Beowulf Study Guide Questions Chapter 14 through 25

Upon seeing Grendel’s bloody arm swinging high from the “gold-shining roof” of Herot, what is Hrothgar’s proclamation? Hrothgar is so overjoyed at the sight of Grendel’s amputated arm and its implications, he makes Beowulf his own son and vows to forever preserve the peace between their people.
Describe Unferth’s reaction to seeing the arm of Grendel. Upon seeing Grendel’s arm, Unferth stops bragging, and he grows quiet, silenced by Beowulf’s bravery.
What were Hrothgar’s gifts to Beowulf for removing the threat of Grendel? Given a golden banner, a coat of mail, and an ancient sword.
What gifts does Hrothgar give Beowulf’s men? Ancient armor and Swords
How were the bodies of the dead disposed of in Anglo-Saxon times? Burned on a funeral pyre
Who are the two sons of Hrothgar and Welthow? Why are they permitted at the victory feast? Hrethric and Hrothmond. They are permitted at the feast because they are the guests of Beowulf.
What gifts does Welthow give to Beowulf at the feast? What are her words to Beowulf about her sons? Welthow gave Beowulf a mail shirt, golden armbands, and “the most beautiful necklace known to men.” She asks Beowulf to lend her two sons his wise and gentle heart.
Why did the Danes sleep with their armor on? It was the custom for the Danes to be ready for war.
How long had Grendel’s mother dwelt in the cold, subterranean lake? She had lived in the lake since Cain killed Abel.
What is Grendel’s mother’s motive in coming to Herot? Grendel’s mother comes to Herot seeking revenge for the loss of her son.
Whom does she snatch? She snatches Hrothgar’s closest friend, Esher.
What individuals had witnessed the two fiends prior to the time of the attacks on Herot? The peasants in the field had witnessed Grendel and his mother lurking in the darkness before the attacks.
Describe the location of the place where Grendel lived with his mother. They lived beneath a lake covered with frozen spray.
According to Beowulf, — what is the only thing that survives death? Glory and Fame
What do Hrothgar’s men discover on their search for Grendel’s mother? The bloody head of Esher.
Describe the lake that Grendel and his mother’s cave. The boiling lake was crawling with sea serpents.
What equipment does Beowulf adorn as he goes in pursuit of Grendel’s mother? How is this different from what he wore in his battle with Grendel? Beowulf adorned armor, chain mail, Hrothgar’s helmet, and Unferth’s sword. Beowulf wore no armor in the battle with Grendel.
What is the significance of the sword, Hrunting? Hrunting is the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth. It has a shining blade and was hardened in blood.
Describe the encounter Beowulf has with Grendel’s mother. How effective were his weapons? His weapons were useless against Grendel’s mother so he engages in hand-to-hand combat with her. She almost succeeded in stabbing Beowulf but his chain mail saved him.
How does Beowulf eventually slay Grendel’s mother? He discovers a sword hanging on the wall of the cave and slices her neck through.
What does Beowulf do with the body of Grendel that he finds lying in the corner of the lair? Beowulf cuts his head off.
What is happening on the surface with Hrothgar’s men while Beowulf is fighting under the lake? Hrothgar’s men speak of Beowulf as a warrior who has died in battle. They have lost hope in his return.
What happens to the “magnificent sword?” Melted
What does Beowulf take with him as souvenirs of his victory over Grendel’s mother? Grendel’s head and the hilt of the “Magnificent Sword.”
What “trophy” does Beowulf give to Hrothgar as a symbol of his victory over the demons? Grendel’s head
To what does Beowulf attribute his victory over Grendel’s mother in his audience with Hrothgar? Attributes his victory to God’s grace.
Describe Hrothgar’s reaction to what is written on the hilt of the sword. Hrothgar stares in amazement at the hilt of the sword that was forged by giants and monsters. Its original owner’s name is inscribed, as are stories of ancient wars between good and evil.
What was Hrothgar to say of the role of pride for a leader? Hrothgar cautions Beowulf against excessive pride and to realize that all glory is owed to God.
Before Beowulf and his men set sail on their return home, Unferth approaches Beowulf and offers his gift. What is it? Explain its significance. Unferth gives Beowulf the gift of his sword, Hrunting. This is the sword Unferth had boasted of earlier in his verbal bantering with Beowulf.

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