Storyline of beowulf. What is the story of Beowulf 2019-02-05

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Beowulf (2007)

storyline of beowulf

Some scholars have suggested that the manuscript was made at the end of the 10th century, others in the early decades of the 11th, perhaps as late as the reign of King Cnut, who ruled England from 1016 until 1035. He brings, he says, a wondrous song for you to hear. Beowulf claims that he not only made sure Grendel is dead, but killed his mother, too. Grendel finally arrives, and Beowulf goes unarmed to meet him in battle. Grendel taking over Heorot Hall. She grabbed Aeschere, Hrothgar's most valued advisor, and, crushing his body in a deadly grip, she raced away into the night, snatching the trophy of her son's arm before she escaped. The Danish countryside is now purged of its treacherous monsters.

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Beowulf

storyline of beowulf

That night, Grendel's mother comes to the hall from her home in the bottom of a lake, seeking revenge for the death of her son. Since then, it's been translated into many different languages and even as a book for kids. It was only rescued from obscurity in 1815, when an Icelandic-Danish scholar named Thorkelin printed an edition of the poem. He recalls Hygelac's death in battle and his own narrow escape from this battle. 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. There his warriors, the Scyldings, gathered to drink mead, receive treasures from the king after a battle, and listen to scops sing songs of brave deeds. Our neighbor Hrothgar is in sore need.

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Poem Summary

storyline of beowulf

Beowulf reigns as king for fifty years, protecting the Geats from all the other tribes around them, especially the Swedes. As they wait to attack the dragon, Beowulf recounts the Geat royal family's plight, in which Hygelac's oldest brothers killed each other and left their father to die of a broken heart. The cave is dark, but the horn magically glows to light the way. Can he still save the day, when everything he tries seems to be of no avail? Beowulf, his Geatish warriors, and some of Hrothgar's Danish warriors track her there. Unferth is spared so that he can pass on a message to the King that his son is waiting for him. All were valiant warriors whose courage had been tried in many battles.


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Beowulf Summary

storyline of beowulf

At last, as he neared the monster's hiding place, she sensed Beowulf's presence and dragged him inside. Beowulf proved him wrong with his side of the story, and Beowulf would also be proving him wrong by defeating Grendel. In Geatsland were vast forests where loathsome beasts made their homes in the hollow trunks of dead trees and prowled only by night, feeding upon sleeping pigs and young rabbits and other innocent animals. He sang of the monsters of the deep, strange wormlike creatures with brazen heads and tails like the tails of serpents, and Beowulf nodded with a knowing air, because he had swum in a great race against Breca and had learned something of the sea and what it held of terror for the swimmer. He thrashes about, causing the hall to nearly collapse.

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Classics Summarized: Beowulf

storyline of beowulf

Beowulf is from a different kingdom — the nearby Geatland, in modern-day Sweden — so we have one of the classic tropes of adventure narratives, that of the hero leaving home to go and vanquish some foe in a foreign land. They are unfazed by the extremely rough seas, and discuss with much bravado how they are on their way to take up Hrothgar's offer and slay Grendel, and how the glory of their deeds will live eternally. Around the hall stood wooden benches in tiers, one above the other, and at one end, highest of all, was the table at which Hygelac and Hygd his queen sat in their robes of state. As it just so happens, both Wealthow and Ursula are talking on the castles rampart as the dragon approaches, and it makes a beeline for them. Indeed, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries many scholars endeavoured to show that the author of Beowulf had been influenced by these classical works, but, in summary, the truth appears to be far more interesting. The warriors prepared for battle, leaving enough time for Grendel's mother to grab one of Hrothgar's counselors and run away. Together, Wiglaf and Beowulf kill the dragon, but the mighty king is mortally wounded.

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Beowulf Summary from LitCharts

storyline of beowulf

I have often wondered why the Beowulf story was lost for so long. Seems that Unferth has heard a story about Beowulf being challenged to a swimming race and losing. Seeing his king in trouble, one thane, Wiglaf, goes to his assistance. But soon after Heorot is finished, the mirth of the men and the music of the scop anger Grendel, a monster descended from Cain. A short plot synopsis of Beowulf — and a critical analysis What happens in Beowulf, the jewel in the crown of Anglo-Saxon poetry? 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. Beowulf, noting the clasp, thought it resembled a coiled snake, for there were two green stones set in it which glittered. I will see that no harm comes to it.


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Poem Summary

storyline of beowulf

The young man assembled a band of 14 worthy warriors to accompany him to Denmark, and they set sail. Enraged, the dragon emerges from the barrow and begins unleashing fiery destruction upon the Geats. Those about him paid no heed to his rapid breathing, and failed to notice the light that had sprung into his blue eyes. After recounting the story of his battles with Grendel and Grendel's mother, Beowulf tells King Hygelac about the feud between Denmark and their enemies, the Heatho-bards. He had wished to go alone to the land of the Danes, but his uncle the king had commanded that he be suitably companioned on such a voyage, so that at the court of Hrothgar it could not be said that Hygelac had sent the youth upon a fool's errand and badly equipped.

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Beowulf Plot Summary

storyline of beowulf

Sure enough, one of the kingdoms outlying villages is attacked by a dragon one night, and almost all are killed. Beowulf is the longest and greatest surviving Anglo-Saxon poem. Once the hall is finished, Hrothgar holds a large feast. Try as he might, Grendel could not loosen Beowulf's hold; he backed away, growing afraid. Beowulf survives in a single medieval manuscript. They were yellow of hair; their eyes were deep-set and burned blue like the sea; on their arms and around their necks were great circlets of beaten gold; and upon their heads they wore helmets decorated with the horns of bulls or the black wings of ravens.

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Poem Summary

storyline of beowulf

In fact, Beowulf and Wealthow seem to be in a cold and loveless marriage, and she doesnt seem the least bit relieved or happy to learn that he came back from battle unharmed. He offers rewards for the death of Grendel, so Beowulf, a great and boastful Geat warrior, arrives with his thanes. Beowulf takes a group of eleven trusty warriors, plus the thief who knows where the dragon's lair is, to the barrow for a final showdown with the monster. Grendel rules the mead-hall nightly. Hygelac rewards Beowulf for his bravery with land, swords, and houses. When Beowulf returns to the surface, carrying the sword hilt and Grendel's severed head, the Danish warriors have given him up for dead, but his own Geatish followers are still waiting patiently.

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