The First Monster at Heorot in Beowulf


Length: 1062 words (3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

The First Monster at Heorot in Beowulf


When Grendel monstrously bursts into Heorot, tears down the heavy door with his beastly hands and instantly devours a Geatish warrior, it immediately tells us that the first climax of the epic Beowulf has arrived. As Beowulf carefully watches Grendel take action, Grendel reaches out to snatch Beowulf as his next meal. Surprised, Grendel becomes extremely frightened to discover that there is another being stronger than himself when Beowulf, using his vice-like grip, pulls Grendel’s arm from his socket. The monster, Grendel, howls with pain and runs out of Heorot leaving his blood-spattered arm still in Beowulf’s hands.

An enormous celebration is thrown to record Beowulf’s victory by reciting and singing stories about the past kings. A Danish scop recites the story of Sigemund, a great hero who slays a horrible dragon. The dragon is a keeper of a treasure chest that Sigemund wins by slaying the dragon. The treasure won by Sigemund resembles the gold rewards earned by Beowulf from the ring-giver, King Hrothgar. This Norse myth is obviously recited at Beowulf’s celebration to compare both Sigemund’s and Beowulf's heroic acts. The Danish warriors want to show their appreciation to Beowulf with such mythology: “This man undertook with his art to recite in turn Beowulf’s exploit, and skillfully to tell an apt tale, to lend words to it” (Tuso 16).

What is so remarkable about the epic Beowulf is that the narrator contrasts Beowulf's super-heroic accomplishments with Heremod. Heremod is known as an evil Danish king who turns against his own people. This is clearly a symbol of the reverse of Beowulf’s characteristics. By comparing and contrasting Beowulf to two different kings, the narrator is indicating that Beowulf will be king later in the epic. Yet we readers shouldn’t immediately think that Beowulf will be an evil or a good king. This leaves us to carefully observe more of Beowulf's character throughout Beowulf.

