During the battle beowulf breaks his sword against the dragons side; the dragon, enraged, engulfs beowulf in flames and wounds him in the neck. All of beowulfs followers flee except Wiglaf, who rushes through the flames to assist the aging warrior. Wiglaf stabs the dragon with his sword, and beowulf, in a final act of courage, cuts the dragon in half with his knife. Yet the damage is done. Beowulf realizes that hes dying, that he has fought his last battle. He asks Wiglaf to bring him the dragons storehouse of treasures; seeing the jewels and gold will make him feel that the effort has been worthwhile. He instructs Wiglaf to build a tomb to be known as beowulfs tower on the edge of the sea. After beowulf dies, wiglaf admonishes the troops who deserted their leader when he was fighting against the dragon.
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Beowulf bids farewell to Hrothgar and tells the old king that if the danes ever again need help he will gladly come to their assistance. Hrothgar presents beowulf with more treasures and they embrace, emotionally, like father and son. The geats sail home. After recounting the story of his mystery battles with Grendel and Grendels mother, beowulf tells King Higlac about the feud between Denmark and their enemies, the hathobards. He describes the proposed peace settlement, in which Hrothgar will give his daughter Freaw to Ingeld, king of the hathobards, but predicts that the peace will not last long. Higlac rewards beowulf for his bravery with parcels of land, swords, and houses. The meeting between Higlac and beowulf marks the end of the first part of the poem. In the next part Higlac is dead, and beowulf has been king of the geats for fifty years. A thief steals a jeweled cup from a sleeping dragon who avenges his loss by flying through the night burning down houses, including beowulfs own hall and throne. Beowulf goes to the cave where the dragon lives, vowing to destroy it single-handed. Hes an old man now, however, and his strength is not as great as it was when he fought against Grendel.
During the ensuing battle Grendels mother carries beowulf to her underwater home. After a terrible fight beowulf kills the monster with a magical sword that he finds buy on the wall of her home. He also finds Grendels dead body, cuts off the head, and returns to land, where the geat and Danish warriors are waiting expectantly. Beowulf has now purged Denmark of the race of evil monsters. The warriors return to Hrothgars court, where the danish king delivers a sermon to beowulf on the dangers of pride and on the fleeting nature of fame and power. The danes and geats prepare a feast in celebration of the death of the monsters. In the morning the geats hurry to their boat, anxious to begin the trip home.
The heroic stories of siegmund and Hermod, and of the Frisian king Finn, are performed in beowulfs honor. Hrothgar rewards beowulf with a great store of treasures. After another banquet the warriors of both the geats and the danes retire for the night. Unknown to online the warriors, however, Grendels mother is plotting revenge. She arrives at the hall when all the warriors are sleeping and carries off Esher, Hrothgars chief adviser. Beowulf, rising to the occasion, offers to dive to the bottom of the lake, find the monsters dwelling place, and destroy her. He and his men follow the monsters tracks to the cliff overlooking the lake where Grendels mother lives. They see eshers bloody head floating on the surface of the lake. While preparing for battle, beowulf asks Hrothgar to protect his warriors, and to send his treasures to his uncle, king Higlac, if he doesnt return safely.
The geats are greeted by the members of Hrothgars court, and beowulf boasts to the king of his previous successes as a warrior, particularly his success in fighting sea monsters. Hrothgar welcomes the arrival of the geats, hoping that beowulf will live up to his reputation. During the banquet that follows beowulfs arrival, Unferth, a danish soldier, voices doubt about beowulfs past accomplishments, and beowulf, in turn, accuses Unferth of killing brothers. Before retiring for the night, Hrothgar promises beowulf great treasures if he meets with success against the monster. Grendel appears on the night of the geats arrival at Herot. Beowulf, true to his word, wrestles the monster barehanded. He tears off the monsters arm at the shoulder, but Grendel escapes, only to die soon afterward at the bottom of his snake-infested swamp. The danish warriors, who had fled the hall in fear, return singing songs in praise of beowulfs triumph.
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Dying, beowulf leaves his kingdom to wiglaf and requests that his body be cremated in a funeral pyre and buried high on a seaside cliff where passing sailors might see the system barrow. The dragon's treasure-hoard is buried with him. It is said that they lie there still. Beowulf Summary Essay, research Paper, beowulf, summary. Beowulf begins with a history of thesis the danish kings, starting with Shild (whose funeral is described in the Prologue) and leading up to the reign of King Hrothgar, Shilds great-grandson. Hrothgar is well loved by his people and successful in war.
