But the worthy blade, never before bested in battle, failed to harm Grendel's mother. Beowulf is a foreigner from Geatland who travels to aid King Hrothgar by protecting his people and his hall. Then he gathered eleven warriors to accompany him to the lair of the dragon. Beowulf has been King of Geats for fifty years. 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. Also, Beowulf is most commonly described as an epic poem; the label makes its main character, Beowulf, an epic-hero. The Danish king offers a reward for the death of the creature, attracting to Herot the brave Geat warrior Beowulf that seeks for glory.
He exaggerates a little bit to make him look like an even bigger stud. The cup has nice jewels on it. But the monster — which is described as resembling a troll — cannot be killed with a blade, as Beowulf soon realises. Then Hrothgar's queen, Wealhtheow, made an appearance, and Beowulf vowed to her that he'd slay Grendel or die trying. If he blesses you, take advantage of it but use it wisely. Grendel slays one of the Geats when he first enters the hall—apparently in silence since only Beowulf is aware of the assault. 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.
The attack had happened so quickly and unexpectedly that both the Scyldings and the Geats were at a loss. Yet the poem is so infused with a spirit that it lacks the grim fatality of many of the lays or the of. Beowulf returns to Herot, the castle, and becomes king. Some consider the later as a bear and some interpret it as the malaria of the marsh lands. The foe he faces is no ordinary foe, and conventional weapons are powerless against it. It is implied that this tale is somewhat exaggerated, though not altogether untrue.
They sought the help of their , but no help was forthcoming. Everyone except Beowulf is asleep. Note how the poet compresses fifty years between the fight with Grendel and the emergence of the dragon. However, many translators have struggled to maintain the flow and alliteration present within the complex text. It talks about Beowulf when he was a kid.
In the firelight the hero beheld the hellish creature, and wasting no time, he drew Hrunting and dealt her a thunderous blow to her head. His funeral and a lament end the poem. As Grendel tries to retreat, his arm is caught in some chains, and Beowulf grabs hold, preventing Grendel from escaping just as the monster goes out the big main door. The story follows the archetypal hero's quest structure. Like Hrothgar, however, his peace is shattered in his declining years. Wealthow and Ursula, grieving together, head back to the castle, as does everyone else, but King Wiglaf stays behind to watch, himself grieving at the loss of his friend.
Back to Heorot, where after-hours are still rocking full-blast. Grendel shows up that night. As the Danes gird their loins and take up arms, the creature enters. He then made Wiglaf his heir, giving him his golden torque, his armor, and helm. In this war, King Higlac died. She comes up to him and tempts him with the promise of a kingdom and eternal glory, only if he lay with her and give her another son to replace the one he took.
He claims he lost the horn while fighting her, and left Unferth's sword in her body to make sure that she stayed dead. Beowulf asks that Heorot be reopened, and Hrothgar acquiesces, providing Beowulf and his crew with food, drink and lodging as they rest in preparation for their battle. Regardless, whoever the original author may have been is lost to history. The Geats fear that their enemies will attack them now that Beowulf is dead. As Beowulf squeezes the heart until it bursts, the dragon starts to fall from the sky, down the cliffs of the castle, taking Beowulf with him it its death throes.
Again, Beowulf insists on going in alone. The synopsis below may give away important plot points. A fleeing slave, seeking refuge from a hard master, stumbled upon a hidden passageway that led to the lair of a. Everyone is happy and they do some ceremony to honor Beowulf. We love mothers, but they do seem to make things complicated sometimes. A fiery dragon has become enraged because a lone fugitive has inadvertently discovered the dragon's treasure-trove and stolen a valuable cup.
There are more than 85 translations of Beowulf, and each one is slightly biased in its interpretation. A wise and aged ruler, Hrothgar represents a different kind of leadership from that exhibited by the youthful warrior Beowulf. Beowulf defeats Unferth in a battle of words. The final encounter, with the dragon years later, will prove the most difficult of all — and although he is successful and overcomes the monster, he will pay the ultimate price: victory will come at the cost of his own life. Sneaking quietly through the sleeping beast's treasure hoard, the slave snatched a single jewel-encrusted cup before escaping in terror. This line states that only one of these soldiers remained to fight with Beowulf.
It is apparent that she could slaughter Beowulf at any time. There he serves his king well until Hygelac is killed in battle and his son dies in a feud. Before anyone could move, he grabbed one of the sleeping Geats, rent him into pieces and devoured him,. Now Wiglaf came to his aid, running his sword into the dragon's belly, weakening the creature. He wants a monument in his honor. Similarly, human weapons will not harm Grendel's mother, so Beowulf uses one made by giants.