Beowulf Annotations Study Guide

Represents the “Mark of Cain”. “Out from the marsh, from the foot of misty Hills and bogs, bearing God’s hatred, Grendel came, hoping to kill Anyone he could trap on this trip to high Herot.”
Characterizes hell against heaven. “Up from his swampland . . . gold-shining hall . . .”
A demon walking across the gold floor of heaven. “He strode quickly across the inlaid Floor . . .”
Characterizes Grendel as a demon. “. . . snarling and fierce: his eyes Gleamed in the darkness, burned with a gruesome Light.”
The feeling of being stuffed after a meal. “. . . stuffed . . . hot With the thought of food . . .”
Foreshadows Grendel’s death. “Of his last human supper . . .”
Shows Grendel’s demonic characteristics. Character Foiling – contrasts the opposite of traits by contrasting character traits. ” . . . He came to, ripped him apart, cut His body to bits with powerful jaws, Drank the blood from his veins and bolted Him down, hands and feet . . .”
Kenning referring to Higlac being Beowulf’s king. “But Higlac’s follower . . .”
Alluding to church bells ringing. “The high hall rang, its roof boards swayed, And Danes shook with terror . . .”
Alludes Herot to being heaven. ” . . . beautiful walls; Shaped and fastened with iron, inside And out, artfully worked, the building Stood firm. Its benches rattled, fell To the floor, gold-covered boards . . .”
Alludes to hell. “. . . swallow in hot flames such splendor Of ivory and iron and wood . . .”
Jesus’ enemy ” . . . Almighty’s enemy . . .”
The lake of hell. What does the lake symbolize?
Water represents female energy. The connection between the lake and Grendel’s mother is what?
Edgetho Who is Beowulf’s father?
Anglo-Saxon Loyalty “Remember, Hrothgar, Oh knowing king, now When my danger is near, the warm words we uttered, And if your enemy should end my life Then be, oh generous prince, forever The father and protector of all whom I leave Behind me, here in your hands, my beloved Comrades left with no leader, their leader Dead . . .”
The term she-wolf refers to Romulus and Remus. They became powerful generals, and this allusion characterizes her intense characteristics. “And all at once the greedy she-wolf Who’d ruled those waters for half a hundred Years discovered him . . .”
Beowulf wants to show off in front of his men, but when he goes in the lake there will be no witnesses, so he feels like it doesn’t matter if he wears armor or not. Why does Beowulf wear armor against Grendel’s mother but not Grendel?
He takes Grendel’s arm as a trophy to boast. Boasting is an Anglo-Saxon trait. Why does Beowulf take Grendel’s arm as a trophy and what does this show?
Beowulf is losing. Why is the battle with Grendel’s mother less descriptive?
Because it symbolizes hell. Why is the lake’s water hot?
It is Satan’s battle hall. Who’s battle hall is it?
Divine intervention. Symbolism of the armor of God. ” . . . that shining Woven metal had not helped—and Holy God, who sent him victory, gave judgment For truth and right, Ruler of the Heavens, Once Beowulf was back on his feet and fighting . . .”
He is battling with another king. Beowulf’s battle with the dragon is symbolic for what reason?
The thief steals a cup and it represents communion involving the blood of Jesus. The dragon was guarding a cup, so the dragon was probably Christian. What does the thief steal from the dragon and what does it represent the dragon to be?
Beowulf represents the Anglo-Saxons and their culture dying to Christianity. What does the defeat of Beowulf to the dragon represent?
Foreshadows that this is his last time boasting. Boasting is an Anglo-Saxon value. “And Beowulf uttered his final boast . . .”
Represents the Anglo-Saxon value of loyalty. “Then he said farewell to his followers, Each in his turn, for the last time . . .”
Gives Beowulf an excuse for bringing armor. ” . . . Could be killed without it, crushed to death Like Grendel, gripped in my hands and torn Limb from limb. But his breath will be burning Hot, poison will pour from his tongue. I feel no shame, with shield and sword And armor, against this monster . . .”
God will decide who wins. “I mean to stand, not run from, his shooting Flames, stand till fate decides Which of us wins. My heart is firm, My hands calm: I need no hot Words . . .”
The dragon shows the opposite value of the Anglo-Saxons, which is generosity. A dragon keeping all the gold to himself is not generous. “And this dragon’s treasure, his gold And everything hidden in that tower, will be mine Or war will sweep me to a bitter death!”
Represents Armageddon / God himself to assist the dragon against Beowulf. “The earth itself shook . . .”
Personifies death; symbolic for him staring and saying goodbye to his people. “His weapon had deserted him . . .”
It shows the Anglo-Saxon values of honor and bravery are dying with their culture. What do the actions of Beowulf’s men represent when he needs them most?
Wiglaf is replacing Beowulf as a new, Christian king. This represents formally that Christianity has conquered Anglo-Saxon culture. What is significant about Wiglaf calling upon God?
Armor and a gold necklace; his kingdom. What does Beowulf give to Wiglaf?

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