- ing = son, descendent
- King Hrothgar's people: Danes
- King Hygelac's people: Geats (S. Sweden)
- Beowulf: nephew of Hygelac
Key Terms and Concepts
- "Words and Works": the progressive construction of the hero through his own speeches and other people's
- Litotes: understatement
- Unferth as THYLE: verbal testing, ritual challenge
- BEOT: ritual boast or vow, an either/or formulation. Note Beowulf's vow to set his forces at service of community
- FATE: Old English, WYRD
Be Sure to Note...
- The voice of Beowulf the pagan warrior versus moralizing commentary of the Christian poet.
- Grendel as border-dweller, enemy of joy in the hall alienated from rituals of community (e.g., refuses to pay wer-gild).
- Hero as boundary-crosser, his descent into the underworld/otherworld, crossing of borders and boundaries.
- Beowulf as the invader in the underwater hall.
- Role of COMITATUS in these episodes.
- Narrative complexity of poem, narratives within narratives; its appropriation of other times, other historical moments for temporary relocation in the foreground of the poem.
- Poetic production WITHIN the poem (its alternative scops, particularly Beowulf as scop on return to Hygelac's court).
- Narrative entanglement of the monster tales with political histories, rivalries, feuds.
- NARRATIVE INTERLACE as a design principle in the poem: compare to other Anglo-Saxon artifacts.
And a Final Question...
Are the monsters only outside the meadhall?