Beowulf Flashcard Example #70503

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How does Hrothgar’s family single him out as a leader?
He was so great in combat and war that he was looked at as the leader.
Why does Hrothgar build a mead-hall and what is it called?
To show that’s it’s greater than any other mead-hall on the earth. It’s named Heorot. Place for gathering for celebration.
Why does Grendel become angry with Hrothgar and the men in the hall?
Because the hall was so cheery everyday with the harps and the singing. A monster that was evil like him couldn’t take that cheerfulness.
What does the bard sing about, and why does this anger Grendel?
The bard sings about Creation and God which anger Grendel because God had exiled him.
Describe Grendel’s heritage, including why he is cursed?
Grendel comes from the line of Cain. Cain committed the first murder in history by slaughtering his brother Abel. All evil and cursed things came from Cain’s line including Grendel.
What religious elements are revealed in this chapter?
Christianity- Creation, the devil, Cain and Abel combined with pagan elements
How many thanes does Grendel kill on the first night that he attacks?
What is the result of Grendel’s repeated attacks at Heorot?
The Heorot is emptied of all people. For 12 years
According to ballads, how is Hrothgar affected by his continuous battle with Grendel?
Hrothgar had many woes and unending travails. No longer meets with earls, makes peace pacts, agrees on blood-gold, or pays reasonable amounts to warriors for the feud with Grendel
What is the only thing that Grendel will not touch or approach in Heorot, and why?
He couldn’t touch the throne sacred to God because he was the outcast of the Lord.
According to the narrator, why do the Scylding hold heathen sacrifices instead of praying to the “Almighty, the Arbiter of factions…?”
They hold heathen sacrifices because they think of hell in their imaginings. They didn’t know the Lord.
Explain whether the narrator is a pagan or a Christian.
The narrator is a Christian because he/she is saying that it is good for a person to be with the Lord after they die which is heaven.
Who is Beowulf’s king?
Why do Beowulf and a group of Geats travel to Hrothgar’s kingdom?
Hrothgar needs men, so they come to defeat Grendel.
Why are the Geats noteworthy to the Danish sentry?
He wanted to know what the Geats had come for. Did they come in peace or to fight? Came with bravery.
The narrator uses a kenning when he says that Beowulf “unlock his word-hoard.”
Beowulf has a sufficient vocabulary and he is a fluent speaker.
What do the boar-figures symbolize on the men’s armor?
It symbolizes the toughness and the strength of the men. Represents courage and pagan influence as the boar is a symbol for a pagan Germanic god.
The warriors’ weapons are collected before they are granted an audience with Hrothgar. What does this action imply about the culture and the relationship between the Geats and the Scyldings?
It shows that the king is important in their culture back then. They didn’t want anything bad to happen to Hrothgar. It shows that the Geats and the Scyldings might have had some trouble in the past and that the Scyldings don’t trust the Geats with weapons.
Why does Wulfgar believe that the Geats are there for glory and not because they are exiled?
The Geats have war-gear that makes them appear worthy warriors, and their leader, Beowulf, is a valiant man.
Describe Hrothgar’s reaction to Beowulf’s arrival.
They think he is a brave hero.
According to Beowulf, why is he qualified to fight Grendel?
He has captured and killed monsters on land and in the sea.
How does Beowulf plan to fight Grendel?
Kill him with his bare hands.
What is Beowulf’s only request if he is killed in battle?
Send his armor back to Hygelac.
In the past, why did Beowulf’s father swear loyalty to Hrothgar?
Hrothgar sent a treasure to the people Beowulf’s dad started a feud with. Paid blood-price to settle the feud
Of What does Unferth accuse Beowulf?
He accuses him of losing his swimming contest
According to Beowulf, how did the race with Breca begin?
They were boasting their bravery and decided to swim across the sea with armour and swrod to fight monsters. (became separated after 5 days)
What can be discerned about Beowulf’s personality by his response to Unferth’s insult?
Beowulf is bold in his response to Unferth; he accuses Unferth of being a coward who gets his nerve from alcohol. Beowulf then tells his version of the race in a boastful
What does Beowulf reveal about Unferth’s past?
Murdered his brothers to achieve power in the Danish court
Explain Beowulf’s tone and meaning in his statement to Unferth: “Heorot would not have such havoc if you battle were as bold as you boast is loud! But he has found that he need ot fear reprisal in sword-clashes with your Danish clan, your people, the mighty Scyldings.”
