History Main / Beowulf

2nd Feb '16 9:33:23 AM MrThermomanPreacher
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* ''[[Series/BeowulfReturnToTheShieldlands Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands]]'', the 2016 Creator/ITV series.
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* ''[[Series/BeowulfReturnToTheShieldlands Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands]]'', the 2016 Creator/ITV {{Creator/ITV}} series.
2nd Feb '16 9:33:01 AM MrThermomanPreacher
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* ''[[Series/BeowulfReturnToTheShieldlands Beowulf: Return to the Shieldlands]]'', the 2016 Creator/ITV series.
17th Dec '11 11:06:03 PM PaulA
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[[redirect:Literature/{{Beowulf}}]]
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[[redirect:Literature/{{Beowulf}}]]''Beowulf'' may refer to: * ''Literature/{{Beowulf}}'', the epic poem * ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'', the 2007 film adaptation by Robert Zemeckis ----
17th Dec '11 3:53:50 PM LordGro
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Namespace move.
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Beowulf_JRSkelton1908_w250i_9705.jpeg]] [[caption-width-right:250:[[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Luckily his shield protects him.]]]] ->Hwęt. We Gardena in geardagum, ->žeodcyninga, žrym gefrunon, ->hu ša ęželingas ellen fremedon. ->LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings ->of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped, ->we have heard, and what honor the athelings won! -->--Opening lines of ''Beowulf'' ''Beowulf'' is the oldest surviving work of fiction in the English language - so old, in fact, that [[HistoryOfEnglish the language it's written in is barely recognizable as English.]] It recounts two stories from the life of its eponymous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geats Geatish]] hero: how, as a young man, he visited Denmark and slew the monster Grendel, then faced the wrath of Grendel's even more monstrous mother; and how, toward the end of his life back in Geatland, he was the only man who dared fight a rampaging dragon. And did we mention that it's a [[NarrativePoem poem]]? ''Beowulf'' is probably the most famous of all Old English literature, and is a staple of university English programs. It is usually read in translation, as it is not only written in a very old form of English, it makes heavy use of a poetic register that is quite different from prose. No one knows precisely when it was written, much less where the story originated. Certain lines of the text involve a clearly Christian narrator commenting on the pre-Christian Paganism of the characters, therefore the text is believed to have been the work of a monk recalling a much older story. The only known manuscript contains two distinct styles of writing, indicating more than one scribe was involved in the transcription. This manuscript was also damaged in a fire in 1731, so certain lines of text are obliterated and their contents purely left to conjecture. In 1936, a lecture by JRRTolkien, "''Beowulf'': the Monsters and the Critics" had a lasting influence on ''Beowulf'' research. Lewis E. Nicholson said that the article Tolkien wrote about ''Beowulf'' is "widely recognized as a turning point in Beowulfian criticism", noting that Tolkien established the primacy of the poetic nature of the work as opposed to the purely linguistic elements. At the time, the [[SciFiGhetto consensus of scholarship considered ''Beowulf'' childish because they considered battles with monsters rather than realistic tribal warfare to be not worthy of study]]; Tolkien argued that the author of ''Beowulf'' was addressing human destiny in general, not as limited by particular tribal politics, and therefore the monsters were essential to the poem. Where ''Beowulf'' does deal with specific tribal struggles, as at Finnsburg, Tolkien argued firmly against reading in fantastic elements. In the essay, Tolkien also revealed how highly he regarded ''Beowulf'': "''Beowulf'' is among my most valued sources," and this influence can be seen in ''TheLordOfTheRings''. The story has been adapted many times. Some of the adaptations have been quite offbeat: they include John Gardner's novel ''Literature/{{Grendel}}'', from the [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation point of view of the monster]]; MichaelCrichton's novel ''Eaters of the Dead'' (filmed as ''{{The 13th Warrior}}''), which [[{{Demythtification}} purported to tell the historical events that inspired]] the Grendel plot; and the weird 1999 sci-fi film starring Christopher Lambert. The 2005 film ''Beowulf & Grendel'' was comparatively faithful. The [=YouTube=] video, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKp5kTUFl1k Beowulf, The Storybook Version]]'', is relatively faithful, but very silly. Most (but not all) of the ''Beowulf'' references on this wiki are to the 2007 film ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'', written by Roger Avary (who co-wrote ''PulpFiction'') and NeilGaiman, directed by RobertZemeckis, and starring RayWinstone. The screenplay for this has [[ExternalRetcon similarly unusual]] diversions from the original story, to say the least. It seems ''Beowulf'' has a knack for inspiring artists to put their own spin on the material. This could perhaps be owing to the somewhat [[BlueAndOrangeMorality alien]] [[ValuesDissonance worldview]] in which the piece was written. ---- !!The epic provides examples of: * AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The poem is written in alliterative verse, like most Germanic poetry. * AuthorFilibuster: Did you know that a proper ruler should always be benevolent, open-minded, and willing to honour his people who honour him in return? No? Don't worry, the poem will make sure you don't forget it. * AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Beowulf, of course. * AwesomeMcCoolName: The hero's name means [[EverythingsWorseWithBears "bear"]]. * BadassBoast: Unferth, one of Hrothgar's men calls Beowulf a loser for losing a swimming contest. Beowulf responds that he got ambushed and had to stay on the sea floor ruining the shit of nine monsters, and tells the drunk he's going to hell. ** He took part in ''a swimming contest'' equipped with [[BeyondTheImpossible mail armor and a sword]]. * BadassGrandpa: Beowulf is one of these during the third and last part of the story. * BadassNormal: Why is Beowulf the only one destined to kill Grendel? ''Because he's a hero.'' It should be noted that was how the Anglo-Saxons portrayed their heroes. * BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Or "Beowulf can breath underwater". * BecauseDestinySaysSo: The most important word in the poem is ''wyrd'', which means fate. Beowulf relies less on his SuperStrength and more on the favour of fate before his battle with Grendel. * BeyondTheImpossible: Beowulf tells a story early on in which he kills nine sea monsters with only his sword while ''underwater''. ** Again on the "Beowulf's lungs are the size of train cars" theme, he