Further Celebration in the Hall

Satisfactory Essays
Further Celebration in the Hall

It is a cold, dark night when Beowulf enters the great hall carrying the head of the treacherous Grendel . He has defeated both the beast and his mother, so the Danes rejoice upon seeing their hero alive. They all listen eagerly as Beowulf tells his amazing tale of glory. He credits his success to God, saying that he would not have survived "if God had not guarded" him (Norton 48). Hrunting, the sword he has brought to battle, has failed him because Grendel's mother has bewitched all swords so that they can not harm her. Luckily, fate has led him to "see hanging on the wall a fair, ancient great sword" (48) with which he defeats the powerful woman. Once he has slain the monster, the sword mysteriously melts, leaving him with only the golden hilt to bring back to his Lord.

After hearing this great tale, King Hrothgar speaks. He is especially pleased with Beowulf's success, as he no longer has to live in fear for his kingdom. Through his speech, he congratulates Beowulf and advises him with words of wisdom. Hrothgar cautions the almighty warrior to beware of his pride by not allowing it to swell, due to his glory. He tells a tale about the notorious King Heremod who is blessed with everything--money, power, strength, and glory:

Until his portion of pride

increases and swells within him;

then the watcher sleeps,

the soul's guardian;

that sleep is too sound,

bound in its own cares,

and the slayer most near

whose bow shoots treacherously. . .

he cannot protect himself. . .

angry-hearted he covets. . .

and then he forgets and

regards not his destiny

because of what God,

wielder of heaven, has given him . . .

In the end it happens in turn

that the loaned body weakens,

falls doomed; another takes

the earl's ancient treasure,

one who recklessly gives precious

gifts does not fearfully guard them


From this speech, parallels can be drawn between Beowulf and Hrothgar. Hrothgar states that he "ruled the Ring-Danes for a hundred half-years" (49), and in the second part of the tale, it is revealed that Beowulf also reigns as a wise King for fifty years. In his speech, Hrothgar's reference to the "loaned body" and the "earl's ancient treasure" directly relate to "The Last Survivor's Speech" in the second part of Beowulf. It is this later revelation that connects Beowulf with "The Wanderer." Click on the picture to the right for a closer look at the passages that clearly show the parallel between Beowulf and "The Wanderer.
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