Beowulf Quotes for Final

“In his day, my father was a famous man / a noble warrior-lord named Ecgtheow” Speaker: BeowulfCircumstances: Beowulf is introducing himself to the guard, upon reaching Denmark. He is giving a boast. This is the beginning of the boast. Theme: This is a representation of the Viking Code. Vikings take great pride in their ancestry, and boast about it, as shown by the above quote.
“Fate goes ever as fate must” Speaker: BeowulfCircumstances: Beowulf is telling the Danes what to do with him if he is killed by Grendel. He tells them not to worry, for whatever happens was meant to happen.Theme: This shows the Transition to Christianity. This quote is saying that God has decided the end result of the battle. Beowulf feels no control over it.
“Endure your troubles today. Bear up and be the man I expect you to be.” Speaker: BeowulfCircumstances: Hrothgar’s closest adviser, Aeschere, has been killed by Grendel’s mother. Beowulf is trying to get him to sober up.Theme: This is showing the Viking Code. Vikings must always be brave and ready to avenge. This is how Beowulf feels, and he is trying to get Hrothgar to feel the same.
“…he would have to rely on the might of his arm. So must a man do who intends to gain enduring glory in a combat.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: Beowulf was trying to use Hrunting to kill Grendel’s mother, but it snapped.Theme: This is showing the Viking Code. For a viking to win glory, he must fight, not flee. Beowulf fighting just with his bare hands will serve as a testament to his ability.
“It was easy for the Lord, the Ruler of Heaven, to redress the balance once Beowulf got back up on his feet.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: Beowulf has recovered from the blows that Grendel’s mother dealt. He is ready to fight back.Theme: This is showing the Transition to Christianity. It is saying that God has control over the outcome of the battle, and that he is manipulating it in Beowulf’s favor.
“A warrior will sooner die than live a life of shame.” Speaker: WiglafCircumstances: Wiglaf is berating the other thanes for not going to Beowulf’s aid during the battle with the dragon. He is saying that this decision will negatively impact their lives.Theme: This is showing the Viking Code. Loyalty is of utmost importance, and since these men were not loyal, they are to be shunned.
“Now is the time I would have wanted to bestow this armor on my own son, had it been my fortune to father an heir and live on his flesh” Speaker: BeowulfCircumstances: Beowulf is dying. He is lamenting the fact that he never had a son. He has regrets.Theme: This shows the Viking Code. Beowulf wished to be able to give things to a son, a show of generosity and loyalty.
“The treasure had been bought and won, paid for by Beowulf’s death.” Speaker: Narrator Circumstances: Beowulf has died, as has the dragon, leaving the treasure without an owner. Theme: This is a representation of the viking code, focusing on the idea of man-price. It is said in the viking code that, when one dies, something is exchanged for his life. In this case, the treasure is the exchange for Beowulf’s life.
“A Geat woman too sang out in grief;with hair bound up, she unburdened herselfof her worst fears, a wild litanyof nightmare and lament; her nation invaded…” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: Beowulf is being cremated in his funeral pyre. The woman is terrified for the future.Theme: Maybe good v. evil? In this case, the woman is letting the evil thoughts win: she has a bleak outlook on the future, now that the good (Beowulf) is gone. Could also be monsters (in a personal sense)
“They let the ground keep that ancestral treasure,Gold under gravel, gone to earthAs useless to men now as it ever was.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: The men had to decide what to do with the treasure, since both Beowulf and the dragon were dead. Theme: This shows the Viking Code. The men are being loyal to their fallen king in not taking the treasure for themselves, as they recognize it as unimportant.
“They said that of all of the kings upon the earthHe was the man most gracious and fair-minded,Kindest to his people and keenest to win fame.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: This is the ending set of lines of the book. Beowulf’s life is being summarized.Theme: This shows the Viking Code. Beowulf is being praised for his viking-like traits: his loyalty, bravery, generosity, and persistence.
“…and one man lay down to his rest already marked for death.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: This is the night that Grendel’s mother comes to Heorot. She is out to kill, and does kill this man.Theme: This shows the transition to Christianity. A man has been chosen, by fate, to die. This concept of fate has religious roots.
“It threw the hero into deep anguish and darkened his mood: the wise man thought he must have thwarted ancient ordinance of the eternal Lord, broken His commandment.” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: The dragon has just attacked Geatland. Beowulf sees this as a sign from God that he has upset him. Theme: This shows the transition to Christianity. Beowulf is a deeply devout Christian, and believes that God is making things happen.
“Meanwhile, the sword began to wilt into gory icicles, to slather and thaw” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: The magical sword that Beowulf uses to kill Grendel’s mother comes into contact with Grendel’s blood. This causes it to melt. Theme: This shows good v. evil. Grendel is so evil that his blood causes the sword to melt. The sword is something good and magical, whereas Grendel is unholy.
“I risked my life often when I was young. Now I am old, but as king of the people I shall pursue this fight for the glory of winning” Speaker: BeowulfCircumstances: Beowulf has decided that he should go fight the dragon, which just destroyed his town.Theme: This shows the Viking Code. Even as an old ruler, Beowulf is still going out and seeking glory, as that is the goal of the viking.
“Yet the prince of the rings was too proud to line up with a large army against the sky-plague” Speaker: NarratorCircumstances: Beowulf has decided that he is going to face the dragon alone. He was able to fight Grendel alone in his youth, so he believes that he can do it again. Theme: This shows the Viking Code. Beowulf is older and weaker than he once was, but he is still brave and proud. This drives him to decide to fight the dragon alone.
“I am left with nobody to bear a sword or burnish-plated goblets, put a sheen on the cup” Speaker: The last of the giantsCircumstances: The last giant is dying. He is hiding all of his treasures in a cavern, as he has no one to give them to. Theme: This shows the theme of monsters. The giants were a monstrous race. However, they have humanistic traits, as shown here. It is a recurring idea in the poem that monsters have emotions.

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