Beowulf Final Test Flashcard Example #96231

Who is Shield Sheafson? What qualities did he have? How are they viewed?
He was a Danish hero and a mighty warrior, He is brave, he is rich and honored, He is viewed as a generous king who gave more than he had to
Describe Shield’s funeral.
He was carried to the shore by his friends, and laid by the mast of a boat, around him they laid treasure jeweled helmets, swords, chain mail, coat of armor; he was then set adrift in the ocean
Who is the current ruler of the Shieldings?
Beo, Shield’s son is now the king
What is the mead-hall called? What social qualities do you think this mead-hall represents?
Herot, The mead hall represent the divine spoils of their victories, to old and young what they had earned din battle but leaving the common pastures untouched, common and taking no lives
What made Grendel attack the mead-hall?
Grendel attacked the mead hall because there was always celebrating an noise coming from the mead hall and it annoyed him
From whom is Grendel descended?
Cain
For how long has Grendel been attacking the mead hall?
Twelve winters, 12 years
What does the author say about the Shieldings that introduces a possible Christian element?
Here it talks about how Grendel never dared touch king Hrothgar’s throne, because it was protected by God, the God whose love Grendel could never know
The group of people that helps the Shieldings is known as ________, their leader in the mission is ______His father is ________ the King of this groups is _______.
Geats, Beowulf, Ecgetheow, Hrothgar
This group journeys across the sea. What do they do when they land that tells the readers that they are different from the Shieldings?
You could tell that the geats were different from the shieldings because they carried golden shields – line 32-33; also a Danish warrior did not recoignize who the warriors were
How are the Geats dressed when they present themselves to Hrothgar? What epic characteristic can we apply to this?
The geats were dressed very elaborately, in ceremonial grear, they had on silvery shirts and helmets, they carried gold carved shields, which had been worn by battle; Bravery, confidence, significance, glorify, they are proud
Beowulf starts to deliver his resume in a form called the boast. What has Beowulf done that makes him qualified to fight Grendel?
He has captured and killed many different monsters on land and sea, He is not afraid of dying, he believes that it is god’s will
How does Beowulf plan to fight Grendel? What reason does he have for it?
Beowulf plans to fight Grendel with his sword, and kill him with his bare hands, He is not afraid of dying, he believes that it is god’s will
What does Hrothgar imply about the men who tried to defend Herot before?
They were drunk half of the time and they couldn’t fight so Grendel could easily kill them
Who is an example of variation in the story?
Unferth
What is the quality, which the author subtly points out, that made Unferth challenge Beowulf’s credibility?
Envious or jealous of Beowulf
What incident does Unferth bring up to embarrass Beowulf?
How Beowulf and Breca were competing to swim the fastest and Beowulf almost drowned, and had to be saved
What actually happened, according to Beowulf’s account? How does Beowulf defend himself against Unferth’s taunts?
A flood occurred; Beowulf says that he was just a boy
How is the role of Wealhtheow, Hrothgar’s wife, described?
She is described as something like a waitress, even though she is a queen, she is willing to give, trophy wife
How is Beowulf given Christ-like attributes ?
People call him King/lord, the people have faith in him, he is not afraid to die to save his people
As Grendel eyes up Heorot, how is he described in a way that assures us he’s a complete villain?
Describe the fight between Beowulf and Grendel.
Beowulf killed Grendel by tearing off his arm
How did Grendel finally die?
Beowulf tears off his arm
Why does the poet tell the story of Sigemund?
The poet tells the story of Sigemund because Beowulf is just like him, both men are mighty warriors, who salyed many monsters; but the story if Sigemund is a warning to Beowulf because Sigemund eventually became arrogant and then was killed because of it
How does Hrothgar demonstrate comitatus?
Hrothgar demonstrates comitatus by thanking God for Grendel’s anger. Hrothgar didn’t have faith in Beowulf at first, but now he has does. Also Hrothgar said that he would adopt Beowulf like a son.
How was Grendel’s defeat commemorated?
Hrothgar had a huge party thrown in Herot and the arm of Grendel was hung on the wall of Herot
What detail lets us know this is a community of good people?
