The following text is excerpted from nationwide Epics by Kate Milner Rabb. This publication was originally published in 1896 and is currently in the public domain. Headings and illustrations have been added and were not in the original.

Introduction to beowulf by Kate Milner Rabb

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Geography of beowulf , Wikipedia

Beowulf, the only Anglo-Saxon epic kept entire, was created in southwest Sweden probably prior to the eighth century, and also taken to England, where it was worked over and also Christianized through the Northumbrian poets.

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It is variously attributed to the fifth, seventh, and also eighth centuries; but the seventh is most most likely correct, due to the fact that the Higelac the the poem has been identified with Chocilaicus the the "Gesta Regum Francorum," a Danish king who attacked Gaul in the job of Theuderic, boy of Clovis, and also died near the close of the sixth century.

The just manuscript that the city in existence is believed to it is in of the tenth century. That is maintained in the brothers Museum. Due to the fact that 1837 much interest has actually been materialized in the poem, and also many editions of it have been offered to the public.

Beowulf consists of three thousand one hundred and eighty-four lines. The is written in alliterative verse. The lines space written in pairs, and also each perfect line consists of three alliterating words,--two in the first part, and one in the second.

The unknown writer of beo wolf cannot be praised for his skill in composition; the city is rude, together was the language in which that was created . However it is the the best interest to us because of the images it gives of the day-to-day lives the the people whose heroic deeds the relates,--the drink in the mead-halls, the relationship of the king come his warriors, the description of the armor, the ships, and also the halls. The heroes room true Anglo-Saxon types,--bold, fearless, ready to walk to the aid of any one in trouble, no issue how good the danger to themselves; and as all set to drink mead and boast of your valor after the danger is over. In spite of the attempt to Christianize the poem, it is completely pagan; the many careless leader can find the priestly interpolations. And it has the greater value to us because it refused to it is in moulded by priestly hands, but remained the rude but heroic monument of our Saxon ancestors.

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"Nowell Codex", noodle Vitellius A.x.v. 129 r. Reproduced in Julius Zupitza"s Beowulf: Autotypesof the distinct Cotton multiple sclerosis Vitellius A.xv.in the brother Museum with a Transliteration and Notes.E.E.T.S. O.S. 77. London: Trubner & Co., 1882. Wikipedia beo wolf answered, Ecgtheow"s son:"Grieve not, O wise one! for each the is better,His friend to avenge than v vehemence wail him;Each of us need to the end-day abide ofHis earthly existence; that is able accomplishGlory ere death! come battle-thane nobleLifeless lying, "t is in ~ last many fitting.Arise, O king, quick let us hastenTo look in ~ the footprint the the kinsman that Grendel!I promise thee this now: to his place he"ll escape not,To adopt of the earth, no one to such as mountain forest,Nor to depths of the ocean, where he wanders.Practice thou currently patient enduranceOf each of your sorrows, as I hope for thee soothly!"Then up sprang the old one, the All-Wielder thanked he,Ruler Almighty, the the man had actually outspoken.

Summary of beo wolf by Kate Milner Rabb

A mighty man was Scyld, leader of the Gar-Danes. Native far throughout the whale-path males paid that tribute and bore witness to his power. Beowulf was his son, a youth endowed through glory, whose fame spread much and vast through all the Danish land.

When the time came for Scyld to die he bespeak his thanes come prepare the ring-stemmed ship, laden v treasures, battle-weed, and swords, and place that in the death-chamber. Laden with his people"s gifts, and sailing under a gold banner, he passed native sight, nobody knew whither.

After him ruled Beowulf, and after the Healfdene,--brave warriors and kind monarchs. When, after ~ Healfdene"s death, his boy Hrothgar thrived him, his fame in war inclined every his kinsmen towards him, and he, too, came to be a mighty monarch.

To the mental of Hrothgar it came to build a lordly mead-hall whereby he and also his men can find satisfied in feasting, drink mead, and hearing the songs of the minstrels. Heorot it to be called, and when that high spires climbed glistening in the air, every hailed it v delight.

But, alas! The joy in hall, the melody of the harp, and the shouts of the warriors penetrated to the dismal fen where lay surprise the monster Grendel, descendant that sin-cursed Cain. At night came Grendel come the hall, discovered sleeping the convoy of warriors, and also bore away in his foul hand thirty of the honored thanes. Good was the sorrow in Heorot once in the morning twilight the deed that Grendel ended up being known.

For twelve long winters walk this sore continue; because that so long a time to be Hrothgar plunged in grief; because that so plenty of years walk this beautiful mead-hall, destined for joyful things, was standing idle.

While hence the grief-stricken lord of the Scyldings brooded over his wrongs, and the human being besought your idols vainly because that aid, the tidings that Grendel"s ravages were conveyed come the court the the Gothic king, Higelac, and thus got to the ear of a highborn thane, Beowulf. A strong man was he, his understand equal to the of thirty men.

