Beowulf leaves his kingdom in the hands of an inexperienced but promising kinsman, who lives, and will probably die, by the same ideals as Beowulf did. These sentence frames are simply an example. When he goes into the lake to fight Grendel's mother, the bystanders fear he has lost his life—and fame: here, death equals defeat equals loss of glory. After his death, there are a few more hints that we should judge Beowulf positively. The Difference Between a Good Warrior and a Good King Over the course of the poem, Beowulf matures from a valiant combatant into a wise leader. The images of exile and battle in the speeches of the messenger and the mourning woman add up to a certainty: the Geats are looking forward to a time of war.
Beowulf knew he was the one chosen to possess the hoard. That is, how will they face death? Then, once each battle is over, Beowulf receives great rewards. Of course, monsters exist only in fantasy. Beowulf has moved that much closer to gaining immortality; the geoguð, listening in the dark by the fire, learn the rewards of valorous deeds. Within that connection lies something almost spiritual, where a man can understand his strength and essence.
This seems like a paradox in modern culture, where winners are celebrated and losers derided, regardless of their merits. As he discusses Beowulf's later years, the poet lists the virtues 2177 ff. Meanwhile, Selma the witch is shown to have metaphysical knowledge and can foretell the future. Like the doctrine of vengeance, it was alive for some time after the conversion, and Beowulf is evidence of this. You are great of strength, mature of mind and wise of words ll. Considering you are reading Snow White, you will find that there is something you learn from the story of snow white.
Beowulf Lesson plans and teaching resources Background: The Anglo-Saxons : background information about the Anglo-Saxons has been moved to a separate page. There are echoes of the same philosophy of life in The Battle of Maldon. The cremation and burial, with treasure, marks Beowulf's transformation from a king into an ancestor. The ogre who has menaced Hrothgar's people for 12 years is envious of the Danes because he can never share in mankind's hope or joy. The great kings in the poem are given great treasures when they die.
Traditional and much respected, this code is vital to warrior societies as a means of understanding their relationships to the world and the menaces lurking beyond their boundaries. In this system, the king or feudal lord provides land, weapons, and a share of treasure to his warriors called thanes or retainers in return for their support of the leader in battle. Postmodern thought deplores the inequality of women in Western society, but it says nothing of the enslavement of women in Eastern societies. Furthermore, the gold of the dragon's hoard is not the same kind of gold as that of the typical miser: these are not stacks of coins, but of helmets, swords and armour: objects of practical value. His encounter with Grendel's mother works to advance the development of Beowulf's character, for the hero is given the opportunity to show his loyalty to Hrothgar, as a proper warrior should show loyalty to his benefactor. That Beowulf cannot be charged with the first is a relief to him when he dies: Ic ðæs ealles mæg feorhbennum seoc gefean habban; for ðam me witan ne ðearf waldend fira morðorbealo maga In all this, with my mortal wound, I still have joy because the ruler of men cannot charge me with the murder of my kinsmen ll. Lesson Summary In this lesson, we learned why courage and bravery are important in Beowulf, an example of Anglo-Saxon heroic poetry.
He has a family and a history; he is one of his people and therefore a shining example to them as well as the audience of the story. Christian writers like the Beowulf poet looked back on their pagan ancestors with a mixture of admiration and sympathy. It is lamentable to observe how selfishness governs all ranks; how many excuses men will make to avoid trouble or expense in relieving others. Beowulf did not consider himself a failure. Hrothgar is a wise man, but since old age has taken away his strength, he can no longer protect his people the way he should.
While this seems to be a major part of the story line, it can be removed and the story will only lose the background of Grendel's evil side. He has no children of his own to leave his kingdom to. Our preferences however need not have been those of the poet. Thirteen questions for writing or discussion. However, these are two different things. After all, the Danes went through a leaderless period before the coming of Scyld, and their kingdom survived even the bad king Heremod. His barrow will remind the generations to come of his greatness.
Divide students into groups of four. His dealings were honourable: in drink, he did not strike at the companions of his hearth; his heart was not savage ll. This time, he fights alone in her territory, a lake so deep it takes him almost a day to reach the bottom. Wiglaf is the new model of the faithful retainer, and the lambasting he gives to the faithless retainers further emphasizes for the young audience the lesson they are to take from their new counterpart. In Denmark, there is Unferth, who, as Beowulf points out, lacks the heart needed to defeat Grendel: Secge ic þe to soðe, sunu Ecglafes, þæt næfre Grendel swa fela gryra gefremede, atol æglæca, ealdre þinum, hynðo on Heorote, gif þin hige wære, sefa swa searogrim, swa þu self talast.