Beowulf Author: Introdution


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Author: _______________


Setting – Time:

This Epic poem marks the beginning of _____________ ___________________.

It was originally __________________ by ______________ in _____________ ___________________.

In its entirety, it is ____________ lines long.

The story is an historical record of the ______________, _______________, and _______________ in England.

The Wrath of Grendel

  1. What is the setting? (time and place)

  1. Who are the following characters:

Hrothgar –

Grendel –

  1. What is the personification in line 4?

  1. What biblical reference is used to explain Grendel’s origin? Why is this significant?

  1. Explain Grendel’s “night’s slaughter”? (40) How many men does he kill the first night?

  1. What is Herot?

  1. Who survived Grendel’s wrath? (57)

  1. For how long did Grendel terrorize the Danes?

  1. What metaphor is used to describe Grendel in line 74?

  1. By the end of line 78, what is the situation of the Danes?

  1. Why does Hrothgar continue to live even though he hasn’t fled?

  1. How are the Danes’ actions, in lines 90-98, contradictory to their Christian beliefs?

The Coming of Beowulf

  1. Who are the following characters:

Healfdane –

Beowulf –
Higlac –
Edgetho –

  1. Why did Beowulf’s kinsmen urge him to go and help the Danes? (118)

  1. How many men did Beowulf take with him?

  1. What adjectives and desriptive phrases are used to describe the Geats’ boat?

What simile is used to describe how the boat sailed through the ocean waters?

  1. What heroic qualities does Beowulf’s appearance suggest? (161-165)

  1. What metaphors are used to describe Grendel in lines 190-195?

  1. Why is it significant that there are wild boar heads on the Geats’ helmets?

20. Describe Herot as it appeared to Beowulf and his men.

21. For how long does the guard say he will have his men watch Beowulf’s ship? (204-212)

  1. In lines 245-255, Beowulf boasts of his previous accomplishments. Name some of his successes, explain why he would recall them at all, and explain why his boasting would not offend the Hrothgar.

  1. Why would Beowulf want to fight Grendel alone (except with the help of his own men) and without weapons?

  1. What does Beowulf request of Hrothgar in the event that he dies in the battle?

Why would Hrothgar not have to worry about any expensive funeral

expenses in the event that Beowulf dies?

The Battle with Grendel

  1. What is the setting/idea for the attack?

  1. Lines 309-313 is an example of what literary device? Explain.

  1. What lines mark the climax of the poem? Within those lines, what two words describe Beowulf?

  1. What metaphors describe Grendel in lines 325, 360, and 363?

  1. What metaphor describes Beowulf in line 366?

30. Why were Beowulf’s men unable to help him?

  1. How is foreshadowing used again in lines 379-382?

  1. What is the outcome of the battle? Be specific.

33. What proof does Beowulf provide for his victory?


  1. At the beginning of the poem, Hrothgar’s warriors are happy, while Grendel is consumed by hatred. What causes these differences in attitude?

  1. What traits of Beowulf and Grendel raise the fight between them to an epic struggle between two great opposing forces in the world?

  1. How does Beowulf illustrate the following Anglo-Saxon ideals:

loyalty –
valor –
unselfishness –

the power of good –
courage –
faithfulness –
generosity –
justice –
fate –


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