During the celebration, King Hrothgar delivers an appreciation and dedication speech to Beowulf and his victory. From Hrothgar’s speech, we understand that he feels himself to be bound in a new relationship with Beowulf by his great service. He states, “Beowulf, best of men, in my heart I will love you as a son” (Tuso 17). Beowulf readers should start taking careful notice as King Hrothgar gradually becomes a mentor and a father-like figure to Beowulf. To some extent, Hrothgar even gives advice to Beowulf about how to act as an intelligent ruler through his own experience.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The First Monster at Heorot in Beowulf." 123HelpMe.com. 30 Apr 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=41641>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Themes from the Celebration at Heorot Essay - Themes from the Celebration at Heorot The passage "Celebration at Heorot" presents a wide variety of subtle themes and ideas. The three main ones are: the foretelling of the doomed future, different Christian and pagan beliefs and rituals, and the enternal battle of men vs. monster (good vs. evil). This section will analyze each one of these themes. To go to a specific page, click on the links above. Men vs Monster The theme of eternal battle between men and monster can be perceived through the different stories told by scopsat the celebration....   [tags: Celebration at Heorot Essays] 1202 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf and Grendel: The Hall Heorot Is Attacked By Grendel Essay - Beowulf and Grendel: The Hall Heorot Is Attacked By Grendel Beowulf is one of the greatest surviving epic poems. It was composed by Germanic people more than twelve hundred years ago. Although it is written in Old English, it deals with the Scandinavian forebears of the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes and the Geats. This epic poem concerns itself with Christianity, internal and external evils, and the warriors defeating monsters. The first passage of this story basically describes the building of Heorot....   [tags: Beowulf Epic Poem Poems Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1116 words
(3.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Epic of Beowulf - The Conflicts of Beowulf Essay - The Conflicts of Beowulf              George Clark in “The Hero and the Theme” make reference to an interior conflict within the Beowulf hero himself, and how the hero appears to lose this conflict:   Although a strong critical movement followed Klaeber in taking Beowulf as a Christian hero or even Christ figure, the most numerous and influential body of postwar critics, including Margaret Goldsmith (1960, 1962, 1970), read the poem as faulting the hero for moral filures according to one or another Christian standard of judgment (see also Bolton 1978)....   [tags: Epic Beowulf essays]
:: 7 Works Cited
1893 words
(5.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Pessimism of Beowulf in the Epic Poem, Beowulf Essay -     Anticipation of catastrophe, doom, gloom are present in Beowulf rom beginning to end, even in the better half of the poem, Part I. Perhaps this is part of what makes it an elegy – the repeated injection of sorrow and lamentation into every episode. In his essay, “The Pessimism of Many Germanic Stories,” A. Kent Hieatt says of the poem Beowulf: The ethical life of the poem, then, depends upon the propositions that evil. . . that is part of this life is too much for the preeminent man. . . .  that after all our efforts doom is there for all of us” (48)....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]
:: 18 Works Cited
2836 words
(8.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Epic of Beowulf Essay - The Conflicts in Beowulf - The Conflicts in Beowulf              Brian Wilkie and James Hurt in Literature of the Western World discuss what is perhaps the overriding or central conflict in the poem Beowulf, namely the struggle between good and evil, and how the monsters are representative of the evil side: Ker was answered in 1936 by the critic and novelist J.R.R. Tolkien, author of Lord of the Rings, who argued that “the monsters are not an inexplicable blunder of taste; they are essential, fundamentally allied to the underlying ideas of the poem, which give it its lofty tone and high seriousness.” For Tolkien, the monsters were symbolic of eternal forces of evil while remaining real monsters (1273)....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]
:: 7 Works Cited
2017 words
(5.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Further Celebration at Heorot Essay example - Further Celebration at Heorot PASSAGE SUMMARY Beowulf returns to Heorot after the heroic fight with Grendel's mother; and the Danish warriors, who were unable to stop the monsters' attacks themselves, salute the greatest of Geats. Beowulf greets Hrothgar and tells him about the war under water, the failure of Hrunting, and the slaying of Grendel's mother with the sword he found in the cave: "The sword itself had already melted, its patterned blade burned away: the blood was too hot for it, the spirit that had died there too poisonous" ( Norton, p.48)....   [tags: Essays Papers]
:: 1 Works Cited
1095 words
(3.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay about Vengeance in the Epic of Beowulf - Vengeance in the Epic of Beowulf Beowulf is the epic story of a young hero who battles the monster Grendel and his mother. Beowulf, a prince of the Geats, the son of Ecgtheow who voyages to Heorot, the hall of Hrothgar, king of the Danes and the great grandson of the hero Scyld Scefing. There at Heorot, Beowulf destroys the monster Grendel, who for twelve years has haunted the hall by night and slain all he found therein. When Grendel's mother, in revenge, makes an attack on the hall, Beowulf seeks her out and kills her in her home beneath the waters....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf]
:: 1 Works Cited
772 words
(2.2 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Epic of Beowulf Essay - Beowulf The epic poem Beowulf is a story of heroes and monsters, good and evil. The poem tells about the accomplishments and deeds of a legendary Geatish hero who first rids the Danish kingdom of Hrothgar of two demonic monsters: Grendel and Grendel's mother. Later in the story, Beowulf meets a dragon, kills it with the help of Wiglaf, but dies of wounds. No one knows who wrote Beowulf. It was not really written in the way that literature is written now. It is an epic poem, meant to be spoken aloud, very few of them were ever written down, and very few of them survived into modern times....   [tags: Beowulf Poem Poet Poetic Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
982 words
(2.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Beowulf Characters Essay - Beowulf Characters Schyld Scefing: He is the first great king of the Danes, and upon his death he is given a remarkable burial at sea. He eventually becomes the great-grandfather of Hrothgar who is king during Grendel's attacks upon the Danes. Beowulf: A thane of the Geat king Hygelac and eventually becomes King of the Geats. Hrothgar: King of the Danes at the time of Grendel's constant attacks. During is reign as king he builds the hall (Heorot) as a tribute to his people and his peaceful reign....   [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essays] 1287 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Donaldson's Beowulf Essay - Donaldson's Beowulf "Fate often saves an undoomed man when his courage is good" -Beowulf (Donaldson, 12) The passage that I analyzed spans the action when Beowulf returns to the halls of Heorot after a harsh battle with Grendel’s mother. He returns to king Hrothgar in the great hall of Heorot to say that he has successfully completed his boast and killed Grendel’s mother. Beowulf states that it has been a very difficult underwater battle and that he has barely escaped with his life, “The fight would have been ended straightway if God had not guarded me” (Donaldson, 29)....   [tags: Donaldson Beowulf Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1181 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches






