Review Of ' Beowulf ' By Seamus Heaney

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Sydney Pritchard
Mr. McMullan
10th Grade Honors English
13 July 2015
Book Report
Title: Beowulf
Author: Seamus Heaney
Date of Publication: 2000
Historical Context:
Genre: epic heroic poem
Plot: During the Dark Ages of Europe, in the late 5th century, powerful Scandinavian empires emerged. One of those, the Danish empire, prospered under its ruler, Hrothgar, a decendent of the great Shield Sheafson. To commemorate his warriors for helping him build his empire, Hrothgar built a great mead hall, a place where his warriors could drink and enjoy themselves. He named this mead hall Herot and built it in the swamplands, unaware of the danger lurking nearby. Grendel, a hellish monster and descendent of Cain, was angered by the loud and cheerful noises of Herot, and thus every night he terrorized the warriors and went on a killing spree striking fear and anger in the hearts of the Danes. Word of this fear and anger spread and eventually inspired a young Geatish prince, Beowulf, to help. Beowulf was determined to kill Grendel, and Hrothgar greatly supported his cause. When Beowulf arrived in Denmark, he was warmly greeted by Hrothgar but strongly warned of Grendel’s ferocity. When night fell Grendel began to massacre the warriors until he was suddenly stopped by Beowulf who was stronger than he imagined. The two wrestled and fought until Beowulf ripped Grendel’s arm off, who then retreated into the swamp to die. Beowulf was proven victorious and showered with gifts from Hrothgar.

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