Straightway commanded that a goodly ship to it is in made ready, decided fifteen that his bravest Goths, and also swiftly they cruised over the swan-path to the great headlands and also bright sea-cliffs of the Scyldings.

High ~ above the promontory stand the security of Hrothgar. "What men be ye who hither come?" cried he. "Not foes, surely. Ye understand no happen word, yet surely ye which no angry errand. Ne"er observed I a greater lord than he who leads the band. Who room ye?"

"Higelac"s man am I," reply the leader. "Ecgtheow, mine sire; mine name, Beowulf. Command me, ns pray thee, come thy lord, because that I have come end seas to complimentary him forever indigenous his an enig foe, and to background the cloud the hangs over the stately mead-hall."

Over the stone-paved roadways the warder led the warriors, your armor clanking, their boar-tipped helmets sparkling, to the goodly hall, Heorot. There to be they warmly welcomed, for Hrothgar had known Beowulf"s sire; the call of the young man"s toughness had likewise reached him, and he trusted that in his solid grasp Grendel need to die.

All took your seats ~ above the mead-benches, and a thane passed native warrior to warrior, bearing the chased wine-cup. Sweet to be the minstrel"s song, and also the warriors were happy in Heorot.

But Hunferd satellite at the banquet, and also envious the Beowulf"s fame, taunted him through his swimming enhance with Breca. "Seven days and also nights she didst swim with Breca; but he to be stronger, and also he won. Worse will befall thee, if she dar"st this night await Grendel!"

"Easy that is come brag the Breca"s deeds when drunk with beer, friend Hunferd!" responded Beowulf. "Seven days and nights i swam v the sea-water, slaying the monsters of the deep. Rough was the wave, destructive were the water beasts; but I reached the Finnish land. Wert thou together brave together thou claim"st to be, Grendel would ne"er have actually wrought such havoc in her monarch"s land."

Decked v gold, Queen Waltheow passed through the hall, greeted the warriors, and also proffered the mead-cup to Beowulf, thanking God the she had found an earl who would deliver them from your enemy.

When dusky night dropped over Heorot, the king uprose. "To no various other man have I ever entrusted this hall of gold. Have actually now and keep it! an excellent reward shall it is in thine if she come soon alive!"

The knights left in the lordly hall created themselves because that slumber, all conserve Beowulf, who, unarmed, awaited the coming of Grendel.

He came, through wrathful step and eyes aflame, bursting open up the iron bolts that the good door, and also laughing in ~ the goodly variety of guys sleeping before him. On one that laid hands and also drank his blood; then he clutched the watchful Beowulf.

Ne"er had he discovered a foe like this! Fearful, that turned to flee to his home in the fen, yet the tight of beo wolf forbade flight. Strongly to be Heorot builded, but many a gilded mead-bench was torn indigenous the walls as the two combated within the hall. The sword blade to be of no avail, and him have to Beowulf bring to fatality by the stamin of his grip alone. In ~ last, through a scream that struck terror to every Dane"s heart, the monster sprang native Beowulf and also fled, leave in the warrior"s master his arm and shoulder. Great was Beowulf"s joy, because that he knew that the wound meant death.

When the king and queen came forth in the morning v their nobles and also maids, and also saw the grisly eight of Grendel fastened top top the roof the Heorot, they provided themselves up to rejoicing. Gifts were heaped ~ above Beowulf,--a golden crest, a banner bright, a an excellent and goodly sword and helm and corselet, eight steeds v headstalls ornamented through gold plate, and a richly decorated saddle. Nor were his comrades forgotten, but to every were provided rich gifts.

When the mead-hall had been cleansed and refitted, they gathered therein and listened come the song of the bard that told exactly how Healfdene"s knight, Hnaef, smote Finn. The tune over, the queen, crowned with gold, offered gifts come Beowulf, the liberator native the horrors that Grendel,--two armlets, a necklace, raiment, and also rings. Once the drinking and also feasting to be over, the king and Beowulf withdrew, leaving countless earls to save the hall. Small guessed castle that one of them was that night doomed to die!

The haunt that Grendel was a mile-wide mere. Around it to be wolf-haunted cliffs, windy promontories, mist-covered mountains. Close about the just hung the woods, shrouding the water, which, dreadful sight, to be each night spanned with fire. It was a ar accursed; near it no man might dwell; the deer that plunged therein straightway died.

In a royal residence under the mere dwelt Grendel and his mother; she, a foul sprite, whom the peasants had actually sometimes seen walking through her child over the meadows. From her dwelling-place she now came soon to avenge the death of she son, and also snatched far from the team of resting Ring-Danes the great AEschere, dearest of all his thanes to Hrothgar.