swims to the bottom of a pool which is so deep it takes him ''almost a whole day'' to get to the bottom. His friends are apparently used to this, as they only start to get worried after many hours have passed. * {{BFS}}: The sword of the giants, which Beowulf finds in the cave of Grendel's mother. * BookEnds: As has been noted many a time before, the story begins with a funeral [[ForegoneConclusion and it will end with one.]] * BuyThemOff: ''Wergeld'', or "man price" is a custom of the time that if a man killed another man he could essentially [[BlueAndOrangeMorality buy exemption from the deceased family]], [[ValuesDissonance which was widely acceptable at the time]]. [[SmallReferencePools Such practices are quite common in non-Western cultures.]] ** Well, considering that, at the time, the family of the murdered man would have been honor-bound to kill the killer, whose family would in turn been honor-bound to kill the killer's killer (lather, rinse repeat), this sort of thing was [[FairForItsDay intended to prevent excessive bloodshed]]. * CelibateHero: Beowulf never marries in the 50 years he rules. As many an English professor is fond of pointing out, the only "action" Beowulf gets with a woman is with Grendel's mother. ** Not being married does not necessarily mean he was chaste... * CoolOldGuy: Hrothgar. * CoolSword: They aren't usually much use though, because Beowulf tends to break them because of his strength. * CreatorProvincialism: Beowulf and his men are Christians (complete with Beowulf himself having shades of a KungFuJesus MessianicArchetype), but Christianity would not be introduced to Sweden until centuries after the reign of Hygelac (who was a real person). * DeathSeeker: Beowulf's decision to have one last fight before he dies. * DeadpanSnarker: Beowulf himself. ->'''Beowulf:''' Well, friend Unferth, you had your say about Breca and me. But it was mostly beer that was doing the talking. * DownerEnding: Beowulf dies in the fight against the dragon, and it's implied that, without their leader, the Geats will be conquered by their Swedish neighbors. Of course, Saxons love reminding their readers of the fate after. * DueToTheDead: An important motif in the story, especially Beowulf's funeral at the end. He's buried with the gold he rescues from the dragon because the Geats feel he deserves no less. * EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Grendel basically lives in his mother's basement. * EvenBiggerBad: Grendel's mother is far more dangerous than he is. * EverythingsWorseWithBears: "Beowulf" is a kenning ([[PunnyName wordplay]]) for bear. "Wulf" basically just meant 'predator' in Old English, so the literal meaning is 'Predator of Bees' or 'Enemy of Bees'. [[TheSimpsons Basically, Beowulf is like a wolf with bees in its mouth, and when it howls, it shoots bees at you.]] * FamedInStory: "The most eager for fame." * FolkHero: To the Geats of the story, and also a national hero of Britain. * FranchiseZombie: Some scholars have read into the various tales of Beowulf's past achievements to conclude that there were more episodes to this saga, lost to history or having only existed in oral tradition. It's suggested that Beowulf was killed by the dragon as a way to finish off the series. * AFriendInNeed: Wiglaf is the only one of the troop who helps Beowulf in his fight with the dragon. The two are depicted as closer than he is with the others (they're relatives). * GenreSavvy: Beowulf is remarkably unfond of [[BoisterousBruiser unnecessary combat,]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin wenching,]] and [[BottleFairy getting roaring drunk]] for a Norse hero. It saves his life in combat against Grendel. * GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Modthryth, who had any man who looked her in the eye tortured to death. She became better after marrying her husband Offa. * GoldMakesEverythingShiny: gold rings, gold cups and [[BlingOfWar gold-plated swords, armour and shields]] are repeatedly and fondly described. * GondorCallsForAid: The Danes ask the Geats for help defeating the monster Grendel. * GoodOldFisticuffs: Beowulf decides to fight Grendel unarmed, because the monster itself doesn't use any weapons. The fight culminates in Beowulf ''ripping Grendel's arm off''. * TheHeroDies * HeroicFantasy: UrExample in English literature. * HeroicRROD: Beowulf exerts himself far too much in his fight with the dragon, by which time he's an old man and can't handle it anymore. This leads to his death. * HowlOfSorrow: Grendel lets out a terrifying scream when he realizes that he is beaten. * ICallItVera: NamedWeapons are a common theme in the story, eg. Beowulf's sword Nęgling (lit. ''nail-ling''). * ItWasAGift: Both the king and queen give Beowulf rings after his victory. It's worth mentioning that this was a common practice at the time, with the king being referred to multiple times as the "ring-giver". * IWillTearYourArmsOff: Beowulf during his fight with Grendel. * LockAndLoadMontage: The extensive description of Beowulf donning his armor in a ritualistic fashion may be among the earliest examples of the trope. * MadeASlave: is just hinted at in the queen's BackStory, because her name means "foreign slave". * [[TenMoviePlots Monster in the House,]] or [[TheSevenBasicPlots Over Coming the Monster,]] depending on whose perspective you take. Beowulf the Geat (one of the baddest of the BigDamnHeroes) comes over to fight the monster Grendel that has been ravaging the Dane's house for 12 years, i.e. he comes over and they've got a monster in their house. * MeaningfulFuneral: Beow's funeral at the beginning echoes Beowulf's at the end, which in turn signifies the end of the Geat's hegemony and the rise of the Swedes. * MeaningfulName: Just about everyone, which was standard for the Anglo-Saxons. Eg. Unferth (a villainous character) means something like "un-peace" or "no soul", Ecgtheow means "edge-servant" (ie. someone skilled with a sword), and so on. * TheMentor: Hrothgar, who becomes something of a [[ParentalSubstitute father figure]] to Beowulf. * MutualKill: The dragon and Beowulf. * NameOfCain: Grendel is Cain's descendant. His mother probably is, too. * [=~Name's The Same~=]: A dude who was Shield Sheaffson's son shares his name with the titular hero. ** It's fairly widely accepted that Shield's son was called Beow, and that the copyist wasn't paying attention and corrected a mistake that wasn't there. ** The translations usually shorten the first Beowulf's name to "Beow" to avoid confusion. * NarrativePoem * NoNameGiven: Grendel is the only antagonist given a name, despite being the least powerful of the three. * NoTitle: The original manuscript has no title. "Beowulf" is merely the name given to it by scholars. * OlderAndWiser: Beowulf in the third act. * OlderIsBetter: Many of the weapons, helmets, armours, standards and cups mentioned are prized heirlooms and passed around and down generations for a long time. It is suggested they were forged by [[{{Precursors}} Giants]]. * OldRetainer: Wiglaf is the only warrior to remain with Beowulf during his fight with the dragon; the rest are cowards and flee. * OurDragonsAreDifferent: