Beowulf A Final Test Review
Characters • Beowulf • Hrothgar • Higloc • Grendel • Wiglaf • Grendel’s Mom • The Dragon
Beowulf Main character of the story, arrives in Denmark to help the Danes from Grendel’s terror. Later on becomes king of the Geats.
Grendel Monster who terrorized Herot, has long arms with huge claws. One of the antagonists of the story. A descendant of the first murderer Cain.
Grendel’s Mom Mother of Grendel who terrorized the Danes after Grendel’s death by Beowulf’s hand. Lived and killed in a swamp.
Higloc First king of the Geats who would give the throne to Beowulf. Father of Beowulf.
Hrothgar The king of the Danes who would request help from Beowulf from the monster Grendel.
Wiglaf The slayer of the dragon that killed Beowulf and crowned king of the Geats by Beowulf.
Dragon Monster that terrorizes Beowulf’s kingdom and who would later be the killer of Beowulf.
Beowulf Terms • Wergild – Man-price • Value placed on every human being or piece of property • Hubris – warriors are full of this • Too much pride or arrogance • Anglo-Saxon period • 410-1066 AD • Germans organized into confederation of 7 kingdoms • Kent, Sussex, Essex, Wessex, East Anglia, Mercia, North Umbria • Pagan Religion • Anglo-Saxon belief in fate and that life has been pre determined
Beowulf Terms • Wyrd • Fate whatever happened, happened because it has been predetermined • Mead • Alcoholic drink made from honey • Scop • Old english poet, traveled around to mead halls and delivered oral myths. • Epic • Extended narrative poem recounting action adventures.
Beowulf Timeline • Hrothgar builds Herot (mead hall) • His subjects congregate and party • Grendel awakens because of sound of joy and murders 30 men • Hrothgar mourned his men • Grendel kept coming back, villagers hid from Herot • Beowulf hears of Grendel and takes the mightiest men he can find to do battle with him • Beowulf faces Grendel rips his arm off • Grendel dies and they party • Grendel’s mom decides to avenge her son and kills Hrothgar’s right hand man • Beowulf goes down into her lair and kills her with her sword • Beowulf becomes king of the Geats
Timeline Continued • 50 years later, a dragon comes and terrorizes Beowulf’s kingdom. • Beowulf and his men go to slay the dragon, but all the men desert him except for Wiglaf. • Beowulf is mortally wounded, Wiglaf kills the Dragon • Beowulf passes on the throne to Wiglaf. • Wiglaf rises and disgraces the men who deserted their king • The Geats honor Beowulf’s grave with a lighthouse and all the treasure.