In Beowulf, this relationship was defined in terms of provision and service; the thanes defend the interest of their king in return for material provisions: Weapons, armor, gold, silver, and supplies.
Old English poetry used a metrical pattern involving varied numbers of syllables but a fixed number of strong stresses in each line.
Beowulf begins with the story of King Hroрgar (also written Hrothgar), a great king of the Danes, who has built the great hall of Heorot to house and protect his people.
A turning point in Beowulf scholarship came in 1936 with J.R.R.
Like several other shorter surviving poems, Beowulf has consequently been used as a source of information about Scandinavian and Germanic history.
Beowulf, feigning sleep, leaps up and grabs Grendel's arm in a wrestling hold, and the two battle until it seems as though the hall itself might fall down from the force of their battle.
The poem appears in what is today called the Beowulf manuscript or Nowell Codex (British Library MS Cotton Vitellius A.xv), along with other works.
Beowulf is one of the oldest surviving epic poems in what is identifiable as an early form of the English language.
Due to the focus on alliteration rather than rhyme and the rather harsh consonants of Old English in general, Beowulf reads quite forcefully in the original, sounding almost more like a battle-chant than a poem.
Beowulf ignores these comments, and his men spend the night in Heorot while Hrothgar and his people leave, knowing that the monster will return at nightfall.
Brave and heroic to the end, Beowulf does not flee; he faces the dragon alone in battle, and manages to kill it with the aid of Wiglaf.
Several of the personalities of Beowulf (e.g., Hrothgar, Hrothulf, and Ohthere) and some of the events also appear in early Scandinavian sources, such as the Prose Edda, Gesta Danorum, and the fornaldarsagas, among others.
Hrothgar, Beowulf, and their men track Grendel's mother to her lair under an eerie lake.
Beowulf is also one of the earliest surviving documents written in any vernacular language—one of the most valuable glimpses into the culture and history of the medieval ages afforded to historians.
Beowulf has exerted its influence on a number of modern poets and fiction-writers.
Beowulf tells a story about the old days of the Anglo-Saxon people in their native land.
The name Beowulf itself may be a kenning for "bee-hunter," that is, for "bear."
All these technical aspects make Beowulf and other Anglo-Saxon poetry rather difficult to translate, with some authors taking more liberties than others with the form.
Grey skies are the norm rather than the exception in Copenhagen.
Beowulf returns home to Geatland and eventually becomes king of his people.
The next night, after celebrating Grendel's death and lauding Beowulf with gifts and praise, Hrothgar and his men sleep in Heorot for the first time since Grendel's appearance.
Ecgtheow did not return home, but became one of the Geatish king Hrethel's housecarls and married his daughter, by whom he sired Beowulf.
The manuscript is the product of two different scribes, the second and more accurate scribe taking over at line 1939 of Beowulf.
Beowulf's men draw their swords and rush to his help, but Grendel is a magical creature and cannot be harmed by mere swords; only Beowulf's pure strength can possibly defeat him.
Beowulf and his warriors come to fight the dragon, but only one of the warriors, a brave young man named Wiglaf, stays to help Beowulf, while his other companions flee in terror.
Beowulf also makes liberal use of kennings, an Old English technique of metaphor, where simple things are referred to by complicated names.
Unable to enact vengeance for his son's death, Hrethel would die of sorrow, with the young Beowulf sent home to Geatland.
Finally, by heating palladium cyanide, he was able to isolate palladium metal.
Beowulf depicts a Germanic warrior society, where relationship between the king and his thanes, or warriors is of paramount importance.
One day, late in Beowulf's life, a man steals a golden cup from a dragon's lair.
Beowulf, a young warrior from Geatland, a region of southern Sweden, hears of Hrothgar's troubles.
Unable to harm Beowulf through his armor, Grendel's mother drags him to the bottom of the lake.
Beowulf prepares himself for battle; he is presented with a sword, Hrunting, by a warrior called Unferth, one of the Danes who had most vocally doubted Beowulf's prowess.
Hrunting, the sword given to Beowulf by Unferth, proves to be useless against the creature.
The dragon's treasure is taken from its lair and buried with Beowulf's ashes.
Beowulf, in accordance with the tradition in Anglo-Saxon stories of wyrd, or fate, has a premonition of his death.
After stopping in Timbuktu and trading with other merchants, traders would transfer their Saharan goods to boats on the Niger River.
Beowulf, however, has suffered serious wounds from the battle; he will be dead within minutes.
Beowulf presents a rare, primary-source view of medieval society, culture, and literature.
Beowulf recalls Hrothgar's kindness to his father, Ecgtheow, many years before; he gathers a band of warriors and, with his own king's permission, leaves for Denmark to aid Hrothgar in his time of need.