While the dragon conforms to the fairly conventional image of a cave-dwelling, fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, winged reptile, it has also a rather unique characteristic in that it is a ''nocturnal'' creature. * PostHumousCharacter: Scyld Scefing (meaning "Shield Sheafing") starts the story dead. He is essentially the Beowulf of the previous generation. * ProudWarriorRaceGuy: ''Everyone''. * RagsToRoyalty: see MadeASlave * RatedMForManly: Beowulf ''is'' this trope. * TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Wiglaf gives one to the troops [[DirtyCoward who fled from the dragon]] rather than help their king. * ReptilesAreAbhorrent: When the lake that Grendel's mother lives in is described, we know it's a bad place because it's described as being infested with all kinds of reptiles, including, but not limited to, sea dragons, serpents, and wild beasts. * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Of course, kings in that era [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority became kings by proving themselves in combat]]. Hrothgar is capable, but can't do anything, because ... he's not a hero. (No, seriously.) Of course, there is also Beowulf himself. * ShoutOut: A minstrel in the poem compares Beowulf to [[NorseMythology Sigurd Fafnebane]], a hero that was known throughout the Northern tribes since the 6th century. And it's [[{{Foreshadowing}} fitting]]. * SpellMyNameWithAnS: Various characters have had their names translated in several different ways across different translations. For example, the king of Geatland is most commonly named "Hygelac", but at least one translation uses "Higlac". Then there's Hrothgar's great-grandfather, who has been variously called "Scyld", "Shild", or "Shield". Beowulf's father's name has been translated as "Ecgtheow" and "Edgetho". Not even the eponymous hero himself is immune - while "Beowulf" is universally accepted as the translation, some passages in the original poem spell it as "Biowulf". ** The reason for this lies in that Anglo-Saxon, like most ancient languages, had no set spelling conventions. Authors wrote what they heard, and the latter part of the manuscript was copied by a second author at some point. It's entirely possible he spoke a different dialect than the original author. * SwordOfPlotAdvancement: Just when it looks like all hope is lost, Beowulf finds a sword in the heat of battle to help him defeat Grendel's mother. [[SubvertedTrope Then it breaks.]] * SuperStrength: Beowulf has the strength of 30 men in just the grip of one hand. He is able to wrestle Grendel to a stand-still before ripping his arm off. Basically, the rule that states that he is the only one allowed to do anything heroic is justified. ** Better yet - he actually just stood there holding Grendel's hand, not even budging, while Grendel, the wimp, kept thrashing away. In a sense, Grendel ripped his own arm off. ** Toward the end, it is said that Beowulf constantly breaks his swords - he could never find one sturdy enough to long withstand the force with which he could swings them. * {{Too Dumb To Live}}/SchmuckBait: All the would-be Grendel slayers who show up before Beowulf think it's an excellent idea to get drunk and party at Heorot knowing full well the monster attacks at night when everyone is drunk and asleep. Beowulf stays with them, knowing damn well this is the perfect way to lure Grendel in. * TheWisePrince: Hrothgar, and later Beowulf. * WorldOfBadass: Although Beowulf manages to stand out anyway. * WorldsStrongestMan: Beowulf is introduced this way. * WreckedWeapon: Twice in the story, Beowulf's sword falters when he needs it most. [[spoiler: It leads to his death.]] * YouthIsWastedOnTheDumb: A key part of Beowulf's CharacterDevelopment is discovering how rash he was as a younger man and how he makes a much better king now that he's older. ----
to:
[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Beowulf_JRSkelton1908_w250i_9705.jpeg]] [[caption-width-right:250:[[LuckilyMyShieldWillProtectMe Luckily his shield protects him.]]]] ->Hwęt. We Gardena in geardagum, ->žeodcyninga, žrym gefrunon, ->hu ša ęželingas ellen fremedon. ->LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings ->of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped, ->we have heard, and what honor the athelings won! -->--Opening lines of ''Beowulf'' ''Beowulf'' is the oldest surviving work of fiction in the English language - so old, in fact, that [[HistoryOfEnglish the language it's written in is barely recognizable as English.]] It recounts two stories from the life of its eponymous [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geats Geatish]] hero: how, as a young man, he visited Denmark and slew the monster Grendel, then faced the wrath of Grendel's even more monstrous mother; and how, toward the end of his life back in Geatland, he was the only man who dared fight a rampaging dragon. And did we mention that it's a [[NarrativePoem poem]]? ''Beowulf'' is probably the most famous of all Old English literature, and is a staple of university English programs. It is usually read in translation, as it is not only written in a very old form of English, it makes heavy use of a poetic register that is quite different from prose. No one knows precisely when it was written, much less where the story originated. Certain lines of the text involve a clearly Christian narrator commenting on the pre-Christian Paganism of the characters, therefore the text is believed to have been the work of a monk recalling a much older story. The only known manuscript contains two distinct styles of writing, indicating more than one scribe was involved in the transcription. This manuscript was also damaged in a fire in 1731, so certain lines of text are obliterated and their contents purely left to conjecture. In 1936, a lecture by JRRTolkien, "''Beowulf'': the Monsters and the Critics" had a lasting influence on ''Beowulf'' research. Lewis E. Nicholson said that the article Tolkien wrote about ''Beowulf'' is "widely recognized as a turning point in Beowulfian criticism", noting that Tolkien established the primacy of the poetic nature of the work as opposed to the purely linguistic elements. At the time, the [[SciFiGhetto consensus of scholarship considered ''Beowulf'' childish because they considered battles with monsters rather than realistic tribal warfare to be not worthy of study]]; Tolkien argued that the author of ''Beowulf'' was addressing human destiny in general, not as limited by particular tribal politics, and therefore the monsters were essential to the poem. Where ''Beowulf'' does deal with specific tribal struggles, as at Finnsburg, Tolkien argued firmly against reading in fantastic elements. In the essay, Tolkien also revealed how highly he regarded ''Beowulf'': "''Beowulf'' is among my most valued sources," and this influence can be seen in ''TheLordOfTheRings''. The story has been adapted many times. Some of the adaptations have been quite offbeat: they include John Gardner's novel ''Literature/{{Grendel}}'', from the [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation point of