They give gifts to Beowulf and his soldiers
Summarize the next story performed by the minstrel.
King Finn and King Hnef were two leaders at war. There was a celebration, then when the men went to sleep the hosts (Frisians) attacked their visitors and many lives were lost on both sides. A truce is reached an in the spring Finn presents Hengest with a sword. Hengest the stabs Finn and then takes all of his treasure and his wife
What special gifts are bestowed upon Beowulf?
Golden banner, coat of mail, eight horses
Beyond winning material goods, Wealhtheow announces that Beowulf has won what quality?
Greatest of the Geats, become famous
How are the Danes praised?
Hrothgar states that they are always prepared to fight, always ready for war
Who does Grendel’s mother first kill? Why is this such a terrible transgression?
Grendel’s mother first killed Hrothgar’s closest friend, , the man he loved most of all of the men on earth, a glorious soldier, Esher, Esher stands for teamwork, family, friends
What is Beowulf’s attitude towards the death {especially murder)?
Beowulf said that it is better for us to avenge our friends than to mourn them, everyone will die eventually, he who can earn it should fight for the glory of his name, , fame after death is the noblest of goals
What sight do Hrothgar’s men witness at the swamp?
Two giant monsters living in the desert lands, one was a female and one was a male
How does Unferth help?
gives him the sword, known as Hrunting
Where does Beowulf travel for his battle?
Beowulf goes to the bottom of the lake then Grendel’s mother carries him into someone’s battle hall
Why is Beowulf in jeopardy?
His sword cannot penetrate Grendel’s mother’s skin, also his helmet began to fail him because she was able to bit holes into it, this is the sword that has never failed
How does Beowulf succeed?
Beowulf saw a giants sword, stabbed her in the neck
What does Beowulf do to Grendel’s corpse?
Beowulf cut of the head of Grendel’s corpse
How do the men prove/celebrate the death of Grendel’s mother?
Carry the head back with them
For what purpose does Hrothgar discuss Heremod?
Heremond was a great king who fell from grace, and Beowulf does not need to be like that
At Line 1726, Hrothgar transitions into a sermon-like speech. Summarize the points he makes for Beowulf.
It is time to go home, anything to earn the king’s love they will do, Beowulf and his will forever continue to protect the Danes
What event does Hrothgar use as an example of fallibility/fragility?
If Hrthels son was killed as was the king Beowulf would surely become King
Despite Beowulfs history with Unferth, how does he show (again) that he’s a good guy?
He gives him the sword as a gift
What does Hrothgar say in his final praise of Beowulf?
He would make a great leader, he was wise, he should be the king, the geats and the danes will never feud
What do Beowulf and Hrothgar reveal about their personalities when they part?
They are both wise men, they pray for each other’s safety and Hrothgar gives Beowulf many presents and tells him to visit again – lines 1866-1887
The poet introduces the story of Queen Modthryth. How is she different from Hygd, Hygelac’s wife?
She is mean
What’s the “world’s candle”?
The sun (this is a kenning)
What will happen when Freawaru gets married, according to Beowulf?
She will marry Ingeld a soldier and Froda’s son, and the men will drink, the men wil all be dressed in their armor, then Ingeld and his followers will be angry and then a fight will break out
In recounting the fight with Grendel, what new detail do we learn from Beowulf?
They said for the first time the name of the soldier, the geat who was killed – he had a puch made of dragon skin; Grendel had planned to save Beowulf as a meal for later, but his plan failed – lines 2070-2092
Suddenly, we jump ahead in time. How long has Beowulf been ruling?
50 years
What is the latest disturbance in Beowulf’s kingdom, and how was it provoked?
A dragon has started to terrorize the town
How did the treasure get to this location?
all of the treasure got to the dragon because the last person of an ancient race left the of the treasure and the dragon found it
What specific trouble is the dragon causing?
Burning everything
Why does Beowulf believe this destruction happened?
He believes he angered god
Summarize the flashback to how Beowulf became king.
Bewoful swam across the land then higlac died and then his son died; Beowulf took over after the his cousin, higlacs son died
Describe Beowulfs state of mind as he prepares to fight the dragon.
