Important Concepts, Places, and Things


A sum that is paid when one man kills another.


Biblical brother of Abel. He kills Abel out of jealousy and is condemned by God.


A huge mead hall built by the order of Hrothgar that comes under the attack of Grendel. The mead hall becomes empty at dusk because of Grendel.


An overwhelming pride which typically causes a fall from greatness. In Beowulf, Hrothgar gives Beowulf a speech about guarding against hubris. Hrothgar uses Heremod as an example of what happens if pride takes over a king's heart.


An ancient sword owned by Unferth. It is lent to Beowulf when he goes to fight Grendel's mother.


It is a kenning. This represents a person who has killed one of his own kinsmen. This is considered the worst act a person can commit in a kin-based society.


A kenning is the joining of two words to replace a single word. (e.g. "whale-road" replaces ocean)

Main page |Important Characters ]
[Pagan Elements |Christian Elements |Reflections |Citations ]
[Other Related Links |Information about the authors ]