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Beowulf Questions

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Companion Questions for BEOWULF- Chapters II- XVI

1. What does the poet tell us about Grendel’s origins?

The poet tells us that Grendal is a descendant of Cain who slew his brother Abel (children of Adam and Eve) for this reason the Lord drove Cain far way from mankind. From Cain came all that is evil, including Grendel.

2. Why does Heorot remain empty for 12 years?
One night the Grendel went to Heorot and slaughtered 30 men. He did this repeatedly and the men were powerless against the beast. This torment continues for 12 years leaving the Heorot empty.

3. Explain why Grendal does not touch King Hrothgar’s throne. What does Hrothgar resort to in an effort to save his guest-hall?
Grendel does not touch King Hrothgar’s throne for fear of the Lord and what he might so to him. Hrothgar resorts to setting a guard at the front of the hall as a “hall-guardian.”

4. What is Beowulf’s motive for traveling to Hrothgar’s Country? What does he and his men so upon their arrival?
Beowulf has heard about Grendal and wants to help Hrothgar defeat it. Upon their arrival to the kingdom, Beowulf introduces himself, states his reason for being there, and asks to meet with the King. Once he was with Hrothgar he offered his help. Hrothgar accepted his help, and prepared a feast for him and his warriors.

5. How is Beowulf taunted by the jealous Unferth? How does Beowulf reply to these taunts?
Unferth begins to taunt Beowulf by claiming that he once lost a swimming match against Breca , and says that he will be defeated again by Grendel. Beowulf replies to these claims by calling Unferth a drunk, and tells the men the truth about the swimming battle.

6. Describe what happens to Grendel when he raids Herot and finds Beowulf there.
When Grendal walks into Heorot he begins by devouring a warrior. He strikes to grab Beowulf and is surprised by his strength. Terrifies and in shock he thinks to go back to his swamp, but Beo...

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