The statement is in response to Unferth’s failed attempt to make Beowulf look weak. Beowulf points out that Unferth, along with the rest of his clan, have been unable to deal with Grendel. Beowulf insinuates that Unferth is a cowardly braggart. He notes that the monster does not fear the Scyldings because they have not tried to defend themselves; and he sarcastically refers to the Scyldings as brave.
What ceremonial act does the queen perform when she arrives in the hall?
offering them the cup of mead
Who serves the men with the mead-cup? What does this custom suggest about culture?
The princess. It symbolizes the bond uniting the warriors gathered around the king in his hall. Warriors are held high esteem.
When does Beowulf expect Grendel to attack?
During the night
What does Hrothgar tell Beowulf before they separate for the evening?
Hrothgar claims that Beowulf is the first man he has ever trusted to protect Herot. The king promises Beowulf that he shall have anything he desires if he destroys the monster
Beowulf discards his weapons in order to be on equal ground with Grendel. What does this action reveal about Beowulf’s personality?
He is fair. Honorable warrior, strong faith
How confident are the Geatish warriors in comparison to Beowulf?
The Geats are not as confident.
How is Grendel described? Why does the author describe him this way?
He is described as ruthless. Not really described—gives mystery to his existence
In what way is the author’s perspective shifting from a pagan viewpoint to a monotheistic viewpoint?
here isn’t as much use of the words “Fate” and “Destiny”, and there is talk of a God/Lord.
How is Grendel’s death or defeat foreshadowed?
“God’s wrath lay heavy on him”
Why is the word “Destiny” capitalized?
It’s not just a belief it’s a being, signifies life being controlled by fate
How does Grendel react when he encounters Beowulf, who grabs the monster’s arm?
His heart quailed and he became alarmed.
Find an example of alliteration in this chapter. What effect does the alliteration have?
“The monster desired to fling himself free, if at all he could, and fly far away to the fens” it gives the poem rhythm and makes it easier to remember.
Why can weapons not harm Grendel?
Grendel is protected by magic.
What trophy does Beowulf take from Grendel and place on display?
Grendel’s arm
How is the battle between Beowulf and Grendel an example of good versus evil?
Grendel was evil because he killed people and caused destruction while Beowulf was doing good by protecting his people.
Of whom does the thane sing about in relation to Beowulf?
According to the tale, what happens to the dragon that Sigmund kills?
The dragon died in its blood. (Flames)
What similarities do Beowulf and Sigmund share?
They kill a dragon, get to keep his treasure, and receive lots of glory
Whom does the thane contrast against Beowulf and Sigmund? How does this character differ from the two heroes?
King Heremod who was weak in battle and was banished
How does Hrothgar react when he sees Grendel’s hand?
He praises Beowulf and God
Cite an example from this chapter where the father and son motif arises.
Page 39 paragraph 3, “Now, Beowulf, best of heroes, I shall heartily love you as if you were mine own son.”
Describe Gendel’s hand.
The fingers were spread; the claw was uncanny, having horrific spikes as a hand-spear.
What is the condition of Heorot after Beowulf’s battle with Grendel?
It was badly broken/damaged
Regarding Hrothgar and Hrothulf, the author writes, “Heorot was now filled with friends; no Scylding folk had yet attempted treachery.” (41) What does this statement imply, and what literary element is being used?
Foreshadowing trouble in the future
What does Hrothgar give Beowulf for killing Grendel?
Horses and treasure
The bard sings about a battle between what two groups of people?
The Danes and the Frisians
Describe the events that occur between Finn and Hengest.
The Frisians and Danes are fighting, and Hnaef gets killed. Hengest comes in and starts fighting. When Finn realizes that too many people were dying, he talks to Hengest and they form a pact.
Who is Hildeburh, and why does she mourn? How is her situation an example of divided loyalty?
She’s married to Finn. Both her brother (a Dane) and her son (a Frisian) were killed in battle. She’s torn between her own country and her husband’s country.
How is the peace pact between Finn and Hengest broken?
Hengest stays with Finn as a guest secretly planning revenge after a year, Hegest kills Finn, steals his queen and treasure and returns home
Compare and contrast Beowulf and Hengest.
Hengest contrasts because he breaks his oath while Beowulf would keep promises and not kill Finn
Why does Wealtheow ask Hrothgar to be gracious and kind toward the Geats?
She thinks Beowulf will return the favor to their sons. She thinks her sons may need help after Hrothgar’s death.
