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Beowulf Study Sheet


Scyld Shefing (Shield Sheafson) 4-11
Beow (NOT Beowulf) 12-25
Scyld's burial 26-52
Scyld's descendents: Scyld Beowulf the Dane Haelfdane 4 kids 53-62
Hrothgar, son of Haelfdane, builder of Heorot 63-85


Digression into the past: WAY past, that is; poetic account of creation 88-97
Grendel named at l. 102
Grendel descended from Cain 104-114
Grendel's first attack on Heorot 115-133
144 "So Grendel ruled in defiance of right"
Danes pray to idols, Lord God.unknown to them 175-188


News of Grendel reaches Hygelac's followers 194-199
Beowulf referred to as Hygelacs thane 194
Company of 15 Geats crosses the sea 199-227
Beowulf's reception 320-664
In Denmark
The watchman 229-319: Beowulf unlocked his word-hoard 258; the watchman
"takes the measure ofwhats said and whats done 288-9
In Heorot
Beowulf is my name (342)
Wulfgar named 348
Fate goes ever as fate must 455
Exchange between Beowulf and Hrothgar
Digression into the past: Hrothgar tells of Ecgtheow (Beowulf's father) having
killed Heatholaf of the Wulfings, starting a feud, settled with payment from
Hrothgar, 456-472
the song of the poet in Heorot 496-7
Unferth named 500
Digression into the past: Unferth brings up Beowulf's swimming-match with
Breca; Beowulf defends himself for the record, and gets in a dig at Unferth in
return, 506-598
Wealtheow offers the cup, 612-630
Beowulf defeats Grendel, 665-851
Grendel comes once again to commit gluttonous violence, but his fate that night/was
dues to change, his days of ravening/had come to an end 733-5
Beowulfs handgrip 750
Foreshadowing of Heorot's fiery end 780-781
Grendel impervious to the sword 799-804
Grendels feud against man is an offense to God 809-811
off comes the monster's arm, 814-817
the hand "clear proof" 832
Poetic 1st person: "as Ive heard" 837
Hell welcomes Grendel's "heathen soul" 851
Beowulf celebrated 852-1230
poet, entwining his words links in Beowulfs triumphs to the lore of the past 866
Digression into the past: poet sings of Sigemund defeating a dragon and of Heremod
the bad king, 873-914
Hrothgar's speech, 915-955, adopts Beowulf as son 945-6
Beowulf responds, 956-978
Unferth and the others gaze at Grendel's dismembered hand, 979-989
the Banquet 990-1249
o The hall transformed for banquet 990
o dispensation of gifts, 1019-1061
o Digression into the past: poet sings of Hildeburgh, married to Finn, to end a feud
between the Danes and the Frisians+Jutes, but the outcome is more killing, battle,
and Hildeburgh is ultimately returned to her people, 1062-1157
o Wealtheow urges the preservation of the land and its people to Hrothgar's actual
sons (by her); Hrothulf, she says, will serve as guardian if you die, but he will
prove to be a foil to Beowulf (who serves honorable as guardian to Hygelac's
children), 1161-1186
o Presentation of the toque and digression into the future: the collar will pass onto
to Hygelac, but he will fall in it, 1195-1213
Grendel's mother attacks, 1251-1320
Hrothgar appeals to Beowulf again, 1320-1396
Head of Ashhere discovered 1420
Beowulf defeats Grendel's mother, 1421-1643
Hrunting given to Beowulf from Unferth, 1455-1463
Beowulf seizes the sword of the giants, 1557-1561
Beowulf again celebrated in Heorot, 1644-1880
Beowulf returns to Heorot 1644
with the head of Grendel, 1646
recounts his victory and presents the golden hilt to Hrothgar 1654-1686
Digression into the past: poetic account of the sword and the fall of the race of giants,
Hrothgar dispenses wisdom and advice, 1700-1784
Digression into the past:Hrothgar refers to his ancestor, Heremod, a bad ruler, 1709-1722
Beowulf's leave-taking,1799-1903
Beowulf returns Hrunting to Unferth 1808
tearful departure from Hrothgar, 1870-1880


Return to Hygelac and Hygd, 1912-2175
Digression: Hygd not at all like the bad Queen Modryth, 1926-1957
Beowulf recounts his story to Hygelac, 1999-2171
Digression:Beowulf speculates about whether or not marriage of Freawaru, Hrothgar's
daughter, to Ingeld of the Heathobards will actually end the feud, 2020-2069
Presentation of hoard, 2151-2175
battle gear to Hygelac, NOT passed from father to son, 2148-2176
torque (neck-ring) from Wealtheow given to Hygd, 2172-2176
Digression into the past: Beowulf's inauspicious beginnings 2177-2189
Beowulf rewarded, 2190-2199
Narrative jumps forward:
To Beowulf's kingship "the wide kingdom reverted to Beowulf" 2200-2210
And to the Dragon who brings about his end, 2211-
feud begun by slave who steals a cup from the barrow 2216-2231
Digression telling of the race of people who buried the hoard in the barrow in the
first place 2232-2270
Elegy of the "last survivor" 2247-2270
the dragon's first foray is the end for Beowulf, 2306-2311
the dragon attacks, 2312-2323
Beowulf's lament, "the wise man thought he must have thwarted /ancient
ordinance of the eternal Lord" 2329-2330
Beowulf commission: a shield of iron 2337-2344
Beowulf's end is also the dragon's end 2342-2344
Digression into the past:
Hygelac slain in Friesland and Beowulf swims back, 2354-2362
Hygd offers Beowulf the kingdom but he refuses, 2369-2378
Heardred (Hygelac's son) killed, then Beowulf becomes king, 2387-
death of Onela 2396
Beowulf prepares for battle, 2397-2537
Digression into the past: Beowulf describes being fostered by Hrethel (Hygelac's
father), and of the fall of Herebeald and Hathkin (Hygelac's two older brothers),
also tells of the grievances between the Swedes and the Geats 2425-2504
Beowulf's last boast 2510-2537
Beowulf fights the dragon, 2542-2723
abandoned by companions 2596-2599
Wiglaf comes to the rescue 2599
Digression into the past: explanation of Wiglaf's battle gear (from his father
Weohstan originally Eanmund's, son of Ohthere) 2608-2622
remembers his obligation 2631-2668
Wiglaf tries to rally forces 2633-2660
Naegling, Beowulf's sword, fails 2680
Beowulf and Wiglaf kill the serpent together 2706-7
Beowulf dies 2817-2820
Wiglaf chastens and exiles the cowards 2860-2891
The messenger's report 2900-3027
Foreboding of war
Digression into the past: conflict between Swedes and Geats