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Flashcards in Beowulf Deck (20):
1

Name of the King Beowulf Helps

Hrothgar

2

Name of Hrothgar's Hall

Heorot

3

Name of Beowulf's People

Geats

4

Who helps Beowulf defeat the dragon?

Wiglaf

5

Who is Beowulf's father?

Ecgtheow

6

Name of Hrothgar's People

Danes

7

Who is Beowulf's Lord?

Hygelac

8

How does Beowulf defeat Grendel?

In hand-to-hand combat. After intense tussling, Beowulf rips off Grendel's arm and shoulder, and Grendel retreats to his lair to die.

9

What tale does Hrothgar's bard tell during their celebration of Beowulf's defeat over Grendel?

Sigemund and the dragon

10

What is the name of the sword, lent to him by Unferth, that Beowulf first carries into battle with Grendel's mother?

Hrunting

11

What is depicted on the hilt of the sword Beowulf takes from Grendel's mother's lair?

It shows how war first came into the world and how the flood destroyed the tribe of giants. It is also marked with ruins that tell of its first owner and when the sword was made.

12

What is the name of the sword Beowulf uses in his battle with the dragon? What happens to it?

Neagling; it snaps.

13

The poem begins with a discussion of which mythic figure (Hrothgar's ancestor)?

Scyld Scefing (Shield Sheafson)

14

What is a kenning?

A kenning is a metaphorical phrase, or compound word used to name a person, place or thing indirectly. Commonly used in Anglo-Saxon poetry.

15

What are some examples of kennings?

- "whale-road" for sea

- "battle sweat" for blood

- "raven harvest" for corpse

- "Shepherd of evil" for Grendel

- "mail-shirt" for armor

- "earth-hall" for burial mound

16

What is "ubi sunt"?

From the Latin, the basic gist is "where are those who came before us?"

This is one of the "genres" of Beowulf. Written during a Christian time about pagan heroes, the whole poem is a kind of ubi sunt of the writers pre-Christian predecessors.

The underlying feature of all Ubi-Sunt poetry is an expression of loss for bygone days, and a reflection on the transitory nature of existence.

17

What is the name of of Hrothgar's wife?

Wealhtheow

18

Discuss the role of women in Beowulf.

- Grendel/Grendel's mother = part of the monstrosity is the fact that the maternal relationship is emphasized instead of the paternal

- Daughters often go unnamed, even if they are important. We never learn the name of Beowulf's mother, for instance, even though it is through her that Beowulf is related to Hygelac.

- Even the women we do learn the names of, like Wealhtheow, play a very limited role. It is often mentioned that they are used for political pawns or to emphasize hospitality.

- In general, less respect is given to women than to the treasure and weapons valorized in the poem. These objects have histories and names that are remembered and passed down. Not so with women; they are worse than objectified.

19

When was the Beowulf manuscript rediscovered?

Late 18th c.

20

What are all of the Biblical references in the poem from?

Old Testament