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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 Grendel.


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 done

but 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 owners.


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.


Hot List

Click here to learn more about Beowulf Project

Here is the translation of Beowulf

Click Here to see the map of Beowulf's journey.

Old English Pages

Do a search on the literature here...

The Internet classic archive

Read Beowulf online with footnotes

Beowulf for beginners

Some quick notes on Beowulf


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Last revised: October 08, 1998