He thinks he is going to die
On the way to finding the dragon, what episode does Beowulf recall from his childhood?
when he was 7 and his brother was killed
Describe the conflict between Beowulf and the dragon.
Beowulf is fighting the dragon and his weapons cannot penetrate the dragons skin and the sword breaks, the dragon punctures him and burns him
How does Wiglaf reason with the other soldiers?
reminds him that the soldiers swore to be brave and loyal to Beowulf, the king
How does the battle end?
Wiglaf stabs the dragon which allows Beowulf to cut the dragon in half with his dagger, but Beowulf is too wounded to live
Why is Beowulf satisfied with his life?
he was always loyal to his people he never betrayed them, he never went into battle without being provoked
How will Beowulf be memorialized?
they build a barro (mound) on the coast
What have Beowulfs people seemingly gotten in exchange for his death?
the dragon’s treasure
Why does Wiglaf speak “disdainfully and in disappointment”?
they abandoned Beowulf in his time of need
What does the messenger predict?
they will be attacked
What did they do with the dragon’s body?
pushed it over the cliff
What happens to the treasure?
it is sent with Beowulf
Describe the funeral ceremony.
they burned Beowulf and sent him on the sea with all of the gold
The protagonist of the epic, a Geatish hero who fights the monster Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. His boasts and encounters reveal him to be the strongest, ablest warrior around. In his youth, he personifies all of the best values of the heroic culture. In his old age, he proves a wise and effective ruler.
Beowulf
The king of the Danes. He enjoys military success and prosperity until Grendel terrorizes his realm. A wise and aged ruler, he represents a different kind of leadership from that exhibited by the youthful warrior Beowulf. He is a father figure to Beowulf and a model for the kind of king that Beowulf becomes.
Hrothgar
A demon descended from Cain, he preys on Hrothgar’s warriors in the king’s mead-hall, Heorot. Because his ruthless and miserable existence is part of the retribution exacted by God for Cain’s murder of Abel, he fits solidly within the ethos of vengeance that governs the world of the poem.
Grendel
An unnamed swamp-hag, she seems to possess fewer human qualities than Grendel, although her terrorization of Heorot is explained by her desire for vengeance—a human motivation.
Grendel’s mother
An ancient, powerful serpent, it guards a horde of treasure in a hidden mound. Beowulf’s fight with it constitutes the third and final part of the epic.
the Dragon
The legendary Danish king from whom Hrothgar is descended, is the mythical founder who inaugurates a long line of Danish rulers and embodies the Danish tribe’s highest values of heroism and leadership. The poem opens with a brief account of his rise from orphan to warrior-king, concluding, “That was one good king” (11).
Shield Sheafson
The second king listed in the genealogy of Danish rulers with which the poem begins. The son of Shield Sheafson and father of Halfdane. The narrator presents him as a gift from God to a people in need of a leader. He exemplifies the maxim, “Behavior that’s admired / is the path to power among people everywhere” (24-25).
Beow
The father of Hrothgar, Heorogar, Halga, and an unnamed daughter who married a king of the Swedes, He succeeded Beow as ruler of the Danes.
Halfdane
Hrothgar’s wife, the gracious queen of the Danes.
Wealhtheow
A Danish warrior who is jealous of Beowulf, he is unable or unwilling to fight Grendel, thus proving himself inferior to Beowulf.
Unferth
Hrothgar’s elder son, he stands to inherit the Danish throne, but his older cousin Hrothulf will prevent him from doing so. Beowulf offers to support the youngster’s prospect of becoming king by hosting him in Geatland and giving him guidance.
Hrethric
The second son of Hrothgar.
Hrothmund
Hrothgar’s nephew, he betrays and usurps his cousin, Hrethic, the rightful heir to the Danish throne. His treachery contrasts with Beowulf’s loyalty to Hygelac in helping his son to the throne.
Hrothulf
Hrothgar’s trusted adviser.
Esher
Beowulf’s uncle, king of the Geats, and husband of Hygd. He heartily welcomes Beowulf back from Denmark.