view of the monster]]; MichaelCrichton's novel ''Eaters of the Dead'' (filmed as ''{{The 13th Warrior}}''), which [[{{Demythtification}} purported to tell the historical events that inspired]] the Grendel plot; and the weird 1999 sci-fi film starring Christopher Lambert. The 2005 film ''Beowulf & Grendel'' was comparatively faithful. The [=YouTube=] video, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKp5kTUFl1k Beowulf, The Storybook Version]]'', is relatively faithful, but very silly. Most (but not all) of the ''Beowulf'' references on this wiki are to the 2007 film ''Film/{{Beowulf}}'', written by Roger Avary (who co-wrote ''PulpFiction'') and NeilGaiman, directed by RobertZemeckis, and starring RayWinstone. The screenplay for this has [[ExternalRetcon similarly unusual]] diversions from the original story, to say the least. It seems ''Beowulf'' has a knack for inspiring artists to put their own spin on the material. This could perhaps be owing to the somewhat [[BlueAndOrangeMorality alien]] [[ValuesDissonance worldview]] in which the piece was written. ---- !!The epic provides examples of: * AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The poem is written in alliterative verse, like most Germanic poetry. * AuthorFilibuster: Did you know that a proper ruler should always be benevolent, open-minded, and willing to honour his people who honour him in return? No? Don't worry, the poem will make sure you don't forget it. * AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Beowulf, of course. * AwesomeMcCoolName: The hero's name means [[EverythingsWorseWithBears "bear"]]. * BadassBoast: Unferth, one of Hrothgar's men calls Beowulf a loser for losing a swimming contest. Beowulf responds that he got ambushed and had to stay on the sea floor ruining the shit of nine monsters, and tells the drunk he's going to hell. ** He took part in ''a swimming contest'' equipped with [[BeyondTheImpossible mail armor and a sword]]. * BadassGrandpa: Beowulf is one of these during the third and last part of the story. * BadassNormal: Why is Beowulf the only one destined to kill Grendel? ''Because he's a hero.'' It should be noted that was how the Anglo-Saxons portrayed their heroes. * BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Or "Beowulf can breath underwater". * BecauseDestinySaysSo: The most important word in the poem is ''wyrd'', which means fate. Beowulf relies less on his SuperStrength and more on the favour of fate before his battle with Grendel. * BeyondTheImpossible: Beowulf tells a story early on in which he kills nine sea monsters with only his sword while ''underwater''. ** Again on the "Beowulf's lungs are the size of train cars" theme, he swims to the bottom of a pool which is so deep it takes him ''almost a whole day'' to get to the bottom. His friends are apparently used to this, as they only start to get worried after many hours have passed. * {{BFS}}: The sword of the giants, which Beowulf finds in the cave of Grendel's mother. * BookEnds: As has been noted many a time before, the story begins with a funeral [[ForegoneConclusion and it will end with one.]] * BuyThemOff: ''Wergeld'', or "man price" is a custom of the time that if a man killed another man he could essentially [[BlueAndOrangeMorality buy exemption from the deceased family]], [[ValuesDissonance which was widely acceptable at the time]]. [[SmallReferencePools Such practices are quite common in non-Western cultures.]] ** Well, considering that, at the time, the family of the murdered man would have been honor-bound to kill the killer, whose family would in turn been honor-bound to kill the killer's killer (lather, rinse repeat), this sort of thing was [[FairForItsDay intended to prevent excessive bloodshed]]. * CelibateHero: Beowulf never marries in the 50 years he rules. As many an English professor is fond of pointing out, the only "action" Beowulf gets with a woman is with Grendel's mother. ** Not being married does not necessarily mean he was chaste... * CoolOldGuy: Hrothgar. * CoolSword: They aren't usually much use though, because Beowulf tends to break them because of his strength. * CreatorProvincialism: Beowulf and his men are Christians (complete with Beowulf himself having shades of a KungFuJesus MessianicArchetype), but Christianity would not be introduced to Sweden until centuries after the reign of Hygelac (who was a real person). * DeathSeeker: Beowulf's decision to have one last fight before he dies. * DeadpanSnarker: Beowulf himself. ->'''Beowulf:''' Well, friend Unferth, you had your say about Breca and me. But it was mostly beer that was doing the talking. * DownerEnding: Beowulf dies in the fight against the dragon, and it's implied that, without their leader, the Geats will be conquered by their Swedish neighbors. Of course, Saxons love reminding their readers of the fate after. * DueToTheDead: An important motif in the story, especially Beowulf's funeral at the end. He's buried with the gold he rescues from the dragon because the Geats feel he deserves no less. * EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Grendel basically lives in his mother's basement. * EvenBiggerBad: Grendel's mother is far more dangerous than he is. * EverythingsWorseWithBears: "Beowulf" is a kenning ([[PunnyName wordplay]]) for bear. "Wulf" basically just meant 'predator' in Old English, so the literal meaning is 'Predator of Bees' or 'Enemy of Bees'. [[TheSimpsons Basically, Beowulf is like a wolf with bees in its mouth, and when it howls, it shoots bees at you.]] * FamedInStory: "The most eager for fame." * FolkHero: To the Geats of the story, and also a national hero of Britain. * FranchiseZombie: Some scholars have read into the various tales of Beowulf's past achievements to conclude that there were more episodes to this saga, lost to history or having only existed in oral tradition. It's suggested that Beowulf was killed by the dragon as a way to finish off the series. * AFriendInNeed: Wiglaf is the only one of the troop who helps Beowulf in his fight with the dragon. The two are depicted as closer than he is with the others (they're relatives). * GenreSavvy: Beowulf is remarkably unfond of [[BoisterousBruiser unnecessary combat,]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin wenching,]] and [[BottleFairy getting roaring drunk]] for a Norse hero. It saves his life in combat against Grendel. * GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Modthryth, who had any man who looked her in the eye tortured to death. She became better after marrying her husband Offa. * GoldMakesEverythingShiny: gold rings, gold cups and [[BlingOfWar gold-plated swords, armour and shields]] are repeatedly and fondly described. * GondorCallsForAid: The Danes ask the Geats for help defeating the monster Grendel. * GoodOldFisticuffs: Beowulf decides to fight Grendel unarmed, because the monster itself doesn't use any weapons. The fight culminates in Beowulf ''ripping Grendel's arm off''. * TheHeroDies * HeroicFantasy: UrExample in English literature. * HeroicRROD: Beowulf exerts himself far too much in his fight with the dragon, by which time he's an old man and can't handle it