Beowulf Mind Map

Beowulf
overview
Main Characters
Numbering
A central work of Old English literature, the poem follows Beowulf's defeat of three monsters
Themes
1 Grendel
Heorot, the great mead hall Grendel attacks Beowulf and his men at night in Heorot Hall, grappling with the hero until Beowulf mortally wounds him by wrenching off a claw.
2 Grendel's Mother
Grendel's "mere" (pool or lake).
After Grendel's enraged mother murders a Dane, Beowulf tracks her to their pool and dives in. A magic sword appears to help him pierce her thick hide.
3 Dragon
Geatland, the dragon's barrow. 50 years later, a dragon attacks Geatland. Beowulf tracks it to its barrow, and though a loyal warrior helps him triumph, he is mortally wounded.
the Danes
Hrothgar King of the Danes
Wealhtheow Queen of the Danes
The Monsters
Grendel
Grendel's Mother
Dragon
The Geats
Beowulf Prince of the Geats
Hygelac King of the Geats
Wiglaf Loyal Warrior to Beowulf
1837
John Mitchell Kemble First complete English translation
1910
Francis Barton Gummere Retains alliteration of the original
1973
Michael Alexander Modern verse translation published by Penguin Classics
2000
Seamus Heaney Most popular modern translation
2014
J.R.R. Tolkien Translation and commentary (completed in 1926)
Death and Defeat
Though the poem celebrates victory, no hero can fend off death and defeat forever.
Loyalty
Allegiance to tribe and leader shape characters' actions, driving plot and relationships.
Hospitality
The great mead hall Heorot symbolizes the importance of hospitality in Beowulf's culture and era.
Author
unknown
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