Presentation on theme: "Notes on Beowulf Lines 836-1650. Similarities Shared by Beowulf and Sigemund The story of Sigemund’s exploits shared by a scop Who is Sigemund? – A Viking."— Presentation transcript:
Notes on Beowulf Lines
Similarities Shared by Beowulf and Sigemund The story of Sigemund’s exploits shared by a scop Who is Sigemund? – A Viking and hero like Beowulf – After killing a dragon, Sigemund’s name gains great popularity. – Sigemund prospers after King Heremond is betrayed by the people. Both Beowulf and Sigemund perform daring, valiant acts. The men are strong and successfully battle monsters (dragons and hellish monsters).
Contrasting Beowulf and Sigemund against Heremond King Heremond is a direct contrast to the strong, brave Beowulf and Sigemund (he’s like a foil). The King is considered villainous because of his vanity. King Heremond’s men resorted to betraying him because of his inadequacies. They found the king unreliable and unworthy to rule.
Father and Son Motif – a recurring pattern that often times adds to or helps to explain the theme. Hrothgar looks upon Beowulf as a son. After learning that Beowulf has defeated Grendel, Hrothgar states, “So now, Beowulf,/ I adopt you in my heart as a dear son./ Nourish and maintain this new connection,” (945-47).
Hrothgar and Hrothulf Two powerful kinsmen Hrothulf is King Hrothgar’s nephew. “Hrothgar and Hrothulf, were in high spirits/ in the raftered hall. Inside Heorot/ there was nothing but friendship. The Shielding nation/ was not yet familiar with feud and betrayal” ( ). Could the above be an example of foreshadowing? Will Hrothulf betray Hrothgar’s sons and usurp the throne?
Finn and Hengest Men from different tribes Finn (Frisian) and Hengest (Dane) Finn kills King Hnaf and many of his warriors. Finn also loses many of his men in battle. A truce is offered to Hengest. The Danes will receive a hall and a throne that will share power with the Frisians. The Danes will receive treasure from the Frisians for the blood-pact, and no revenge will be sought for the killings.
Hildeburh’s Mourning King Knaf’s sister and Finn’s wife She loses both her brother and son in battle. Hideburh is Danish and Finn is Frisian. Her brother is Danish and her son is Frisian. Divided loyalty – what does one do? Why did she marry a Frisian in the first place?
Beowulf and Hengest Hengest breaks his oath (Beowulf would not do such a thing). Beowulf would promote peace if that is what was promised. He would not have killed Finn when Finn’s guard was down.
Sitting between Hrethric and Hrothmund (Hrothgar’s Sons) Significance – perhaps one day Beowulf will need to offer his assistance to help the two siblings. Perhaps Beowulf will be needed to fight off Hrothulf, Hrothgar’s nephew. If Hrothulf usurps the throne, then Beowulf will be needed.
Symbolic Value of the Torque Wealtheow bestows Beowulf with a collar. Collar – unique because of its history Once belonged to Hygelac, the Geat – Lost collar during feud with the Franks – The Danes later attained the collar. – The Danes have kept it until now. – To be returned to the Geats in the form of a present to Beowulf – Collar symbolizes peace between clans, i.e., the peace between the Danes and the Geats.
Author’s Tone Grendel and his mother represent evil. No sympathy can be offered. To have sympathy for Grendel and his mother would entail rebuking God. Author’s tone – unsympathetic
Difference between Beowulf and Hrothgar Beowulf tells Hrothgar, “‘Wise sir, do not grieve. It is always better/ to avenge dear ones than to indulge in mourning’” ( ). Hrothgar is a warrior, but he is old and weak and needs help defending his kingdom. Beowulf, on the other hands, is young and strong. He’s a lot more optimistic. He exhibits tremendous courage.
Unferth At first, he’s all talk, but no action. Unferth loans Beowulf his sword, Hrunting. Unferth is a coward and afraid to fight.
Deus ex Machina Beowulf is saved by God. The blade does not kill Beowulf because God intervenes (God will not have it so). Deus ex Machina - God’s intervention to help solve conflict (literary device)