He builds a lavish hall, called Herot, to house his vast army, and when the hall is finished the danish soldiers gather under its roof to celebrate. Grendel, a monster in human shape who lives at the bottom of a nearby swamp, is provoked by the singing and carousing of Hrothgars followers. He appears at the hall late one night and kills thirty of the warriors in their sleep. For the next twelve years the fear of Grendels potential fury casts a shadow over the lives of the danes. Hrothgar and his advisers can think of nothing to appease the monsters anger. Beowulf, prince of the geats, hears about Hrothgars troubles, gathers fourteen of the bravest geat warriors, and sets sail from his home in southern Sweden.
After more celebration and gifts and a sermon by Hrothgar warning of the dangers of pride and the mutability of time, beowulf and his men return to geatland. There he serves his king well until Hygelac is killed in battle and his son dies in a feud. Beowulf is then named king and rules successfully for 50 years. Like hrothgar, however, his peace is shattered in his declining years. Beowulf must battle one more demon.
A fiery dragon has become enraged because a lone fugitive has inadvertently discovered the dragon's treasure-trove and stolen a valuable cup. The dragon terrorizes the countryside at night, burning several homes, including beowulf's. Led by the fugitive, beowulf and eleven of his men seek out the dragon's barrow. Beowulf insists on taking on the dragon alone, but his own sword, naegling, is no match for the monster. Seeing his king in trouble, one thane, wiglaf, goes to his assistance. The others flee to the woods. Together, wiglaf and beowulf kill the dragon, but the mighty king is mortally wounded.
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Beowulf fights back once inside the dry retrolisthesis cavern, but the gift sword, Hrunting, strong as it is, fails to penetrate the ogre's hide. The mother moves to kill beowulf with her knife, but his armor, made by the legendary blacksmith Weland, protects him. Suddenly beowulf spots a magical, giant sword and uses it to cut through the mother's spine at the neck, killing her. A blessed light unexplainably illuminates the cavern, disclosing Grendel's corpse and a great deal of treasure. Beowulf decapitates the corpse. The magic sword melts to its hilt. Beowulf returns to the lake's surface carrying the head and hilt but leaving the treasure.
at Finnsburh. This bard also improvises a song about beowulf's victory. Hrothgar's wife, queen wealhtheow, proves to be a perfect hostess, offering beowulf a gold collar and her gratitude. Filled with mead, wine, and great food, the entire party retires for what they expect to be the first peaceful night in years. But Grendel's mother — not quite as powerful as her son but highly motivated — climbs to heorot that night, retrieves her son's claw, and murderously abducts one of the Scyldings (Aeschere) while beowulf sleeps elsewhere. The next morning, Hrothgar, beowulf, and a retinue of Scyldings and geats follow the mother's tracks into a dark, forbidding swamp and to the edge of her mere. The slaughtered Aeschere's head sits on a cliff by the lake, which hides the ogres' underground cave. Carrying a sword called. Hrunting, a gift from the chastised Unferth, beowulf dives into the mere to seek the mother. Near the bottom of the lake, grendel's mother attacks and hauls the geat warrior to her dimly lit cave.
At a feast before nightfall of the first day of the visit, an obnoxious, drunken Scylding named Unferth insults beowulf and claims that the geat visitor once embarrassingly lost a swimming contest to a boyhood acquaintance named Breca and is no buy match for Grendel. Beowulf responds with dignity while putting Unferth in his place. In fact, the two swimmers were separated by a storm on the fifth night of the contest, and beowulf had slain nine sea monsters before finally returning to shore. While the danes retire to safer sleeping quarters, beowulf and the geats bed down in heorot, fully aware that Grendel will visit them. Angered by the joy of the men in the mead-hall, the ogre furiously bursts in on the geats, killing one and then reaching for beowulf. With the strength of 30 men in his hand-grip, beowulf seizes the ogre's claw and does not let. The ensuing battle nearly destroys the great hall, but beowulf emerges victorious as he rips Grendel's claw from its shoulder socket, sending the mortally wounded beast fleeing to his mere (pool). The claw trophy hangs high under the roof of heorot.
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Bookmark this page, beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-saxon poem. The setting of the epic is the sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden. The poem opens with a brief genealogy of the Scylding (Dane) royal dynasty, named after a mythic hero, scyld Scefing, who reached the tribe's shores as a castaway babe on a ship loaded with treasure. Scyld's funeral is a memorable early ritual in the work, but focus soon shifts to the reign of his great-grandson, Hrothgar, whose successful rule is symbolized by a magnificent central mead-hall called heorot. For 12 years, a huge man-like ogre named Grendel, a descendant of the biblical murderer cain, has menaced the aging Hrothgar, raiding heorot and killing the king's thanes (warriors). Grendel rules the mead-hall nightly. Beowulf, a young warrior in geatland (southwestern Sweden comes to the Scyldings' aid, bringing with him 14 of his finest men. Hrothgar once sheltered beowulf's father during a deadly feud, and the mighty geat hopes report to return the favor while enhancing his own reputation and gaining treasure for his king, hygelac.