Reading Quiz: Beowulf

What is a scop? a bard
Which of the following is not a synonym for Danes used by the Beowulf poet? Sea-Danes
What is the name of Hrothgar’s great mead-hall, the setting for the action of the first part of Beowulf? Heorot
Kinship relations are crucial in the world of Beowulf. The beginning of the poem establishes Hrothgar’s lineage. Which of these answers below describes Hrothgar’s lineage in the correct order from oldest to youngest? Shield Sheafson, Beow, Halfdane, Hrothgar
Who does the poet name as Grendel’s ancestor? Cain
“[They] then heaved out, / away with a will in their wood-wreathed ship” (line 216). This line, describing Beowulf’s departure from Geatland, is typical of the poem’s form and Old English poetic technique because it features alliteration; it has 4 strong stresses; it does not rhyme
At the feast in Heorot, Unferth speaks “contrary words” (line 501) against Beowulf. Of what does Unferth accuse Beowulf? vanity
Beowulf in turn accuses Unferth of killing his own “kith and kin”; “unchecked atrocity”
What weapon does Beowulf select to fight Grendel? no weapon
What trophy does Beowulf claim at the end of his battle with Grendel? Grendel’s arm and hand
Who is Grendel’s avenger? Grendel’s mother
What does this avenger take from the hall? Grendel’s hand; Hrothgar’s adviser Aeschere
Consider the following lines from Beowulf. What literary device does the poet use in these lines? A few miles from here a frost-stiffened wood waits and keeps watch above a mere. (lines 361-363) personification
According to Beowulf, what is the “best and only bulwark” (line 1389) for a warrior against death? glory
Beginning at line 1441 of the poem, we hear in detail of the arming of the hero for his second battle. What animal adorns Beowulf’s helmet? Fill in the blank in the verse below: It was of beaten gold, princely headgear hooped and hasped by a weapon-smith who had worked wonders in days gone by and adorned it with ______-shapes; since then it had resisted every sword. (lines 1448-1454) boar
With what weapon does Beowulf kill Grendel’s mother? with an ancient sword from the monster’s own armory
What happens to the weapon with which Beowulf slays the monster? It slathers and wilts into gory icicles
With what battle-prize does Beowulf present Hrothgar as proof of his second victory? the hilt of the weapon that killed Grendel’s mother
At the conclusion of this section of the poem, Hrothgar makes a long speech to Beowulf, in which he promises friendship and other rewards to Beowulf, acknowledges that warrior’s valorous deeds, and outlines what he sees as the best attributes of a noble leader. To furnish a contrast, Hrothgar refers at length to which figure, who is the very opposite of a good leader. Heremod
What sin does Hrothgar caution Beowulf to avoid? pride
The following speech refers to two warriors: “the prince” and “you.” Who are they? “If it should come to pass that Hrethel’s descendant dies beneath a spear, if deadly battle or the sword blade or disease fells the prince who guards your people and you are still alive, then I firmly believe the seafaring Geats won’t find a man worthier of acclaim as their king and defender than you, if only you would undertake the lordship of your homeland.” (lines 1845-1853) Hygelac and Beowulf
What is the role of noble women in this warrior society? Complete this sentence: A noble woman is a “peace-pledge between nations”; one who will “weave peace”; one who distributes mead and wealth in the ring-hall
As Beowulf is spinning the tale of his adventures amongst the Danes to Hygelac, he digresses for a moment to tell of a marriage that has been arranged between Freawaru, Hrothgar’s daughter, and Ingeld, king of the Heatho-Bards. The Danes and the Heatho-Bards are enemies, and this marriage is meant to forge new friendship between the two peoples. What is Beowulf’s prediction for the outcome of this marriage? Freawaru’s presence in Ingeld’s hall will call up old memories of battle and destroy peace
As Beowulf relates his battle with Grendel to Hygelac, what interesting new detail about the monster is revealed? Grendel possessed a dragon-skin bag for storing his prey
Why does Beowulf present Hygelac with the treasures he won in Hrothgar’s service? He has few other kinsmen besides Hygelac; Hygelac is Beowulf’s uncle
Why is the last section of Beowulf missing parts of the text? The manuscript was damaged by fire
To whom did the treasure in the dragon’s barrow originally belong? an unnamed people, who had all died out except the last man who buried their treasure
What action awakens the dragon? A slave takes a golden cup from the dragon’s treasure-heap
How many men fight the dragon? Beowulf and Wiglaf
What happens to Beowulf’s body? It is burned in a treasure-heaped pyre, and then buried in a barrow facing out to sea

You Might Also Like