Beowulf Study Guide

Describe how Beowulf manages to kill Grendel’s mother. by using a giant’s sword he found in her lair
Who helps Beowulf in his final battle with the dragon? Why does he help Beowulf? Wiglaf (Wexstan’s son) He helps him cause he wants to help his ruler.
What happens to the dragon’s treasure? Wiglaf gathers it for Beowulf and it is left buried in the sand around where Beowulf is laid.
A hoarded treasure in Old English lit usually symbolizes spiritual death or damnation. How does this face add signif. to Beowulf’s last fight with the dragon? The dragon was damned for hoarding all the treasure, and it symbolizes Beowulf’s death and rememberance of Beowulf.
Beowulf battles Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. What do these battles have in common, and what do they suggest Beowulf and his enemies might represent for the Anglo-Saxons? Each of these battles show that Beowulf must have some sort of “power” for him to be able to defeat these monsters (symbol of goodness)
Is Beowulf an epic hero in the end? Yes. He doesn’t have his hopeful return home, but he did have the calling, seperation, and initiation.
Find three examples of kennings in the text. Write what they mean. Write down the page and line number. 1. water witch-Grendel’s mother2. sea-road-ocean they travel page 45, line 1533. mail-shirts-armor, page45, line 141
What are two settings in Beowulf? when he was young and defeats Grendel and his motherand then 50 years later when Beowulf defeats the dragon
Define epic and writ down four characteristics of the epic that relate directly to Beowulf. EPIC: long narrative poem about the adventures of a god or hero.battles: Beowulf fights Grendeltravel over water: travels from sweden to denmarkvast setting: Geatland—>denmark, underlakesuperhuman strength-rips of Grendel’s arm
Read the following excerpt and explain how the coming of night is personified: “…he knew that Grendel/would come to Hereot, would visit that hall/When a night had covered the earth with its net/and the shapes of the darkness moved black and silent/through the world.” it is saying that darkness can move like humans and that it can “cover”. (night acts like a fisherman)
Refer to page 56 in your text. Read the italicized words that appear just before the title”The Last Battle.” This passage shows an examples of hubris. Hubris refers to an overly inflated sense of pride, which often leads literary characters to ruin. Do you believe that Beowulf exhibits signs of hubris in this passage? Explain why or why not. Yes, Beowulf shows signs of hubris. he is honored for beating Grendel’s mother and is crowned king. He is determined to slay the dragon (confident that he can), but practically walked to his own death because he thought he was just as good as when he was younger.
Explain how the poem, by keeping Beowulf’s memory alive, keeps a culture’s values alive. It keeps bravery and loyalty alive.
What is a scop an Anglo-Saxon poet
When was Beowulf written down? Tenth century
What is comitatus? group of well-born men/lifelong companions of the king (as service), protectors/bodyguards of the king
List two examples of the Lord/Thane relationship. Hrothgar is to Beowulf as Beowulf is to Wiglaf
Apply the events in Beowulf to the template of the epic hero. calling-Hrothgar calls upon Beowulfseparation-Beowulf leaves homeinitiation-battles grendelhopeful return-no hopeful return

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