Lines 837–1062

Summary

Warriors and chieftains from considerable distances gather at Heorot the next morning to marvel at the trophy, Grendel’s claw, and to celebrate Beowulf’s victory. Some follow the ogre’s bloody footprints down to his lake where the water boils with Grendel’s blood. On the way back to Heorot, Hrothgar’s scop entertains the men with traditional songs as well as an improvised account of Beowulf’s victory. Included is the story of Sigemund, an ancient hero who is recalled in honor of Beowulf. In contrast, the scop also sings of Heremod, a bad ruler who brought sorrow and death to his own people. Hrothgar gives a speech from the porch at Heorot and thanks God for Beowulf’s triumph. Beowulf briefly recounts the battle, and even Unferdi is impressed enough to keep silent. Work is begun to refurbish Heorot. A great feast is held in Beowulf’s honor at which Beowulf and his men receive numerous gifts.


Commentary

One of the themes of the poem is that man’s fortunes change, and he should celebrate but take care when fortune seems to turn his way because disaster may visit soon. One must not tempt the gods of irony. The Geats and Danes unwisely assume that victory is complete with the death of Grendel. For now, however, everything is celebration. Warriors who trembled and hid from Grendel boldly track his footprints to the lake where he apparently has died. Scholars delight in the account of the scop’s performance and his improvisation on the way back to Heorot. He tells the “great old stories” (869) in honor of

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CliffsNotes, Beowulf
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Table of Contents v
  • How to Use This Book vi
  • Life and Background of the Poet 1
  • Introduction to Beowulf 5
  • Critical Commentaries 17
  • Lines 1 - 193 18
  • Lines 194 - 606 22
  • Lines 607 - 836 26
  • Lines 837 - 1062 30
  • Lines 1063 - 1250 33
  • Lines 1251 - 1491 36
  • Lines 1492 - 1650 39
  • Lines 1651 - 1887 42
  • Lines 1888 - 2199 45
  • Lines 2200 - 2400 49
  • Lines 2401 - 2630 53
  • Lines 2631 - 2820 56
  • Lines 2821 - 3182 59
  • Character Analyses 62
  • Critical Essays 71
  • CliffsNotes Review 79
  • CliffsNotes Resource Center 82
  • Index 86
  • Notes 90
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