Beowulf the Warrior Setting

Ian Serraillier
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Although this epic was composed in England during the eighth or ninth century, its setting is southern Scandinavia. The events of the poem, to the extent that there is any historical foundation at all, would have taken place several centuries earlier.

The Old English text begins with a short preliminary episode not directly related to Beowulf's adventures. Serraillier bypasses this scene and begins retelling the poem by describing Heorot, a magnificent mead-hall constructed by King Hrothgar of Denmark. The joyfulness of the Danes in their splendid new hall provokes the savage attacks of a spiteful monster named Grendel. The monster ravages the countryside.

The youthful warrior Beowulf of Geatland (which may represent either southern Sweden or the island of Zealand near the Swedish coast) hears of the slaughter and destruction wreaked upon the Danes by the monster. With a group of his most trusted companions, he sets out...

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This section contains 235 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy the Beowulf the Warrior Study Guide
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