Beowulf Study Guide
1) The conflict between the Danes and Grendel symbolizes the ongoing battle between good and evil.
2) First, Hrothgar built the dining hall where the warriors gather together and listen to the scops, named Herot meaning Heart. Next, Grendel hears the celebration and walks into Herot and starts attacking and killing the warriors in sight.
3) Beowulf is a walking hero. He is looked up to and will help anyone in need with no questions asked; specifically Hrothgar.
4) The watchman’s words characterize Beowulf into a hero. He talks about his appearance, stature, and weapons.
5) To Beowulf, Hrothgar can either accept his help with Grendel or keep suffering detrimental loss from Grendel’s “terrorist” attacks.
6) Before Beowulf leaves for his ship the watchman promises to escort him and his followers to Hrothgar and have his fellow watchmen guard their ship.
7) Beowulf is a well-known and trusted warrior. He has defeated warriors, giants, and monsters.
8) The lines foreshadow the defeat of Grendel.
9) Beowulf is more prepared to fight Grendel compared to other warriors; he strategizes and knows what he needs to do.
10) Beowulf knows he’s the man for the job and the reader knows this from all of the humble boasts he makes throughout the poem. To stay motivated Beowulf keeps this in mind along with his oath to Hrothgar.
11) Grendel horrifically attacked and destroyed a sleeping warrior and then went for Beowulf. However, Beowulf was awake and ready to fight and grabbed Grendel’s claw and ripped it from his body with his powerful grip.
12) All of Beowulf’s followers are courageous and loyal to their chief. They are aware of how deadly Grendel is but they still continue to fight because they are protecting one another and their leader.
13) The claw represents the victory of good over evil. He is extremely proud of that battle.
14) The warriors gather back in Herot and decide to trace Grendel’s footprints to the lake where he died. After, they start telling the story of the battle with great emphasis on Beowulf’s bravery.
15) Beowulf’s journey symbolizes the decent into hell and the underworld.
16) The poem reveals Beowulf’s persistence in the face of adversity. He is aware that he can be killed at any moment in each of his battles but keeps going.
17) Beowulf well surpasses ordinary warriors when it comes to strength.
18) Beowulf ended up killing Grendel’s mother with her own sword. She was trying to avenge the death of her son but in the end is killed by Beowulf as well.
19) Beowulf wants Grendel’s head as a trophy to replace his arm that was stolen from Herot by Grendel’s mom.
20) The detail makes Beowulf’s return seem like it will never happen to his followers because he was gone for so long.
21) Beowulf’s followers show how devoted and loyal they are to their leader that rumor has it has been killed.
22) This detail shows that Beowulf has successfully resolved his conflict.
23) The person who stole the gem-studded cup accidentally found the entrance to the stone tower which all led up to the dragon’s attack on the Geats.
24) The mood of this specific part is sad and mourning full which can make the reader think the worst for Beowulf.
25) The dragon attacks out of revenge where as Grendel hates mankind.
26) It’s very ironic that while the slave is solving a problem with his master he starts a conflict that puts the entire kingdom at risk.
27) Beowulf is a very humble, reliable, and careful ruler. He respects the tradition that a kingdom has to be punished for the sins of its king, and he accepts moral responsibility for his people’s suffering.
28) When Grendel is brutally murdering Hrothgar’s people Hrothgar does not try to kill him. However, Beowulf does not think twice about it and kills Grendel. Therefore Beowulf is more valiant.
29) I think it is…