anymore. This leads to his death. * HowlOfSorrow: Grendel lets out a terrifying scream when he realizes that he is beaten. * ICallItVera: NamedWeapons are a common theme in the story, eg. Beowulf's sword Nęgling (lit. ''nail-ling''). * ItWasAGift: Both the king and queen give Beowulf rings after his victory. It's worth mentioning that this was a common practice at the time, with the king being referred to multiple times as the "ring-giver". * IWillTearYourArmsOff: Beowulf during his fight with Grendel. * LockAndLoadMontage: The extensive description of Beowulf donning his armor in a ritualistic fashion may be among the earliest examples of the trope. * MadeASlave: is just hinted at in the queen's BackStory, because her name means "foreign slave". * [[TenMoviePlots Monster in the House,]] or [[TheSevenBasicPlots Over Coming the Monster,]] depending on whose perspective you take. Beowulf the Geat (one of the baddest of the BigDamnHeroes) comes over to fight the monster Grendel that has been ravaging the Dane's house for 12 years, i.e. he comes over and they've got a monster in their house. * MeaningfulFuneral: Beow's funeral at the beginning echoes Beowulf's at the end, which in turn signifies the end of the Geat's hegemony and the rise of the Swedes. * MeaningfulName: Just about everyone, which was standard for the Anglo-Saxons. Eg. Unferth (a villainous character) means something like "un-peace" or "no soul", Ecgtheow means "edge-servant" (ie. someone skilled with a sword), and so on. * TheMentor: Hrothgar, who becomes something of a [[ParentalSubstitute father figure]] to Beowulf. * MutualKill: The dragon and Beowulf. * NameOfCain: Grendel is Cain's descendant. His mother probably is, too. * [=~Name's The Same~=]: A dude who was Shield Sheaffson's son shares his name with the titular hero. ** It's fairly widely accepted that Shield's son was called Beow, and that the copyist wasn't paying attention and corrected a mistake that wasn't there. ** The translations usually shorten the first Beowulf's name to "Beow" to avoid confusion. * NarrativePoem * NoNameGiven: Grendel is the only antagonist given a name, despite being the least powerful of the three. * NoTitle: The original manuscript has no title. "Beowulf" is merely the name given to it by scholars. * OlderAndWiser: Beowulf in the third act. * OlderIsBetter: Many of the weapons, helmets, armours, standards and cups mentioned are prized heirlooms and passed around and down generations for a long time. It is suggested they were forged by [[{{Precursors}} Giants]]. * OldRetainer: Wiglaf is the only warrior to remain with Beowulf during his fight with the dragon; the rest are cowards and flee. * OurDragonsAreDifferent: While the dragon conforms to the fairly conventional image of a cave-dwelling, fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, winged reptile, it has also a rather unique characteristic in that it is a ''nocturnal'' creature. * PostHumousCharacter: Scyld Scefing (meaning "Shield Sheafing") starts the story dead. He is essentially the Beowulf of the previous generation. * ProudWarriorRaceGuy: ''Everyone''. * RagsToRoyalty: see MadeASlave * RatedMForManly: Beowulf ''is'' this trope. * TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Wiglaf gives one to the troops [[DirtyCoward who fled from the dragon]] rather than help their king. * ReptilesAreAbhorrent: When the lake that Grendel's mother lives in is described, we know it's a bad place because it's described as being infested with all kinds of reptiles, including, but not limited to, sea dragons, serpents, and wild beasts. * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Of course, kings in that era [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority became kings by proving themselves in combat]]. Hrothgar is capable, but can't do anything, because ... he's not a hero. (No, seriously.) Of course, there is also Beowulf himself. * ShoutOut: A minstrel in the poem compares Beowulf to [[NorseMythology Sigurd Fafnebane]], a hero that was known throughout the Northern tribes since the 6th century. And it's [[{{Foreshadowing}} fitting]]. * SpellMyNameWithAnS: Various characters have had their names translated in several different ways across different translations. For example, the king of Geatland is most commonly named "Hygelac", but at least one translation uses "Higlac". Then there's Hrothgar's great-grandfather, who has been variously called "Scyld", "Shild", or "Shield". Beowulf's father's name has been translated as "Ecgtheow" and "Edgetho". Not even the eponymous hero himself is immune - while "Beowulf" is universally accepted as the translation, some passages in the original poem spell it as "Biowulf". ** The reason for this lies in that Anglo-Saxon, like most ancient languages, had no set spelling conventions. Authors wrote what they heard, and the latter part of the manuscript was copied by a second author at some point. It's entirely possible he spoke a different dialect than the original author. * SwordOfPlotAdvancement: Just when it looks like all hope is lost, Beowulf finds a sword in the heat of battle to help him defeat Grendel's mother. [[SubvertedTrope Then it breaks.]] * SuperStrength: Beowulf has the strength of 30 men in just the grip of one hand. He is able to wrestle Grendel to a stand-still before ripping his arm off. Basically, the rule that states that he is the only one allowed to do anything heroic is justified. ** Better yet - he actually just stood there holding Grendel's hand, not even budging, while Grendel, the wimp, kept thrashing away. In a sense, Grendel ripped his own arm off. ** Toward the end, it is said that Beowulf constantly breaks his swords - he could never find one sturdy enough to long withstand the force with which he could swings them. * {{Too Dumb To Live}}/SchmuckBait: All the would-be Grendel slayers who show up before Beowulf think it's an excellent idea to get drunk and party at Heorot knowing full well the monster attacks at night when everyone is drunk and asleep. Beowulf stays with them, knowing damn well this is the perfect way to lure Grendel in. * TheWisePrince: Hrothgar, and later Beowulf. * WorldOfBadass: Although Beowulf manages to stand out anyway. * WorldsStrongestMan: Beowulf is introduced this way. * WreckedWeapon: Twice in the story, Beowulf's sword falters when he needs it most. [[spoiler: It leads to his death.]] * YouthIsWastedOnTheDumb: A key part of Beowulf's CharacterDevelopment is discovering how rash he was as a younger man and how he makes a much better king now that he's older. ----[[redirect:Literature/{{Beowulf}}]]
15th Dec '11 7:27:47 AM LordGro
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Added DiffLines:
* HowlOfSorrow: Grendel lets out a terrifying scream when he realizes that he is beaten.
28th Nov '11 4:42:05 PM PaulA
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* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking - Beowulf, of course.
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* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking - AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: Beowulf, of course.

