Beowulf Terms

  1. Beowulf
    the main character (you better know who this is)
  2. King Hrothgar
    • The king of the Danes
    • enjoys military success and prosperity until Grendel terrorizes his realm
    • represents different kind of leadership from Beowulf
    • a model for the kind of king that Beowulf becomes
  3. Grendel
    • descended from Cain
    • preys on Hrothgar’s warriors in the king’s mead-hall, Heorot
  4. Grendel's mom
    terrorizes Heorot after Grendel dies as revenge
  5. Dragon
    • guards treasure
    • kills Beowulf
    • is killed by Beowulf
  6. Shield Sheafson
    • legendary Danish king from whom Hrothgar is descended
    • the mythical founder of Danish rulers
    • embodies the Danish tribe’s highest values of heroism and leadership
  7. Beow
    • second king listed in the genealogy of Danish rulers
    • the son of Shield Sheafson and father of Halfdane
  8. Halfdane
    • father of Hrothgar, Heorogar, Halga, and an unnamed daughter who married a king of the Swedes
    • succeeded Beow as ruler of the Danes.
  9. Whealtheow
    wife of Hrothgar
  10. Unferth
    • Danish warrior jealous of Beowulf
    • confronts him about not being as good as he thinks he is
  11. Hrethric
    • Hrothgar’s elder son
    • stands to inherit the Danish throne, but Hrethric’s older cousin Hrothulf will prevent him from doing so
    • Beowulf offers to support his prospect of becoming king by hosting him in Geatland and giving him guidance
  12. Hrothmund
    second son of Hrothgar
  13. Hrothulf
    • Hrothgar's nephew
    • usurps Hrethric's throne
  14. Aeschere
    • Hrothgar's advisor
    • killed by Grendel
  15. Hygelac
    • Beowulf's uncle
    • king of Geats
  16. Hygd
    • Hygelac's wife
    • contrasted with Modthryth
  17. Wiglaf
    • helps Beowulf against dragon
    • proves suitable successor to Beowulf b/c he retains to hero's code
  18. Ecgtheow
    Beowulf's father
  19. King Hrethel
    Beowulf's foster father
  20. Breca
    • Beowulf's childhood friend
    • defeated by Beowulf in a swimming contest
  21. Sigemund
    • famous for slaying a dragon
    • foreshadows Beowulf's encounter with dragon
  22. King Heremod
    • evil king in the past
    • contrasts greatly with Beowulf as a king
  23. Queen Modthryth
    • evil queen who punished anyone who looked at her
    • contrasts with Queen Hygd
Card Set
Beowulf Terms
English Exam Beowulf Terms