What is the significance of Beowulf sitting between the young princes, Hrethric and Hrothmund?
The King and Queen of the Scyldings regard Beowulf as their son.
What is particularly special about the collar that Wealtheow gives Beowulf? What does the collar symbolize?
The collar is special because noble heroes and leaders have worn it. Most notably Hygleac the Great. Majestic in appearance.The collar symbolizes the wearer to be a fair noble hero/leader. The GOOD in good vs. evil. Symbolizes loyalty and peace in the clans.
What do the warriors do before they go to sleep? Does the narrator approve of this habit?
They place their armor, shields, and weapons next to where they are sleeping. Above their heads ready for battle.The narrator approves and says, ” They were good clansmen”.
Why does Grendel’s mother go to Heorot?
To avenge he son’s (Grendel) death.
Why does the narrator express no sympathy for Grendel’s mother, who has lost her only son?
She was a murder
She was a monster
She brought the fate upon herself
What does Grendel’s mother take from Heorot?
The hand of Grendel that had been taken from the body
How is the conflict between the monsters and Hrothgar’s clan similar to a blood-feud? How does he conflict differ from a blood-feud?
They are similar to a blood-feud because they have been fighting for a long time, but they differ from each other because the Danes have been fighting the same monster for a while. Relationship and avenging are similarities. Differences include not exchanging money to cease fighting, Grendel and his mother need to be destroyed or fighting will continue, and Beowulf is not a member of the clan.
According to Hrothgar, what strange sight can be seen at night on the mere?
A strange creature that lurks around the forests. At night, there is fire on the water.
How do deer react when chased by hunters to the perimeter of the mere?
They stop running and then they get killed.
Beowulf tells Hrothgar, “Do not lament, wise sire! It seems better that each man avenge his friends than to mourn them to no end.”(51) How does this comment portray character differences between Beowulf and Hrothgar?
Beowulf does not let the dead keep him from obtaining glory, while Hrothgar hangs back. (That’s why Beowulf is the epic hero.) Differences in strength and age as well.
How do Hrothgar and Beowulf respond to Grendel’s mother’s attack?
They decide to go to her lair and kill her.
The men track Grendel’s mother to a place where the water is bloody. What do they find near the lake-cliff?
They found Aeschere’s head by the lake-cliff. (Grendel’s mother took him.)
What creatures are swimming in the lake, and how do they react when the warriors arrive?
They find sea-serpents and sea-monsters swimming; they also found dragons and beasts.
Describe Beowulf”s state of mind as he prepares to battle Grendel’s mother.
Calm and unafraid
What does Ecglaf’s son, Unferth, do that causes him to fall “short of glory and the honor of court?”(54)
He gave Beowulf the sword and decided he didn’t want to risk his life by trying to kill Grendel’s mother.
Where does Grendel’s mother live?
In a cave that was underwater.
Why does Beowulf not kill Grendel’s mother with Hrunting, the sword?
The sword didn’t kill Grendel’s ecause the sword was old and dull.
Describe the struggle between Grendel’s mother and Beowulf.
When Hrunting failed Beowulf, he decided to fight Grendel’s mother with his bare hands. She is able to throw him on the ground and she stabs him,
According to the narrator, what is the ultimate reason that the knife does not kill Beowulf? What literary element does this situation portray?
The narrator says that Beowulf was God’s champion, and God didn’t want him to perish…yet. (Deus ex machina)
What does Beowulf use to defeat Grendel’s mother?
He uses a giant’s sword and cuts off her head.
How does Beowulf make a final act of retribution on Grendel?
He cuts off Grendel’s head.
What happened to Beowulf’s newly acquired sword, and why?
The blade dissolves (like ice).
What does Beowulf take from the cave?
The head and the jewel-encrusted hilt
How long was Beowulf in the water before the warriors lost hope?
Nine hours.
How many men were needed to carry Grendel’s head to Heorot?
Describe the sword hilt that Beowulf gives to Hrothgar. What story is inscribed on the hilt?
The sword hilt was ancient artifact, and engraved on the sword was the origin of the prehistoric conflict when the flood and rushing oceans destroyed the race of giants. The sword was made of magnificent gold and all around it was a runic verse, for which the serpentine ornamented sword, best among blades, was designed in ancient blades.
What warning does Hrothgar give to Beowulf?
He tells Beowulf to drive evil thoughts away and to not be arrogant. He told him sickness or sword will diminish his strength in some kind of way and that death will suddenly take him, even though he is a hero.
