Plot of beowulf poem. Short Summary of Beowulf: the Greatest Epic or Heroic Poem 2019-03-05

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SparkNotes: Beowulf: Plot Overview

plot of beowulf poem

He is given a Viking-like funeral, placed on a boat with sword in hand, and surrounded by offerings to the gods. It's time for a hero to come on the scene and put this to rights. The poem starts to sound like some bad voodoo is about to go down. During the night Grendel comes from the moors, tears open the heavy doors, and devours one of the sleeping Geats. Only Wiglaf, Beowulf's young kinsman, stood his ground. Beowulf first attacks the dragon with his sword, which breaks. It seems that Grendel's mother made good on her promise, as Beowulf has enjoyed unsurpassed success and glory over the past 50 years, and Beowulf feels as his achievements are all empty and dishonorable, gained from an unholy union with a monster, rather than on Beowulf's own skill and merit.

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Beowulf Plot Flashcards

plot of beowulf poem

He talks badly about him all the time but they make up in the end. This marks the pinnacle of Beowulf's story as this is the highest form of earthly valor that he can enact. The severed arm is hung high in the mead-hall as a trophy of victory. Beowulf goes home to Geats with his buddies and says goodbye to all the people in Denmark. In this war, King Higlac died. Beowulf, armed with Unferth's sword, descends into the lair where he defeats Grendel's mother after a long fierce battle.

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What Happens in Beowulf? An Interesting Summary

plot of beowulf poem

Everyone except Beowulf is asleep. He is young when Beowulf is old. Beowulf and Wiglaf set out for the cave to kill Grendel's mother and avenge their men. It opens with an account of a Danish king named Hrothgar, who was the one responsible for building a great hall named Heorot , a hall which is now being terrorised by the monstrous Grendel. In ending with the tale of a dragon attempting to defend a mound of treasure, the poem prefigures not only the works of J.

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SparkNotes: Beowulf: Plot Overview

plot of beowulf poem

The Danes rejoice once more. Originally written in Old English, the first translation of the poem was into Latin by Thorkelin, in connection with his transcription of 1818. It is significant that his three battles are not against men, which would entail the retaliation of the , but against evil monsters, enemies of the whole and of civilization itself. Hrothgar's speech illustrates two fundamental issues that result from the killing of Aeschere. The slaughtered Aeschere's head sits on a cliff by the lake, which hides the ogres' underground cave. What he is surprised to see is Grendel's mother rising out of the water, much closer to the shore, looking straight at Wiglaf. The iron shield gave way too soon, and Naegling failed to pierce the dragon's scales, though the power of the blow he dealt the creature caused it to spew flame in rage and pain.

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SparkNotes: Beowulf: Character List

plot of beowulf poem

Hrothgar welcomed Beowulf and his comrades and honored him with a feast. Beowulf and his men spend the night at Heorot and wait for Grendel to turn up. A wise and aged ruler, Hrothgar represents a different kind of leadership from that exhibited by the youthful warrior Beowulf. She is looking at Wiglaf with the same sultry beckoning look that she gave Beowulf 50 years ago; Wiglaf seems just as transfixed as Beowulf was. Then Finn says that anyone who goes against the peace treaty will be killed.

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Plot in Beowulf

plot of beowulf poem

But the worthy blade, never before bested in battle, failed to harm Grendel's mother. In the poem, Beowulf's final battle is with a dragon that attacks his people. Hrothgar throws another party, then asks Beowulf for a private word. Beowulf find himself dangling on the chain, swinging right in front of the dragons neck, where Beowulf spots a large glowing red area, just like the red jewel in Hrothgar's horn. Beowulf starts fighting with the monster with his bare hands. Since he has inadvertently started this blood-feud, he must resolve it, and the only resolution is either the death of Beowulf or that of Grendel's mother.


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Beowulf Plot Flashcards

plot of beowulf poem

It was only rescued from obscurity in 1815, when an Icelandic-Danish scholar named Thorkelin printed an edition of the poem. Rather than directly drawing on the work of Homer and Virgil, the Beowulf poet simply seems to have hit upon the idea of using similar plot devices and character types. He returned to his lord and proffered his find, hoping to be reinstated. Unferth, no longer jealous, lent him a battle-tested sword of great antiquity called Hrunting. He hears a male voice trying to decide who it should kill first, the Queen or Ursula. But this time, hand-to-hand fighting, which had proved handy against Grendel, is equally useless. So he does what lesser men would fear to do: he wrestles the monster with his bare hands, eventually tearing off one of its arms.

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SparkNotes: Beowulf: Plot Overview

plot of beowulf poem

Beowulf responds with a boastful description of some of his past accomplishments. The magic sword melts to its hilt. When Beowulf refers to Grendel's mother as a hag, Hrothgar gives him a knowing gotcha! Of course, without his protection, it's a pretty bleak future. Beowulf knows hes about to die, and reveals that he made arrangements for Wiglaf to become the new king. He takes her head and the blade back to the surface. Their relationship is kept secret with the Queen, thought she knows about it anyway and doesn't say anything. Complication Grendel's mother shows up to avenge the death of her son.

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SparkNotes: Beowulf: Character List

plot of beowulf poem

Hrothgar warns Beowulf about becoming too cocky, and then gives him some more money. He defeats the dragon but becomes mortally wounded in the process. The dragon stabs Beowulf with its tusks. Jump ahead many years, and the sins of the father are visited upon Beowulf and his kingdom. He rules wisely for fifty years, bringing prosperity to Geatland.

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