borrow when trying the kill Grendel’s mother.
 [Beowulf Returns Home] (lines 1799-2199, pp. 71-79)
1. He will be the king of Geats, receive many treasures, and make peace with other nations. It’s a very hopeful future.
2. Hygd is very young and beautiful. She is wise while Modthryth is very evil and merciless.
3. He wants to end the feud between the Danes and Ingeld. Ingled will devoice the daughter and attack Hrothgar. An old warrior will convince Ingeld to fight. No because hero’s are supposed to be always act with honor.
4. He reports his adventures in a very exaggerated way. He’s honest about the story but he explains it in a way that builds himself up more. It’s not that expected because he’s supposed to a noble hero but he is concerned about glory so it makes sense.
5. Beowulf gives most of his treasure to Hygelac and Hygd and in return Hygd gives him treasure and land for himself.
[The Dragon Wakes] (lines 2200-2509, pp. 79-86)
1. Part 2 takes place forty winters (forty years) later. Hygelac has died and there is now a dragon.
2. Thief has stolen his gold (cup). The man was poor and hungry. It was left there by a man from an ancient race who realized he like his ancestors would die and therefore buried the treasure.
3. The dragon just rampaged through the land trying to find the thief and destroys his throne hall.
4. He believes he has angered God. He makes a new shield to fight the dragon. He will fight it alone. He will die.
5. He dies against the Frisians. Beowulf was able to get away but he mourned for his death. He was offered the thrown. He did not out of respect for Hygelac.
6. Heardred is killed while fighting the Swedes.  Beowulf avenges him by killing Onela, the Swedish king.7.  Beowulf brings eleven men (he is “one of twelve”) with him to meet the dragon.
8. Hygelac’s oldest brother Herebeald was killed by a relative (Haethcyn).  An arrow missed its target and him Herebeald, killing him.  King Hrethel was devastated.  There is a lengthy portion detailing his lamentations.  War breaks out between the Swedes and the Geats.  Beowulf avenges Hygelac’s death by defeating Daeghrefn in front of “the legions”.
 [Beowulf Attacks the Dragon] (lines 2510-2820, pp. 86-92)
1.  Beowulf tells his companions to wait back while he fights the dragon.  He reasons that he is the only one among them that has any hope of killing it.
2.  The first time Beowulf faces the dragon, his shield, helmet, and sword fail him, and he is wounded.  His companions all flee the dragon, except for Wiglaf, who stays to help.  He tells the others that Beowulf chose them as his companions because he believed them to be great warriors, and that they should not abandon him now in his time of need.  He rushes in to aid Beowulf.
3. The second time Beowulf meets the dragon, the dragon bites him on the neck—leaving a mortal wound.  Wiglaf ultimately impales the dragon.
4.  Beowulf tells Wiglaf to bring the dragon’s treasure to him.  Beowulf thanks God for the treasure.  Beowulf wants to be buried in tower on a high cliff by the water.  He wants sailors to see the tower and remember his name.
[Beowulf's Funeral] (lines 2821-3182, pp. 92-99)
1. The warriors see Wiglaf trying to reviveBeowulf. Wiglaf gets mad at them for leaving Beowolf. Wiglaf expects the Geatsto be attacked and their nation destroyed.
2. The messenger announces that Beowulf is dead.Ongentheow and his men make fun of the Geats. Hygelac comes to the Geats with reinforcements.Ongentheow retreated once he saw more men. Ongentheow was cornered by Hygelacand was killed. The messenger says that the treasure is cursed. Beowulf can’tbe cursed because he had never been greedy. The final image is of a dragon.
3. Wiglaf tells the crowd how great Beowulf was atfighting.
4. The dragon was pushed off the edge of the cliffinto the ocean because it was evil.
5. The Geats mourned and sung and everyone was sadduring the ten day burial.
6. The Geats say that Beowulf was a kind man. It isnot something you would usually call a war hero who is killing a lot of people.

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