Beowulf and unferth relationship questions

Unferð - Wikipedia

beowulf and unferth relationship questions

The questions are meant to check your basic knowledge of the poem's story and characters, Who is Unferth, and why is he so hostile to Beowulf? How do the characters see their relationship to God (or the gods)? Why would a Christian. Why was it built? What is the relationship between the building of Heorot and Grendel's anger? Who is Unferth, and why is he so hostile to Beowulf? How does. By signing up, you'll get thousands of step-by-step solutions to your homework questions. When Beowulf sets out to kill Grendel's mother, Unferth gives the sword to This gift could be seen as Unferth's attempt to mend their relationship.

Where does he go?

What is Hrunting and what is its significance?

What does he do? Why does the poem begin here, rather than with Hrothgar and Grendel? What do the characters in the poem know about Grendel? How is this different from what the audience knows? Trace the history of the hall Heorot — why was it built, what happened within its walls, how and by whom was it destroyed?

Who is Unferth, and why is he so hostile to Beowulf? Why is he allowed to speak that way?

beowulf and unferth relationship questions

What do the poets within Beowulf sing about? To whom do they sing their songs? What is the purpose of their performances? Why is the focus of the story on Beowulf as a hero rather than as a king?

What is the difference?

beowulf and unferth relationship questions

Where does the dragon come from? Why does he attack the Geats?

What is Hrunting and what is its significance? |

Is the dragon a greater or lesser threat than Grendel? Why does Beowulf go to fight him? Who are the Swedes and Frisians? Why are we given so much detailed information about the history of their quarrels with the Geats?

How is this treasure different from other treasures in the poem? When Beowulf dies, does he go to Heaven? What are the continuities or similarities between these worlds? Is there irony in our vision of this past age? How does the poet create a distance between the characters and himself — and how does he express their own sense of a distant past?

Is Beowulf an epic? What values does the poem promote, and how does it promote them? What sorts of conflicts with or resistances to the ideology of epic can be expressed? Beowulf answers the challenge by boasting that he is the strongest swimmer in the world, and entertains the company with a tale about how, in that contest, he swam the North Sea in full armor while carrying a sword, killed nine huge sea-monsters who dragged him to the ocean floor, and was carried by the currents to the shore of the land of the Finns.

Beowulf says that he has never heard of anyone else having such a great sea-fight as he had; and then adds particularly that he has never heard such stories told of Unferth, and in fact the story people tell about Unferth is how he killed his brothers, for which, Beowulf predicts, Unferth will be tormented in Hell despite his cleverness.

Unferth silently concedes defeat and the feast continues. Change of heart lines [ edit ] After Beowulf kills Grendel, Unferth seems to have a change of heart.

beowulf and unferth relationship questions

When Beowulf hangs up Grendel's torn-off arm at the door of Heorot, the poet says that "no man was more silent than Ecglaf's son", and that he made no more boasting speeches. The poet goes on to say that everyone knows of Unferth's courage and fealty, "though he did not show mercy to his kin in sword-play. As Beowulf arms himself to enter the mere, Unferth lends him his sword, Hrunting. The poet says that Unferth "did not bear in mind" his earlier challenging insults that he had spoken "when drunken", but acknowledged that Beowulf was "the better sword-fighter.

Parting lines [ edit ] The morning after the celebratory feast on the occasion of Beowulf killing Grendel's mother, Beowulf and his people prepare to return to their home. Beowulf returns the sword Hrunting to Unferth, praising the weapon and its owner: This is Unferth's last appearance in the poem.

Analysis of Unferth in Beowulf[ edit ] Unferth's presence in the poem has been a point of much scholarly debate. It is noticed that Unferth's brief remarks against Beowulf's youthful risk-taking is "a masterpiece of invective" and yet there is no reprimand for it, which suggests that it may have been part of Unferth's duties or practices to make a visitor defend his reputation.

Rosier, relying on Latin glosses in other Old English writings, interpreted the word to suggest something villainous or scurrilous.

Beowulf Characters Analysis: Literature Guides - A Research Guide

Hollowell, who theorizes that the Anglo-Saxon audience who immediately know what a thyle was and would even identify Unferth as such by his position at the feet of the king, and it is someone innocuous or even worthy of respect. She refers to another suggestion for the meaning of thyle- a pagan priest, making Unferth a priest of Woden confronted by a presumably Christian Beowulf. Ogilvy similarly speculates that Unferth's post at the feet of the king demonstrate that he was some sort of entertainer, and that he may have been a landless exile as a result of the misadventures with his kinsmen and given refuge by Hrothgar, as had been done with Ecgtheow lines Kenneth Sisam argues that readers would be advised not to speculate beyond these basic facts as laid out by the poet.

Another thought comes from Carroll Rich, who notes that the biblical tale of Cain and Abel is deeply woven into the poem, and as Unferth is a character who is notorious for slaying his own brother, a parallel might exist. Eliason suggests that the mention of Unferth's fratricide, although apparently reiterated in lineis not to be taken seriously but is a mere bit of billingsgate. The Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, and Beowulf. Unferth performs these functions, thus fulfilling the role of social taunter.

He is able to do so mainly because of his characteristic fast tongue, unabashed speech and wit. The taunter, as opposed to a satirist, is able to make personal attacks on specific characters. Unferth does this as he questions the events that took place during the swimming contest. Portrayed as a boastful but weak-willed warrior, Unferth is mocked by Grendel for false piety, hypocrisy, and failing to live up to the ideals of the heroic culture that Unferth claims to embrace.