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The section entitled "Further Celebration

at Heorot" opens after Boewulf has slain

Grendel's mother. This becomes acceptable

adult behavior when you realize that Grendel and

his mother are both monsters from the same evil

metal. Beowulf has returned to King Hrothgar's

beautiful Heorot Hall to celebrate his victory over evil



Beowulf's boasts illuminate his heroic deeds.

His crowing declares the mead hall now safe

for all the thanes to drink in once again. Hrothgar,

the honorable king of the Danes, is grateful for

the monster's slaughter that Beowulf has donebut is also reflective.

Drawing on the experiences of a long life, he confides in Beowulf

that he should not be quite so full of himself. He states:


"Keep yourself against that wickedness, beloved

Beowulf, best of men, and choose better-eternal

gains. Have no care for pride, great warrior. Now

for a time there is glory in your might: yet soon it

shall be that sickness or sword will diminish your

strength, or fire's fangs, or flood's surge, or sword's

swing, or spear's flight, or appalling age; brightness

of eyes will fail and glow dark; then it shall be that

death will overcome you, warrior."


Hrothgar is a wise and noble king. He is much older

than Beowulf and sees much of his former self in the young

warrior. Having lived and learned many lessons from the

thousands of experiences that Beowulf has yet to face, with

great affection for Hygelac's thane, Hrothgar tries to use

his wisdom to help and Beowulf on the difficult road ahead.

To illustrate his point, Hrothgar recounts the story of Heremod,

a miserably notorious king, who stayed from the codes and

procedures of that warrior caste. The evil one's main failure

was a lack of respect for his people. As Hrothgar explains,

"He grew great, not for their joy, but for their slaughter."

Not only did Heremod fail to share a portion of the wealth

and power that God has given him with his loyal retainers. he

performed the most heinous of crimes, the killing of his own

clansman. In the end, this king, having failed to live a just life,

had few friends and died unhappy. Then his people, without

longing for their departed king, advanced someone else to the office.


Beowulf does not have any fear that Hrothgar's vision

is in his future. He is confident of his amazing courage.

His states, "Sometimes fate can save the undoomed man

if his courage is good." He is impervious to the mortal vices, which

would certainly have harmed a lesser man, and he quickly comes to

the bright light of such fame and glory. His fate (wyrd) is to remain

forever true to the path of his warrior code.


If Beowulf represents the heroic light,

the monsters Grendel and his mother are

compelled to darkness. The misunderstood

Grendel is angry, because he does not look like everyone else. He is

shunned by the people and cursed by God. Grendel does not have the

same privilege the warriors do. He can not enter the mead hall and

partake of the feasting and drinking that often occurs in Heorot Hall.

In time he learns to take his ostracism out on the others who are not

related to his fate.


During the poem many different swords were used.

The swords represent special roles. Just as the

legendary King Arthur has his sword Excalibur,

with its unique abilities, so too do many of the

characters in Beowulf. The older the weapon,

the more esteemed it is. Even the number of battles that swords had been

in and the amount of blood that they had shed had a symbolic value to their



God also plays an important role in this chapter.

He is constantly being preyed to and thanked.

The older (Pagan) gods are referred to as Giants, who were killed

by the true God with "water's welling," a reference to the

Christian biblical flood concerning the story of Noah, his family

and the animals saved in Noah's Ark.


Beowulf stands in this chapter as a champion amongst the

other warriors, and he is honored and well received at the

newly renovated (sans monsters) Great Hall. God is thanked

and everyone drinks. They await the further adventures of Beowulf.



Contact Information

If you have comments or suggestions, please email at:

Keith Leon Richard

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Last revised: October 14, 1996