* BadassGrandpa - Beowulf is one of these during the third and last part of the story.
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* BadassGrandpa - BadassGrandpa: Beowulf is one of these during the third and last part of the story.

* OldRetainer - Wiglaf is the only warrior to remain with Beowulf during his fight with the dragon; the rest are cowards and flee. * OurDragonsAreDifferent - While the dragon conforms to the fairly conventional image of a cave-dwelling, fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, winged reptile, it has also a rather unique characteristic in that it is a ''nocturnal'' creature.
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* OldRetainer - OldRetainer: Wiglaf is the only warrior to remain with Beowulf during his fight with the dragon; the rest are cowards and flee. flee. * OurDragonsAreDifferent - OurDragonsAreDifferent: While the dragon conforms to the fairly conventional image of a cave-dwelling, fire-breathing, gold-hoarding, winged reptile, it has also a rather unique characteristic in that it is a ''nocturnal'' creature.
28th Nov '11 12:10:47 PM Deckard
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* AddedAlliterativeAppeal - The poem is written in alliterative verse, like most Germanic poetry.
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* AddedAlliterativeAppeal - AddedAlliterativeAppeal: The poem is written in alliterative verse, like most Germanic poetry.

* BadassBoast - Unferth, one of Hrothgar's men calls Beowulf a loser for losing a swimming contest. Beowulf responds that he got ambushed and had to stay on the sea floor ruining the shit of nine monsters, and tells the drunk he's going to hell.
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* BadassBoast AuthorityEqualsAsskicking - Beowulf, of course. * AwesomeMcCoolName: The hero's name means [[EverythingsWorseWithBears "bear"]]. * BadassBoast: Unferth, one of Hrothgar's men calls Beowulf a loser for losing a swimming contest. Beowulf responds that he got ambushed and had to stay on the sea floor ruining the shit of nine monsters, and tells the drunk he's going to hell.

* BadassNormal - Why is Beowulf the only one destined to kill Grendel? ''Because he's a hero.'' It should be noted that was how the Anglo-Saxons portrayed their heroes. * BecauseDestinySaysSo - The most important word in the poem is ''wyrd'', which means fate. Beowulf relies less on his SuperStrength and more on the favour of fate before his battle with Grendel.
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* BadassNormal - BadassNormal: Why is Beowulf the only one destined to kill Grendel? ''Because he's a hero.'' It should be noted that was how the Anglo-Saxons portrayed their heroes. * BecauseDestinySaysSo - BatmanCanBreatheInSpace: Or "Beowulf can breath underwater". * BecauseDestinySaysSo: The most important word in the poem is ''wyrd'', which means fate. Beowulf relies less on his SuperStrength and more on the favour of fate before his battle with Grendel.

* BuyThemOff - ''Wergeld'', or "man price" is a custom of the time that if a man killed another man he could essentially [[BlueAndOrangeMorality buy exemption from the deceased family]], [[ValuesDissonance which was widely acceptable at the time]]. [[SmallReferencePools Such practices are quite common in non-Western cultures.]]
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* BuyThemOff - BuyThemOff: ''Wergeld'', or "man price" is a custom of the time that if a man killed another man he could essentially [[BlueAndOrangeMorality buy exemption from the deceased family]], [[ValuesDissonance which was widely acceptable at the time]]. [[SmallReferencePools Such practices are quite common in non-Western cultures.]]

* CelibateHero - Beowulf never marries in the 50 years he rules. As many an English professor is fond of pointing out, the only "action" Beowulf gets with a woman is with Grendel's mother.
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* CelibateHero - CelibateHero: Beowulf never marries in the 50 years he rules. As many an English professor is fond of pointing out, the only "action" Beowulf gets with a woman is with Grendel's mother.

* CoolSword - They aren't usually much use though, because Beowulf tends to break them because of his strength. * CreatorProvincialism - Beowulf and his men are Christians (complete with Beowulf himself having shades of a KungFuJesus MessianicArchetype), but Christianity would not be introduced to Sweden until centuries after the reign of Hygelac (who was a real person). * DeathSeeker - Beowulf's decision to have one last fight before he dies. * DeadpanSnarker - Beouwulf
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* CoolSword - CoolOldGuy: Hrothgar. * CoolSword: They aren't usually much use though, because Beowulf tends to break them because of his strength. * CreatorProvincialism - CreatorProvincialism: Beowulf and his men are Christians (complete with Beowulf himself having shades of a KungFuJesus MessianicArchetype), but Christianity would not be introduced to Sweden until centuries after the reign of Hygelac (who was a real person). * DeathSeeker - DeathSeeker: Beowulf's decision to have one last fight before he dies. * DeadpanSnarker - BeouwulfDeadpanSnarker: Beowulf himself.

