Beowulf
Anonymous Anglo-Saxon poet
Contributed by Karim Chandra

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Summary

Once it is clear that Grendel has been defeated, people begin to celebrate. A minstrel lavishes Beowulf with praises. He also gives the tales of the Sigemund. Sigemund was the dragon slayer, and the mention of his name is aimed at likening the actions of Beowulf to the achievements that he had during his time. It also brings into perspective the name of King Heremod, who was an evil ruler. It, therefore, shows that evil people have existed in the past before, but through the actions of good people in the society, they have been won against.

Hrothgar shows Beowulf that he is very grateful for the success that he made and the achievement he attained by killing the monster. He, therefore, acknowledges Beowulf as one of the most important people in his life.  The king also states that he is full of appreciation that he does not know what would be good enough to give Beowulf for the achievement he had attained in winning against the monster. Beowulf also adds to the concept of a desirable hero with the reply he gives the king. He tells him that he opted to kill Grendel without expecting any reward. It was an action that he had decided to do as a way of showing the great appreciation that he had for the king. Hrothgar, nevertheless, goes on to lavish Beowulf with a lot of gifts. Some of the gifts given include an arm-ring, a valuable ancient sword, a necklace, a helmet, a banner as well as horses. Whealhtheow gives a grand speech and as well, plays the role of an ambassador for Hrothulf, her nephew. Hrothulf is deemed to be an heir to the throne.

Analysis

During the celebration process, the poets of the king normally sing many songs which are aimed at praising the king as well as communicating strong messages concerning some of the tales that they may wish to tell the guests present. The entertainments are important at foreshadowing and providing the warning to Beowulf and other guests present. To that end, they help to show the hero and other guests of the important role that they have played in trying to wage war against Grendel. They, however, aim to show them that the process of winning against the monster is not an easy fete. Most of the actions will need to be put on having enough preparations. Through the process of preparations, people are likely to identify some of the actions that they may take up concerning protecting themselves against the harmful practices of the monster. They are also likely to establish some of the measures that they might adopt fully concerning motivating others into being open concerning trying to fight against the beast. The process is, therefore, critical to ensuring that people in Denmark are well protected.

In the stories given by the poet, he provides some of the facts regarding the history of the Danes. In the story, he details Hildeburh, a Danish princess, married Frisian King Finn. The marriage aim was to mend the feud that had existed between the Frisians and the Danes for long. However, the marriage failed to squelch the feud that had existed between the two countries. Eventually, Hildeburgh’s brother and son were killed inside Finn’s hall. Many Danes were also killed in the process, and their bodies were burned to honor the dead. The story evokes a sad feeling but shows the culture and the heavy political battles that the Danes have had to fight over the years, with the aim of being in a position to attain standing in their society. Although they have been able to win over some political struggles, they have also had a problem in winning against others. To that end, a lot of action has been necessary with the aim of reducing upon the harm that might come up against the Danes as a result of the different political struggles that they have been involved in over the years.

In the meeting between the King and Beowulf, Hrothgar feels indebted to him. He is quite happy with the fact that the warrior has played a significant role in the restoration of peace and order in the country. The gifts that the king gives to Beowulf are a depiction of the great deeds that he has done and the immense help that he has forwarded towards the Danes. The king, thereby, views Beowulf as an essential part of the story of the Danes. He is also happy with the goodwill that the warrior had in trying to protect the Danes by offering the fight Grendel. By giving the gifts, the king also aims to show that heroes are usually rewarded. The aim is, therefore, to motivate many people to be interested in acts that are of benefit to others. Through the process, they are likely to attain success concerning being available for others and engaging in practices that are likely to be beneficial to such people. It also marks some level of generosity on the part of the king.

The celebration that people have, following the death of Grendel also serves as a historical recording as it relates to the experiences and the traditions of the people of Scandinavia. The section also enables the audience to understand the role of women in the courts of Denmark. It also shows the role of women in ambassadorship and politics. To that end, the women are identified to be highly important concerning bearing the opportunity to determine the political stand that their country holds.  Daughters of rulers within the Anglo-Saxon tribes were normally married off to the other families to bring peace and order. The reason is that the tribes were constantly at war. Women were, therefore, viewed as peace-weavers, who had the potential to determine the direction that their countries were likely to take concerning being able to drive towards peace. The concept would, therefore, ensure that such people would have the opportunity to identify the specific actions that they would adopt concerning being in a position to reduce the tension that exists between two kingdoms. By having the presence of women in a rival kingdom, people in the place are likely to be more accommodative to those found in the enemy kingdom.

The queen in each kingdom also served an important role of being a hostess. She is, therefore, able to receive guests into the kingdom and ensure that their needs are well addressed. The queen also ensures that the guests who come to the kingdom feel that they are highly valued. She may, therefore, seek to have more audience with them to determine some of the needs that they might be having. She may also seek to communicate some of the requests they have to the king. The hostess also ensures that people observe the appropriate civic protocol while next to the king. They may, therefore, seek to adhere to some of the instructions given to ensure that they maintain a high level of order while next to the king.

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