Loud was Hrothgar"s wailing when at morning Beowulf came forth indigenous his bower.

"Sorrow not, O wise man," spake Beowulf. "I fear not. I will seek out this monster and destroy her. If ns come not back it will certainly at least be far better than to have lost my glory. She deserve to never hide native me. I ween that i will now rid thee of thine enemy."

Accompanied by Hrothgar, some of the Ring-Danes and also his Goths, beo wolf sought the dismal mere, on whose brink they found the head of AEschere. Among the bloody tide swam dreadful shapes, Nicors and also sea-drakes, that fled at a blast that the war-horn. Beo wolf slew one of the monsters, and while his companions were marvelling at the grisly form, he prepared himself because that the combat. His breast was guarded by a coat of letter woven most cunningly; top top his head shone the gold-adorned helmet, and also in his hand to be Hunferd"s sword, Hrunting, make of steel steeped in twigs of bitter poison, annealed in battle blood, and fearful to every foe.

"Hearken depend me, O Hrothgar," cried the hero. "If i return not, treat well my comrades and also send my presents to Higelac, that he may see the deed I have actually accomplished, and the generosity ring-lord I have actually gained among the Scyldings." and without waiting for a reply, he leaped into the waves and also was shed to sight.

There to be the monster waiting for him; and also catching him in she grip, i beg your pardon bruised him not because of his strong mail-coat, she dragged that to she cave, in whose lighted hall he might see the horrible functions of the mrs of the mere. Strong was Hrunting, yet of no avail was its mighty blade against her. Soon he threw it down, and also gripped her, reckless the peril. Once he threw her on the ground, however the 2nd time she threw him, and also drew she glaive to pierce his breast. Strong was the linked mail, and also Beowulf to be safe. Climate his rapid eye lighted on a sword,--a magic, huge sword; few men can wield it. Conveniently he grasped it, and smote the neck that the sea-woman. Damaged were the bone-rings, and down she dropped dead. Climate Ecgtheow"s boy looked about the hall and also saw the body of the dead Grendel. Thirsting to take his revenge, the smote him through his sword. Turn off flew the head; however when the red fall of blood touch the magic blade it melted, leaving however the massive golden hilt in the hand of the hero. Beo wolf took no treasure from the cave, yet rose with the waves, carrying only the head the the monster and the hilt the the sword.

When Hrothgar and his men saw the only red and also boiling v blood they reputed that beowulf was dead, and also departed to your citadel. Sorrowful satellite the comrades of Beowulf, waiting and hoping versus hope for his reappearance. Up sprang they when they observed him, joyfully greeted him, relieved the of his bloody armor, and conducted him to Hrothgar, bearing--a heavy task--the head that Grendel.

When Hrothgar saw the hideous head and also the mighty sword-hilt, whose background he read from that Runic inscriptions, he compliment Beowulf v joy, and also proclaimed him the mightiest that men. "But ever temper thy can with wisdom," advised the king, "that thou endure not the end of Heremod, or it is in punished as I have been, in this my spacious mead-hall."

After a night"s rest, Beowulf prepared to go back to his country. Returning Hrunting to Hunferd, the praised the sword, saying nothing the its failure in the fight. Climate to Hrothgar: "Farewell. If e"er thou arts harried through foes, yet let me know,--a thousands fighting males I"ll bring. Higelac, well ns know, will urge me on to respect thee. If e"er your son looks for Gothic halls, I will certainly intercede and also win friends because that him."

The old king, weeping, bade beowulf farewell. "Peace be forever in between the Goths and also the Gar-Danes; in usual their treasures! May presents be interchanged between them!"

The bark was filled v the presents heaped top top Beowulf and his men; and also the warder, who had hailed them so proud at their coming, currently bade them an affectionate farewell. End the swan-path cruised they, and soon reached the Gothic coast, and landed your treasures.

Then walk Beowulf prior to Higelac and told that of his adventures. Higelac to be a mighty king; lofty his house and hall, and fair and also gentle was his wife, Hygd. Come him, after ~ he had related his adventures, beo wolf presented the boar-head crest, the battle-mail and sword, 4 of the steeds, and much treasure, and also upon the wise and modest Hygd bestowed that the wondrous necklace offered him through Waltheow. So should a great thane ever before do!

There had been a time when Beowulf to be accounted a slow-moving knight, but now the soil rang through his glory.

When Higelac died and Hardred to be slain, Beowulf flourished to the throne, and also for fifty year ruled the civilization gloriously.

At this time a good fire-drake cherished a substantial hoard in a cave on a high cliff, an overwhelming of access, and also known to couple of men. Thither sooner or later fled a thrall indigenous his master"s wrath, and also saw the hoard buried by part weary warrior, and now guarded by the dragon. While the drake slept, the thrall crept in and stole a cup together a peace-offering come his master.

