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  • Hrothgar, you'll notice, who is the son of Healfdene,

  • creates this mead hall during that period of peace

  • in the Danish history, which is very rare,

  • most the time the people of that territory were fighting constantly with each other

  • they're always these civil wars going on,

  • internecine and fighting all the time and there is a brief period here

  • where there is no serious warfare, where

  • Hrothgar decides that he's going to build a mead hall, a large

  • hall for feasting and joy and revelry

  • and he builds this hall that is towering up to the sky, beautiful and

  • gilded, and shines like the sun and it's a

  • monument that's going to outlast him, something he wants

  • future generations to remember him by and

  • consequently it's something which he pours his whole

  • life into and that generosity of spirit, that generosity of money to build

  • something that will benefit his people

  • a place for their own happiness, a place where they can make merry together.

  • That generosity shows him to be a good king.

  • He builds the hall and of course it's quite the success and

  • people come from miles around to enjoy the companionship of one another

  • and that hall is in all respects like

  • an image of the world. The ancient Norse saw the world

  • as an island in the midst of water

  • and there was a dome of the sky overhead that the Sun traversed over

  • and down from the island of the earth there was the roots of the earth

  • that stretched into this giant tree they called Yggdrasil

  • and Yggdrasil had different worlds within it

  • and therefore this world of light

  • and joy and life is mirrored in that world of life

  • and joy and light in the mead hall of Heorot.

  • Heorot is itself like a small image

  • of that joyful world in which we live.

  • But into that mead hall comes this terrible creature, as it

  • says this child, this descendant of Cain,

  • this troll, he is the Grendel which

  • is a name that means the "grinder" one who grinds up lives

  • and out of jealousy he comes to attack

  • the mead hall. Grendel's a creature who

  • despises life, and despises joy, and despises happiness

  • and out of envy he seeks to end that joy

  • and the lives of those men and so he comes and he attacks the mead hall

  • and he devours the guests that are sleeping there

  • thinking that they are protected and he

  • continues to attack for several years,

  • until finally people are afraid to come to the mead hall and they start

  • leaving and fleeing from Heorot and so Heorot becomes not a place of joy, but a

  • place of

  • terror and sorrow and awfulness.

  • It's much like in our world today which could be a beautiful place

  • sometimes there are people that create evil, create strife, create violence,

  • and may cause the world, which otherwise is beautiful, become like a living hell

  • and Hrothgar begins to despair because he doesn't know how to stop this

  • and in the midst of that despair, and that

  • sorrow where everybody's leaving him we need somebody to step in, to come in, and

  • destroy this Grendel somebody of courage and merit

  • to destroy that creature because no one else seems able to do so.

  • That takes us into the second section.

Hrothgar, you'll notice, who is the son of Healfdene,

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B1 US mead hall generosity creature world sorrow

Beowulf Part 1 Analysis Video 1

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    Chia-Yin Huang posted on 2016/09/14
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