Abigail Di Matteo
October 10th, 2013
Beowulf Passages Test
The book has just started, opening up with Hrothgar’s lineage. It’s start with his grandfather, Beo, who was Shild’s son. Then it says that he left it to his son Healfdane who in turn left them four children, three sons and one daughter, one of the sons being Hrothgar. Then the passage starts, saying Hrothgar took the throne, leading the Danes to such a great victory that he would be honored by many men. This alludes to the motif of the heroic code, showing us the relationship between the leader and his warriors. Since he led the Danes to such glory, he earned respect by all men. It says that “comrades and kinsmen swore by his sword”, referring to him in almost a God-like manner, that whatever he did in battle, his soldiers would follow him no matter what. Another part of the text that alludes to the heroic code is when the poet talks about Hrothgar dividing the spoils of their victories with his soldiers. The heroic code is the relationship between a leader and his warriors. Instead of hoarding the treasure for himself, he splits it up between those who fought alongside him to give them a reward for the battle. That way, he has earned honor from his warriors and they will stay faithful to him. The next motif that is alluded to is the battle between life and darkness. In this time period, God was the highest power. The poet states that Hrothgar wants to build a hall that would “reach higher toward Heaven than anything that had ever been known to the sons of men.” In the text here, Hrothgar is comparing himself to God, saying he is the next closest thing to him and he wants his hall to represent that. Part of the text in this passage also alludes to strife epos when it talks about how well Hrothgar did in battle when leading the Danes to the glorious victory.
Wulfgar is asking Beowulf to defeat Grendel and save the Danes from his wrath, and if he is able to, he will reward...