How is Hrothgar more in keeping with Christian morality than pagan tradition?
He honors the Lord by turning to him when he heard of what his fate was.
Unferth gives Beowulf Hrunting, the sword, as a gift. Beowulf accepts the sword and makes no mention of its failure when he fought Grendel’s mother. What does Beowulf’s behavior reveal about his personality?
I think it reveals that Beowulf is very sincere in that he kept that a secret because he did not want to sound standoffish in saying that the sword had failed. He was very considerate and heartfelt in his doing.
What does Beowulf tell Hrothgar in the morning?
He tells them that they are returning home.
Why does Hrothgar cry when he bids Beowulf farewell?
Beowulf was very dear to him and he was upset that he wouldn’t see him ever again.
How is Beowulf’s behavior different when he firs arrived in Hrothgar’s court, and why?
Beowulf was boastful when he first arrived, probably so he could convince the Danes of his capabilities. He no longer has a reason to brag, however, because his performance and victories can speak for him.
What does Beowulf give to the boat-warden? Beowulf gives him a gilded sword.
How did Queen Thyrth earn a Thyrth earn a terrible reputation? Is her behavior customary in Germanic culture?
She was known for her cruelty. She had numerous warriors put to death for looking at her. Her behavior is not normal in her culture.
The author writes, “Although she is without peer, no wife should, upon false pretense of injury, take the life of a warrior thane!”(66)
What does the statement suggest about the roles or rights in this culture?
A woman is socially significant enough for her honor to be valued as much as a warriors life.
What does Beowulf tell Hygelac about Hrothgar’s daughter, Freawaru?
She is supposed to get married to Froda’s son.
According to Beowulf, what is the purpose of the marriage between Freawaru and the son of Froda?
The purpose is to help end a feud between the two respective peoples.
Does Beowulf thing that the marriage will be successful, and why or why not?
No, he thinks people will think back to past times and renew the feud among each other.
Of what is Grendel’s satchel made, and what does Beowulf say the monster wanted to put in his satchel?
It is made of dragon skin and Grendel had tried to put Beowulf in there.
What do the Danish people do with their dead?
They make a funeral pyre and burn the body.
Why aren’t they able to give Aeschere a proper funeral?
Grendel’s mother had taken the body below the water
What does Beowulf do with the treasure he receives from Hrothgar, and why?
He gave it to his king because he wants to set an example.
What is Beowulf’s greatest natural gift? Provide two examples from the story that prove his talent.
He is brave. When he is fighting Grendel he holds on and doesn’t run like the other people, and when he is trapped underwater fighting Grendel’s mom he doesn’t freak out when his sword has a little problem working,
Why had Geatish warriors considered Beowulf ‘weak and an uncompromising prince” before he was honored by Hygelac? (72) What does the warriors’ viewpoint say about their culture?
He hadn’t done anything to receive any honor before. This shows that you were thought of as a noble person if you had done something that brought honor from the king. He had not killed anyone before, which is considered to be a weaker warrior trait.
How does Hygelac bestow upon Beowulf for his service?
He gives him the most glorious sword of the geats. Seven thousand hides of land, a large house, and a seat of authority.
Both Beowulf and Hygelac own land and estates because of their inheritance, but why does the kingship go to Hygelac?
He is older.
How long is Beowulf king before trouble with a dragon begin?
50 years.
Why does a slave hide in the dragon’s lair?
A slave hides in the dragon’s lair to hide from deadly lashing he would have received if found.
What is the origin of the dragon’s treasure and who hid it?
The dragon’s treasure is from ancient times hidden by the last of a noble race.
What does the slave remove from the cave, and why?
The slave removes a cup from a treasure because he left in a panic and only grabbed one thing.
How does the dragon know that a man took the cup?
The dragon knows that the man took the cup because, when he woke up, he was able to smell the thief, after finding his footprint, and saw the treasure was gone.
How does the dragon respond to the theft?
The dragon responds to the theft by hunting down the thief through breathing fire.
When does the dragon attack and why?
The dragon attacks after many years of prosperity because some guy took his gold cup and made him mad. Because Beowulf has trespassed on his property and want a war. At night.
Why does Beowulf have a shield made out of iron?
Because wood shields wouldn’t work against the dragon’s fire.
Following Hygelac’s death, whom do the people and Hygd wish to be king? Why does he refuse?
Beowulf refuses because Heardred is still alive and should be king after his father.
