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Republic of the Philippines


Sipocot, Camarines Sur

Name: Mary France L. Malto Year/Section: BSED 3- English Date:09/22/2020


Instruction: Answer the questions comprehensively.

1. Discuss the composition of the epic, Beowulf.
2. Discuss the form of Beowulf.
3. Give the summary of Grendel and Dragon episodes.

Beowulf is an epic poem which is considered as one of the oldest surviving poems in the
English language. The author of the poem is still unknown and is generally referred to simply as
the Beowulf Poet. The date of the poem’s composition is also unknown. It concerns the
legendary figure Beowulf, a hero of the Geats who were a North Germanic people inhabiting
modern-day Gotaland in Southern Sweden. Beowulf Fight a series of monsters and also rules as
King of the Geats for approximately 50 years.
The setting of Beowulf is early medieval Scandinavia. The individual settings, such as
the mead hall and the dwelling place of Grendel’s Mother, are important too. This hall is a place
of community and warmth, while Grendel’s Mother’s cave is isolated, the antithesis of
communal living.
The plot of Beowulf is episodic following the adventures of Beowulf and featuring a
series of adversaries the titular hero must overcome. There are three main episodes. The first
follows Beowulf as a young warrior eager to prove his mettle. He comes to Hrothgar’s realm and
agrees to slay Grendel, a monster preying upon the people. The second episode involves
Grendel’s mother seeking revenge and ends with Beowulf slaying her as well. The final episode
takes place when Beowulf is an older, wiser warrior and a king and shows how he gives his life
to protect his realm.
There are several significant characters in the story, first is Beowulf who is a warrior of
the Geats, he loves challenges and he is magical and bigger than life. Next is Hrothgar, who is
the king of the Danes. Next is Grendel, the first monster that Beowulf slays, it terrorized
Denmark for 12 years and a descendant of Cain. Next is Grendel’s mother, who avenge her son’s
death. She had an underwater battle with Beowulf and was killed after. Next is the dragon, who
guarded treasures. Last battle of Beowulf and both of them were killed. Hygelac, who is the King
of the Geats and uncle of Beowulf. Lastly is Wiglaf, who is the loyal Warrior and become the
new ruler of the Geats.
The main theme in Beowulf is Heroic Code of Chivalry. The honorable behavior and
manners have dominated the Anglo-Saxon culture. Courage, bravery and the will to fight were
considered basic norms of that heroic code. Beowulf sticks these norms from the very beginning
as he comes across the Danes. He fights against Grendel and kills him after pledging that he will
“settle the outcome in single combat”. These words resonate again when he goes to find
Grendel’s mother. When he is older, he proves his bravery again when fighting the last enemy,
the dragon. He becomes a dragon slayer but at the cost of his own life. Another major theme in
the epic is Good Against evil wherein the good is demonstrated through the characters of
Hrothgar and Beowulf and the evil can be seen through the three antagonists Grendel, his mother
and the dragon. Another central theme of the epic is Loyalty which is demonstrated by Beowulf
toward Hrothgar due to refuge. Wiglaf also shows loyalty as he stands by Beowulf throughout
the fight against the dragon while the other warriors fleet in terror. Another major theme of the
epic is revenge which is demonstrated by Beowulf when he killed Grendel to avenge the death of
the Danes. While Grendel is also to take revenge because the Danes singing disturb his peace.
Moreover, Grendel’s mother seeks revenge against them for the brutal death of her son. Beowulf,
on his old age, heads to seek revenge against the dragon because of its senseless killings.
Surprisingly, the dragon’s madness is revenge for the lost cup. Blind revenge ruled that period
and was part of the medieval culture. Lastly, the epic demonstrates the real characteristic of a
rule, the one who denies defeat, even in the last battle wherein it cost Beowulf’s life, he doesn’t
display cowardice or retreats while fighting the dragon. Death, despite winning fights and battles,
heroes face death too and lastly is ruler’s obligation wherein the epic demonstrate how ruler
should be responsible on keeping his people safe and rule justly.


Beowulf is an epic poem composed in Old English consisting of 3, 182 lines. It is written
in the alliterative verse style which is common for Old English poetry. Each line of the poem is
broken into two halves, each half containing two stressed syllables. The halves are linked by the
fact that one or both of the stressed syllables in the first half of the lines alliterates with the first
stressed syllable in the second half of the line. The balancing of each line and the intricate
patterning of sounds, makes the poem feel solidly built. Kennings are also a significant technique
in Beowulf. They are evocative poetic description of everyday things, often created to fill the
alliterative requirements of the meter. The poem is plain spoken and inventive, the language is
richly physical with a particular emphasis on bodies and their fragility. The epic is told from a
third-person omniscient point of view. The poem’s narrator has access to the interior thoughts
and feelings of all the characters, even the dragon. The narrator also comments on the action,
usually to draw out moral implications. The tone of the poem is melancholy. Although the poem
celebrates the deeds of Beowulf and other great leaders, this celebration is infused with an
understanding that even the greatest leaders, and the most morally good – by pagan standards –
are dead and gone. The epic begins with funeral and builds toward a final note of loss and
despair at another funeral.


King Hrothgar, the ruler of the Danes, is troubled by the rampages of a demon named
Grendel. Every night, Grendel attacks King Hrothgar’s wealthy mead-hall, Heorot, killing
Danish warriors and sometimes even eating them. Hrothgar was a great warrior in his time, but
now he’s an old king and can’t seem to protect his people. Fortunately, a young Great warrior
named Beowulf travels to Heorot Hall from his own lands overseas to lend a helping hand-
literally. After explaining that he owes Hrothgar a favor because Hrothgar helped out his father.
Beowulf offers to fight Grendel himself. King Hrothgar gratefully accepts his offer. The next
time Grendel attacks Heorot Hall, Beowulf is waiting for him. Choosing to fight Grendel in
hand-to-hand combat, Beowulf wrestles the demon into submission and eventually tears off his
arm at the shoulder. Mortally wounded, Grendel flees into the wilderness and dies. Beowulf,
Hrothgar, and their followers throw a wild party to celebrate. Hrothgar also gives Beowulf many
presents and treasures to reward him for his heroic defeat of the demon.

Soon it is Geatland’s turn to face terror. A great dragon lurks beneath the earth, jealously
guarding its treasure, until one day a theif manages to infiltrate the barrow, where the treasure
lies. The thief steals a gem-covered goblet, arousing the wrath of the dragon. The intruder, a
slave on the run from a hard-handed master, intends no harm by his theft and flees in a panic
with the goblet. Waking up to find the goblet stolen, the dragon burst forth from the barrow to
hunt the thief. Not finding the offender, the dragon goes on a rampage, breathing fire and
incinerating homes and villages. Soon, Beowulf’s own throne-hall becomes the target of the
dragon’s fiery breath and it is burned to the ground. To take his revenge, Beowulf takes a group
of eleven trusty warriors, plus the thief who knows where the dragon’s lair is, to the barrow for a
final showdown with the monster. When they see the dragon, all but one of the warriors flee in
terror. Only one man, Wiglaf, remains at Beowulf’s side. With Wiglaf’s help and
encouragement, Beowulf is able to defeat the dragon but he is mortally wounded in the process.
After Beowulf’s death, Geats build an enormous funeral pyre for him, heaped with treasures.
Once the pyre has burned down theyspend ten days building an enormous barrow as a monument
to their lost king.