* DownerEnding - Beowulf dies in the fight against the dragon, and it's implied that, without their leader, the Geats will be conquered by their Swedish neighbors. Of course, Saxons love reminding their readers of the fate after. * DueToTheDead - An important motif in the story, especially Beowulf's funeral at the end. He's buried with the gold he rescues from the dragon because the Geats feel he deserves no less. * EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas - Grendel basically lives in his mother's basement. * EverythingsWorseWithBears - "Beowulf" is a kenning (wordplay) for bear. "Wulf" basically just meant 'predator' in Old English, so the literal meaning is 'Predator of Bees' or 'Enemy of Bees'. [[TheSimpsons Basically, Beowulf is like a wolf with bees in its mouth, and when it howls, it shoots bees at you.]] * FamedInStory - "The most eager for fame." * FolkHero - To the Geats of the story, and also a national hero of Britain. * FranchiseZombie - Some scholars have read into the various tales of Beowulf's past achievements to conclude that there were more episodes to this saga, lost to history or having only existed in oral tradition. It's suggested that Beowulf was killed by the dragon as a way to finish off the series. * GenreSavvy - Beowulf is remarkably unfond of [[BoisterousBruiser unnecessary combat,]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin wenching,]] and [[BottleFairy getting roaring drunk]] for a Norse hero. It saves his life in combat against Grendel. * GodSaveUsFromTheQueen - Modthryth, who had any man who looked her in the eye tortured to death. She became better after marrying her husband Offa.
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* DownerEnding - DownerEnding: Beowulf dies in the fight against the dragon, and it's implied that, without their leader, the Geats will be conquered by their Swedish neighbors. Of course, Saxons love reminding their readers of the fate after. * DueToTheDead - DueToTheDead: An important motif in the story, especially Beowulf's funeral at the end. He's buried with the gold he rescues from the dragon because the Geats feel he deserves no less. * EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas - EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Grendel basically lives in his mother's basement. * EverythingsWorseWithBears - EvenBiggerBad: Grendel's mother is far more dangerous than he is. * EverythingsWorseWithBears: "Beowulf" is a kenning (wordplay) ([[PunnyName wordplay]]) for bear. "Wulf" basically just meant 'predator' in Old English, so the literal meaning is 'Predator of Bees' or 'Enemy of Bees'. [[TheSimpsons Basically, Beowulf is like a wolf with bees in its mouth, and when it howls, it shoots bees at you.]] * FamedInStory - FamedInStory: "The most eager for fame." * FolkHero - FolkHero: To the Geats of the story, and also a national hero of Britain. * FranchiseZombie - FranchiseZombie: Some scholars have read into the various tales of Beowulf's past achievements to conclude that there were more episodes to this saga, lost to history or having only existed in oral tradition. It's suggested that Beowulf was killed by the dragon as a way to finish off the series. * GenreSavvy - AFriendInNeed: Wiglaf is the only one of the troop who helps Beowulf in his fight with the dragon. The two are depicted as closer than he is with the others (they're relatives). * GenreSavvy: Beowulf is remarkably unfond of [[BoisterousBruiser unnecessary combat,]] [[AManIsNotAVirgin wenching,]] and [[BottleFairy getting roaring drunk]] for a Norse hero. It saves his life in combat against Grendel. * GodSaveUsFromTheQueen - GodSaveUsFromTheQueen: Modthryth, who had any man who looked her in the eye tortured to death. She became better after marrying her husband Offa.

* GoodOldFisticuffs - Beowulf decides to fight Grendel unarmed, because the monster itself doesn't use any weapons. The fight culminates in Beowulf ''ripping Grendel's arm off''.
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* GoodOldFisticuffs - GondorCallsForAid: The Danes ask the Geats for help defeating the monster Grendel. * GoodOldFisticuffs: Beowulf decides to fight Grendel unarmed, because the monster itself doesn't use any weapons. The fight culminates in Beowulf ''ripping Grendel's arm off''.

* HeroicFantasy - UrExample in English literature. * ItWasAGift - Both the king and queen give Beowulf rings after his victory. It's worth mentioning that this was a common practice at the time, with the king being referred to multiple times as the "ring-giver". * IWillTearYourArmsOff - Beowulf during his fight with Grendel. * LockAndLoadMontage - The extensive description of Beowulf donning his armor in a ritualistic fashion may be among the earliest examples of the trope. * MadeASlave - is just hinted at in the queen's BackStory, because her name means "foreign slave".
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* HeroicFantasy - HeroicFantasy: UrExample in English literature. * ItWasAGift - HeroicRROD: Beowulf exerts himself far too much in his fight with the dragon, by which time he's an old man and can't handle it anymore. This leads to his death. * ICallItVera: NamedWeapons are a common theme in the story, eg. Beowulf's sword Nęgling (lit. ''nail-ling''). * ItWasAGift: Both the king and queen give Beowulf rings after his victory. It's worth mentioning that this was a common practice at the time, with the king being referred to multiple times as the "ring-giver". * IWillTearYourArmsOff - IWillTearYourArmsOff: Beowulf during his fight with Grendel. * LockAndLoadMontage - LockAndLoadMontage: The extensive description of Beowulf donning his armor in a ritualistic fashion may be among the earliest examples of the trope. * MadeASlave - MadeASlave: is just hinted at in the queen's BackStory, because her name means "foreign slave".

* TheMentor - Hrothgar, who becomes something of a [[ParentalSubstitute father figure]] to Beowulf. * MutualKill - The dragon and Beowulf. * NameOfCain - Grendel is Cain's descendant. His mother probably is, too. * [=~Name's The Same~=] - A dude who was Shield Sheaffson's son shares his name with the titular hero.
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* TheMentor - MeaningfulName: Just about everyone, which was standard for the Anglo-Saxons. Eg. Unferth (a villainous character) means something like "un-peace" or "no soul", Ecgtheow means "edge-servant" (ie. someone skilled with a sword), and so on. * TheMentor: Hrothgar, who becomes something of a [[ParentalSubstitute father figure]] to Beowulf. * MutualKill - MutualKill: The dragon and Beowulf. * NameOfCain - NameOfCain: Grendel is Cain's descendant. His mother probably is, too. * [=~Name's The Same~=] - Same~=]: A dude who was Shield Sheaffson's son shares his name with the titular hero.

* NoNameGiven - Grendel is the only antagonist given a name, despite being the least powerful of the three. * NoTitle - The original manuscript has no title. "Beowulf" is merely the name given to it by scholars. * OlderAndWiser - Beowulf in the third act. * OlderIsBetter - Many of the weapons, helmets, armours, standards and cups mentioned are prized heirlooms and passed around and down generations for a long time. It is suggested they were forged by [[PrecursorRace Giants]].
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* NoNameGiven - NoNameGiven: Grendel is the only antagonist given a name, despite being the least powerful of the three. * NoTitle - NoTitle: The original manuscript has no title. "Beowulf" is merely the name given to it by scholars. * OlderAndWiser - OlderAndWiser: Beowulf in the third act. * OlderIsBetter - OlderIsBetter: Many of the weapons, helmets, armours, standards and cups mentioned are prized heirlooms and passed around and down generations for a long time. It is suggested they were forged by [[PrecursorRace [[{{Precursors}} Giants]].