When Hygelac dies in battle, Beowulf is the only surviving warrior. Beowulf is forced to swim from the battle carrying how many coats of mail?
How does Heardred die?
Heardred took in exiles, sons of Ohtere, and they killed him.
How does Beowulf find the dragon’s cave?
Beowulf found the man who had stolen the cup. Then this man lead them to the dragon’s cave.
How many men seek out the dragon?
Altogether, thirteen men went with Beowulf to seek out the dragon.
When Beowulf was a youth, why was King Hrethel unable to seek a blood-price for his son’s death?
King Hrethel was unable to seek a blood-price for his son’s death because his other son accidently killed his brother.
Before entering the cave, why does Beowulf retell the major battles of his life?
So that he will be remembered in stories as a hero. Giving courage and also as a possible parting speech.
How many men enter the cave to fight the dragon?
Only Beowulf
Why does Beowulf’s attack not go as well as he had planned?
Fate denied him the honors of victory.” He wasn’t meant to kill the dragon. The sword melts.
What do the warriors do when Beowulf is in trouble?
Flee from the fire.
Who helps Beowulf and why?
Wiglaf, a warrior and Scylding thane, helps Beowulf because he remembers all the kindness and treasures that the king had bestowed on him in the past.
According to legend, why are iron blades useless to Beowulf in battle?
Beowulf’s strength causes the blade to break because he hits too hard.
How does the dragon fatally injure Beowulf?
The dragon bites Beowulf in the neck and chest.
How is the contrast between Beowulf and Wiglaf similar to that of Beowulf and Hrothgar earlier in the epic? How do they differ?
Both cases involve the old king, who needs the help of a young thane. They are different in the case of Beowulf being an old king, and he’s still willing/wanting to fight the monster, unlike Hrothgar, who didn’t face his enemy.
What image does Beowulf wish to see before he dies?
He wants to see the amazing treasures the store of gold, and the joy of the jewels and jems.
How are Beowulf’s battles with Grendel and his mother similar to Beowulf’s battle with the dragon? How are they different?
Beowulf is fearless in all of his battles; he isn’t afraid of failure or death. He is also triumphant in throughout the battles, in which he destroys the monsters. When fighting the dragon, Beowulf is older, needs assistance, and dies.
What does Beowulf instruct Wiglaf to do?
He tells Wiglaf to gather all the treasure.
What does Beowulf give to Wiglaf before he dies, and what is the significance of this action?
Beowulf gives Wiglaf his gold collar, helmet, breastplate, and ring. He’s essentially passing on the kingdom to Wiglaf.
What does Wiglaf say to the warriors when they return? How are they punished for their cowardice and is punishment fitting for their culture?
Wiglaf chastises the men for their cowardice and failing their king when he was needed. He tells the warriors that they will not receive treasure for their services. The punishment is very fitting because the warriors mainly receive land and money from the king for their services; not receiving an award is clearly identifying their dishonorable behavior.
What do the people anticipate will happen once news of Beowulf’s death travels, and why?
They think they will be attacked because they are now weak and without a king.
Why do the Geats expect trouble from the Swedes?
They expect this because the Geats had kidnapped the Swedish queen years ago.
Who are Eofor and Wulf Wonreding, and what did they do?
They were two brothers who killed king Ongentheow.
What do the Geats decide to do with the dragon’s treasure?
Burn it with Beowulf’s funeral pyre.
How do the Geats mourn for Beowulf?
They give him a proper burial. No jewels or gold, laughter or games.
What do the men find lying near Beowulf’s body?
They find the dragon. And scorch his body, dishes, and rusted swords.
How is the treasure cursed, and why is Beowulf exempt from the curse
The princes who deposited the gold put a curse on it to last until doomsday so that any man who invaded the ground to rob the hoard would be marked a criminal, hedged about with horrors, held by hell-bands, and racked with plagues. Beowulf was exempt from the curse because he kept heaven’s grace in view instead of the greed for gold.
In what way was Beowulf’s death noble?
He died in battle, taking the dragon that was plaguing the land with him
What is done with the dragon’s body?
The men threw the dragon into the ocean
What is hung on Beowulf’s funeral pyre?
Helmets, battle shields and bright breastplates.
What does the woman sing about during Beowulf’s funeral?
To mourn him, to make known sorrow for the dark future to come for their village.
Why is this woman put in the story? She is the third woman who is actually seen in this story. It shows the importance of women to society is very undervalued. Women only do certain jobs and don’t stray from the norm.
Foreshadowing extinction of her tribe
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