Hygelac
Hygelac’s wife, the young, beautiful, and intelligent queen of the Geats. She is contrasted with Queen Modthryth.
Hygd
A young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf who helps him in the fight against the dragon while all of the other warriors run away. Wiglaf adheres to the heroic code better than Beowulf’s other retainers, thereby proving himself a suitable successor to Beowulf.
Wiglaf
Beowulf’s father, Hygelac’s brother-in-law, and Hrothgar’s friend. He is dead by the time the story begins, but he lives on through the noble reputation that he made for himself during his life and in his dutiful son’s remembrances.
Ecgtheow
The Geatish king who took Beowulf in as a ward after the death of Ecgtheow, Beowulf’s father.
King Hrethel
Beowulf’s childhood friend, whom he defeated in a swimming match. Unferth alludes to the story of their contest, and Beowulf then relates it in detail.
Breca
A figure from Norse mythology, famous for slaying a dragon. His story is told in praise of Beowulf and foreshadows Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon.
Sigemund
An evil king of legend. The scop, or bard, at Heorot discusses King Heremod as a figure who contrasts greatly with Beowulf.
King Heremod
A wicked queen of legend who punishes anyone who looks at her the wrong way. Modthryth’s story is told in order to contrast her cruelty with Hygd’s gentle and reasonable behavior
Queen Modthryth
a long narrative poem that celebrates a hero’s deeds
epic
adjectives that point out special traits of particular persons of things
stock epithets
poetic synonyms found in Germanic poems
kenning
the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of words
alliteration
an audible expression of grief; wail
lament
to enjoy keenly
relish
a cause of pain or distress
affliction
pagan; non-Christian
heathen
to cleanse or purify
purge
to stuff with food
gorge
cloths in which dead bodies are wrapped
shroud
a claw
talon
having a bad reputation; notorious
infamous
twisting and turning in pain
writhing
cringing in fear
cowering
pulled tight
taut
cloudy; gloomy
murky
a journey to a sacred place or with a lofty purpose
pilgrimage
disgusting; hateful
loathsome
a shackle or chain; restraint
fetter
What is Grendel’s origin?
Cain
What tribe does Beowulf belong to?
Geats
Hwo does Beowulf kill Grendel
He tears his arm off
What is the name of the mead hall?
Herot
What 4 tribes made up the Anglo Saxons?
Angles, Jutes, Saxons, Frisans
What religions are presented in Beowulf?
Christianity and Paganism
What is mead?
alcohol made with honey and water
How long had Grendel haunted Herot?
12 years
What is a scop/bard?
it is a poet or storyteller
How do the warriors pay tribute the Beowulf?
They rebuild the tower and name it after him
Who is the group of elders?
Witan
Who questions Beowulf’s sincerity when he goes to fight Grendel?
Unferth
What is a wergild?
Payment for a someone who died to prevent revenge
What type of poem talks about the deed of a hero?
epic
Define the concept of wyrd.
fate
What is a caesura?
a break in the line
Who first recorded Beowulf?
monks
Who is Beowulf supposedly and elegy for?
Sutton Hoo
Who is the Danish King Beowulf is helping fight Grendel for?
Hrothgar
What century was Beowulf first recorded in?
11th century
Who was Hrothgar’s wife?
Wealthow
Who was the great grandfather of Hrothgar?
Shield Shiefson
What is the name of the sword that Unferth gave to Beowulf?
Hrunting
Who sought revenge in Grendel’s death?
Grendel’s mother
What is Beowulf’s reason for not taking weapons into battle?
He believed that if God wanted him to win he would
What is the idea of comitatus?
loyalty to the King or leader at all costs
What century was Beowulf written?
11th
What century was Beowulf composed?
8th
Who was Beowulf’s king?
Higlac
Who was the King of the Danes?
Hrothgar
Who is this a possible elegy for?
Sutton Hoo
Who said
“I’d rather burn myself that see flames swirling around my lord.”
Wiglaf
Who said
“Why sir do not grieve, it is always better to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning”
Beowulf
Who said
“I’ve never known fear”
Beowulf
Who said
“Take delight in this tork”
Hrothgar

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