Another song sung by the king’s scop is dedicated to Beowulf’s triumph. It is about Finn (King of Frisians married to Hildeburh) who kills Hnaef (Danish king) in a battle. After the battle because it is winter and travel is difficult, the Danish depressingly agree to live with the Frisians separately but with equal treatment. However, the Danish later seek revenge and defeat Finn, and Hildeburh returns to Denmark. This song is not merely about comparing or contrasting Beowulf to another king. It can possibly give us an idea that the idea of revenge is likely in any case (possibly some being will seek revenge for Grendel).

Again, this particular scene is the first climax of one of Beowulf’s conflicts. Since we already know that Beowulf will encounter two more battles later in the epic, we should notice his defeat of Grendel when Beowulf is young. The second battle with Grendel's mother occurs right after the battle with Grendel while Beowulf's defeat of the dragon takes place later, when Beowulf is about 80 years old. For this reason, Beowulf's first conflict is extremely important in the epic, where it shows how Beowulf gradually matures through his three battles.

Second Perspective

This passage, Celebration at Heorot, begins with the Danish warriors on horseback following the tracks of Grendel’s retreat to the marshes. They are amazed at Beowulf’s accomplishment, which is the slaying of the monster Grendel. They begin to praise Beowulf’s courage and name and say how great of a leader he will be, but they never once go against their own king Hrothgar for he is a good king. In the process of proclaiming Beowulf’s fame, the scop begins to tell a story, quite similar to that of Beowulf, the story of Sigemund. Sigemund is a great hero who slays a vicious dragon who was the guardian of a treasure hoard. Sigemund won the treasure hoard when the dragon was killed. The scop also tells a story in contrast to Beowulf’s story, which is the story of Heremod, an evil Danish king who turns against his people. Afterwards, the warriors go to Heorot for the celebration.

At Heorot many gather around to see the trophy, which is Grendel’s hand. Hrothgar begins praising Beowulf, promising him gifts, and says that he considers Beowulf as a son. Beowulf accepts Hrothgar's gifts and praise, but at the same time, he starts expressing his disappointment for not killing Grendel in the hall so that all could have a chance to see his corpse.

Heorot is at peace once again so the Danes begin to rebuild the great hall for it has been partially destroyed in the battle with Grendel. After the gifts have been given out, the scop begins to sing a song about the story of Finn. The story begins with the Danes losing a terrible battle to Finn-the King of Frisians. As reconciliation for their defeat, the Danes agree to live with the Frisians separately, but under common rule and with equal treatment. Hildeburh, a Danish princess who is married to Finn, orders that the corpse of her brother, the Danish leader Hnaef, and her son be burned on the same bier during the funeral. The Danes spend one long winter with the Frisians but when spring arrives, they rise against their enemies. Finn is defeated and kill and his widow, Hildeburh, is returned to Denmark, brought to her people.

This passage fits into the story of Beowulf because this is the climax of the poem. Grendel is the first monster that Beowulf fights. His name is beginning to take shape because he is being recognized for his strength and courage by the slaying of Grendel. He will soon have to prove himself again in battle with Grendel’s mother and the dragon. This passage makes Beowulf’s name heroic and show us his future as a warrior.


Return to 123HelpMe.com