O king of the Bright-Danes

O king of the Bright-Danes

Now I mean to be a match for Grendel,
Settle the outcome in single combat.
And so, my request, O king of the Bright-Danes,
Dear prince of the Shieldings, friend of the people
And their ring of defense, my one request
Is that you won’t refuse me, who have come this far,
The privilege of purifying Heorot,
With my own men to help me, and nobody else (425-32).

This is Beowulf addressing Hrothgar. He has just arrived and is requesting that Hrothgar allow him to take up the challenge that has eluded Hrothgar’s men for 13 years. Consider, before writing

your response, how the men of Heorot must feel when they hear Beowulf’s request.
Here’s your specific Journal prompt:
Write 250 – 400 words reflecting on what kind of hero Beowulf seems to be. Would he be considered heroic in your eyes? Do his heroic values mirror your own?

Read this passage:

The veteran king sat down on the cliff-top.
He wished good luck to the Geats who had shared
his hearth and his gold. He was sad at heart,
unsettled yet ready. Sensing his death.
His fate hovered near, unknowable but certain:
It would soon claim his coffered soul,
Part life from limb. Before long
The prince’s spirit would spin free from his body (2417-24).
Beowulf is about to address his people after serving as their king for 50 years. He is aware of the dragon’s power and his own diminished strength. This is no longer the confident and boastful

young warrior we met in Heorot at the beginning of the epic.
Here’s your specific Journal prompt:
Write 250 – 400 words in which you consider how Beowulf is different from Hrothgar, his counterpart at the beginning of the story. Is Beowulf more heroic now than he was as a youngster?