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A Summary of Beowulf

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Length: 983 words (2.8 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Price: $9.95
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A Summary of Beowulf

Beowulf begins with a history of the great Danish King Scyld (whose funeral is described in the Prologue). King Hrothgar, Scyld's great-grandson, is well loved by his people and successful in war. He builds a lavish hall, called Heorot, to house his vast army, and when the hall is finished, the Danish warriors gather under its roof to celebrate.
Grendel, a monster who lives at the bottom of a nearby mere, is provoked by the singing and celebrating of Hrothgar's followers. He appears at the hall late one night and kills thirty of the warriors in their sleep. For the next twelve years, the fear of Grendel's fury casts a shadow over the lives of the Danes. Hrothgar and his advisors can think of nothing to calm the monster's anger.

Beowulf, prince of the Geats, hears about Hrothgar's troubles, gathers fourteen of the bravest Geat warriors, and sets sail from his home in southern Sweden. The Geats are greeted by the members of Hrothgar's court, and Beowulf boasts to the king of his previous successes as a warrior, particularly his success in fighting sea monsters. Hrothgar welcomes the arrival of the Geats, hoping that Beowulf will live up to his reputation. During the banquet that follows Beowulf's arrival, Unferth, a Danish thane, voices doubt about Beowulf's past accomplishments, and Beowulf, in return, accuses Unferth of killing his brothers. Before the night ends, Hrothgar promises Beowulf great treasures if he meets with success against the mon...

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