* ReptilesAreAbhorrent - When the lake that Grendel's mother lives in is described, we KNOW it's a bad place because it's described as being infested with all kinds of reptiles, including, but not limited to, sea dragons, serpents, and wild beasts. * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething - Of course, kings in that era became kings by proving themselves in combat. Hrothgar is capable, but can't do anything, because ... he's not a hero. (No, seriously.) Of course, there is also Beowulf himself. * ShoutOut - A minstrel in the poem compares Beowulf to [[NorseMythology Sigurd Fafnebane]], a hero that was known throughout the Northern tribes since the 6th century. And it's [[{{Foreshadowing}} fitting]]. * SpellMyNameWithAnS - Various characters have had their names translated in several different ways across different translations. For example, the king of Geatland is most commonly named "Hygelac", but at least one translation uses "Higlac". Then there's Hrothgar's great-grandfather, who has been variously called "Scyld", "Shild", or "Shield". Beowulf's father's name has been translated as "Ecgtheow" and "Edgetho". Not even the eponymous hero himself is immune - while "Beowulf" is universally accepted as the translation, some passages in the original poem spell it as "Biowulf". ** As if that wasn't enough, there is essentially no way to know how any of them were pronounced. * SuperStrength - Beowulf has the strength of 30 men in just the grip of one hand. He is able to wrestle Grendel to a stand-still before ripping his arm off. Basically, the rule that states that he is the only one allowed to do anything heroic is justified.
to:
* ReptilesAreAbhorrent - TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Wiglaf gives one to the troops [[DirtyCoward who fled from the dragon]] rather than help their king. * ReptilesAreAbhorrent: When the lake that Grendel's mother lives in is described, we KNOW know it's a bad place because it's described as being infested with all kinds of reptiles, including, but not limited to, sea dragons, serpents, and wild beasts. * RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething - RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Of course, kings in that era [[AsskickingEqualsAuthority became kings by proving themselves in combat.combat]]. Hrothgar is capable, but can't do anything, because ... he's not a hero. (No, seriously.) Of course, there is also Beowulf himself. * ShoutOut - ShoutOut: A minstrel in the poem compares Beowulf to [[NorseMythology Sigurd Fafnebane]], a hero that was known throughout the Northern tribes since the 6th century. And it's [[{{Foreshadowing}} fitting]]. * SpellMyNameWithAnS - SpellMyNameWithAnS: Various characters have had their names translated in several different ways across different translations. For example, the king of Geatland is most commonly named "Hygelac", but at least one translation uses "Higlac". Then there's Hrothgar's great-grandfather, who has been variously called "Scyld", "Shild", or "Shield". Beowulf's father's name has been translated as "Ecgtheow" and "Edgetho". Not even the eponymous hero himself is immune - while "Beowulf" is universally accepted as the translation, some passages in the original poem spell it as "Biowulf". ** As if The reason for this lies in that wasn't enough, there Anglo-Saxon, like most ancient languages, had no set spelling conventions. Authors wrote what they heard, and the latter part of the manuscript was copied by a second author at some point. It's entirely possible he spoke a different dialect than the original author. * SwordOfPlotAdvancement: Just when it looks like all hope is essentially no way lost, Beowulf finds a sword in the heat of battle to know how any of them were pronounced. help him defeat Grendel's mother. [[SubvertedTrope Then it breaks.]] * SuperStrength - SuperStrength: Beowulf has the strength of 30 men in just the grip of one hand. He is able to wrestle Grendel to a stand-still before ripping his arm off. Basically, the rule that states that he is the only one allowed to do anything heroic is justified.

* {{Too Dumb To Live}}/SchmuckBait - All the would be Grendel slayers who show up before Beowulf think it's an excellent idea to get drunk and party at Heorot knowing full well the monster attacks at night when everyone is drunk and asleep. Beowulf stays with them, knowing damn well this is the perfect way to lure Grendel in.
to:
* {{Too Dumb To Live}}/SchmuckBait - Live}}/SchmuckBait: All the would be would-be Grendel slayers who show up before Beowulf think it's an excellent idea to get drunk and party at Heorot knowing full well the monster attacks at night when everyone is drunk and asleep. Beowulf stays with them, knowing damn well this is the perfect way to lure Grendel in.in. * TheWisePrince: Hrothgar, and later Beowulf. * WorldOfBadass: Although Beowulf manages to stand out anyway.

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* {{Too Dumb To Live}}/SchmuckBait - All WreckedWeapon: Twice in the would be Grendel slayers who show up before Beowulf think it's an excellent idea to get drunk and party at Heorot knowing full well the monster attacks at night story, Beowulf's sword falters when everyone is drunk and asleep. Beowulf stays with them, knowing damn well this is the perfect way he needs it most. [[spoiler: It leads to lure Grendel in.his death.]]
9th Nov '11 7:25:38 AM MrDeath
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No, it's a rowing contest in every version of the epic.
** It might have been rowing contest. It certainly makes more sense that way.
9th Nov '11 6:58:48 AM ReplacementSquark
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Added DiffLines:
** It might have been rowing contest. It certainly makes more sense that way.
30th Oct '11 5:50:57 PM PaulA
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The story has been adapted many times. Some of the adaptations have been quite offbeat: they include John Gardner's novel ''Literature/{{Grendel}}'', from the [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation point of view of the monster]]; MichaelCrichton's novel ''Eaters of the Dead'' (filmed as ''{{The 13th Warrior}}''), which [[{{Demythtification}} purported to tell the historical events that inspired]] the Grendel plot; and the weird 1999 sci-fi film starring Christopher Lambert. The 2005 film ''Beowulf & Grendel'' was comparatively faithful. The [=YouTube=] video, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rKp5kTUFl1k Beowulf, The Storybook Version]]'', is relatively faithful, but very silly.
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The story has been adapted many times. Some of the adaptations have been quite offbeat: they include John Gardner's novel ''Literature/{{Grendel}}'', from the [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation point of view of the monster]]; MichaelCrichton's novel ''Eaters of the Dead'' (filmed as ''{{The 13th Warrior}}''), which [[{{Demythtification}} purported to tell the historical events that inspired]] the Grendel plot; and the weird 1999 sci-fi film starring Christopher Lambert. The 2005 film ''Beowulf & Grendel'' was comparatively faithful. The [=YouTube=] video, ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rKp5kTUFl1k com/watch?v=rKp5kTUFl1k Beowulf, The Storybook Version]]'', is relatively faithful, but very silly.
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