When the drake awoke, he fragrant the foot-prints that the foe, and also discovered his loss. When even was come, he hastened to wreak his revenge top top the people, spewing the end flames the fire, and laying waste the land.

Far and also near were the soil of the Goths devastated, and also ere long, tidings were borne to beo wolf that his great hall, his gift seat, was damaged by fire. Saddened, and also fearing that he had actually in some way angered God, he turned his mind to vengeance, and also girded top top his armor. A stout shield the iron the took, understanding that the dragon"s fiery breath would melt the wood, and with foreboding of his fate, bade farewell come his hearth-mates. "Many times have actually I battled, great deeds have actually I done with sword and also with hand-grip; now have to I walk forth and battle with hand and sword versus the hoard-keeper."

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Beowulf and also the Dragon J. R. Skelton"s illustration in the children"s book Stories of beowulf by H. E. Marshall. Brand-new York: E. P. Dutton, 1908. J. R. Skelton. WikipediaCommanding the males who had actually accompanied the to continue to be upon the hillside, leaving him to combat v the dragon alone, beowulf went proudly forward, shouting his battle-cry. The end rushed the dragon, complete of fatal hate. His fiery breath was more powerful than the king had deemed it. Stroke ~ above stroke he offered his enemy, who ongoing to cast forth his death-fire, so that beowulf stood girt through flames.

From afar, among the the town hall thanes, Wiglaf experienced his monarch"s peril. "Comrades," the cried, "do girlfriend remember our guarantees to ours king? to be it for this that stirred united state up to glorious deeds? to be it for this he heaped gifts upon us? Let us go to his rescue. The is not best that we should see our lord fall, and also bear away our shields untouched!"

Rushing forward, the cried, "Beowulf, right here am I! currently strike for thy life! thou hast stated that thou never wouldst let thy fame depart indigenous thee!"

Again the dragon come forth; again it enveloped its foeman in flames. The linden shield that Wiglaf melted in his hands, and he sought sanctuary behind Beowulf"s shield that iron. Again and also again Wiglaf smote the monster, and when the flames scorched low, beowulf seized his dirk and pierced the dragon so that he fell dead.

The dragon lay dead, however Beowulf felt the poison in his wounds and also knew that he had actually not lengthy to live. He commanded Wiglaf to bring forth the treasure that he can gaze ~ above the hoard,--jewel work and twisted gold,--that he had actually wrested indigenous the fire-drake.

The den was filled v rings of gold, cups, banners, jewels, dishes, and also the eight of the old owner that the treasure. Every these go Wiglaf bear forth to his lord, who surveyed them, and uttered many thanks to his Maker, the he could win together a treasure. Then, transforming to Wiglaf, he said, "Now ns die. Build for me top top the lofty shore a shining mound the shall ever remind my world of me. Much in the distance their ships candlestick descry it, and they shall speak to it Beowulf"s mound." Then, providing his arms to Wiglaf, that bade him gain them. "Thou art the last of our race. All conserve us, fate-driven, are gone come doom. Thither go ns too."

Bitterly go Wiglaf denounce his comrades as soon as he observed them steal from your hiding-places. "Well may it be claimed of you that he who gave you your arms threw lock away. No many thanks deserve ye because that the slaughter the the dragon! ns did mine little, however it was no in my power to save my kinsman. Too few helpers stood around him! now shall her kin it is in wanting in gifts. Void are ye the land-rights! much better is it because that an earl to dice than come live through a blasted name!"

Sorrowful were the world when lock heard the the fatality of Beowulf. Full well they knew with what happiness the tidings would certainly be compliment by your enemies, that would hasten to harry the land, now that their great leader was gone. The Frisians, the Merovingians, the Franks, the Swedes,--all had actually their grievances, i m sorry they would certainly hasten come wreak on the Goths once they learned that the dreaded king to be gone. Dreary would be the floor of the Goths; on its battle-fields the wolves would certainly batten; the ravens would speak to to the eagles as they feasted on the slain.

Straight to the Eagle"s nest went the band, and also found their dead monarch; there, too, lay the loathsome fire-drake, complete fifty feet long, and also between lock the great hoard, rust-eaten from long dwelling in the earth. Ever had that hoard lugged ill v it.

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Down indigenous the cliff they thrust the dragon right into the deep, and also carried their chief to Hronesness. Over there they developed a lofty pile, decked it with his armor, and also burned thereon the body of their glorious ruler. Follow to his wish, they reared top top the cliff a broad, high barrow, surrounded it through a wall, and also laid in ~ it the treasure. There however it lies, of small worth to men!

Then about the barrow talk twelve of the bravest, boldest nobles, mourning their king, to sing his praises, chanting a dirge, telling of his glorious deeds, while end the large land the Gothic people lamented the fatality of your tender prince, your noble king, Beowulf.