Beowulf

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Heorot and Mead-Halls Symbol Analysis

Heorot and Mead-Halls Symbol Icon
The mead-hall is the symbol of a society: it is in this central place that the people gather to feast, socialize, and listen to the scop (bard) perform and thereby preserve the history of the people. Heorot, as the largest mead-hall in the world, symbolized the might and power of the Spear-Danes under Hrothgar.
Get the entire Beowulf LitChart as a printable PDF.
Beowulf.pdf.medium

Heorot and Mead-Halls Symbol Timeline in Beowulf

The timeline below shows where the symbol Heorot and Mead-Halls appears in Beowulf. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Hrothgar’s Early Reign (Lines 64–85)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Hrothgar is successful in battle, and gains followers and treasure. He constructs Heorot, the most magnificent mead-hall ever built, and a good place to feast, listen to the... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
However, the narrator mentions that in the future Heorot will burn because of a feud between son-in-law and father-in-law. (full context)
Grendel Attacks (Lines 86–193)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
The Danes celebrate the completion of Heorot with a feast, at which Hrothgar's bard sings about the creation of the Earth. (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
That night, Grendel visits Heorot as the Danes are sleeping. Grendel seizes thirty warriors and carries them to his den... (full context)
Beowulf Arrives (Lines 194–490)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
At Heorot, Hrothgar's herald, Wulfgar, asks the Geats who they are. Beowulf identifies himself by name as... (full context)
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
...speak to Hrothgar. Beowulf greets Hrothgar, and says he has heard that because of Grendel, Heorot stands empty and useless after nightfall. Beowulf boasts of the great deeds of his past,... (full context)
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
...heard his men boast while drinking that they would meet Grendel with their swords in Heorot, only to find the hall awash in their blood the next morning. (full context)
A Feast at Heorot (Lines 491–701)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
The Geats and Danes feast in Heorot. But Unferth, the son of Ecglaf, jealously taunts Beowulf. According to Unferth, as young men... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
Repetition and Change Theme Icon
...heard that Unferth killed his own brother. Beowulf says that Grendel would never have overcome Heorot if Unferth were as brave as he claims to be. (full context)
Beowulf vs. Grendel (Lines 702–836)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
Grendel approaches Heorot and tears open the doors. He grabs a sleeping Geat, Hondscioh, and eats him quickly.... (full context)
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
Christianity and Paganism Theme Icon
Grendel's fierce cries and the sounds of their epic struggle wake the warriors. Heorot shakes with the force of their fight. The men grab their weapons to help, not... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
...the swamp to die. Beowulf mounts Grendel's arm as a trophy on the wall of Heorot. Beowulf, the narrator says, has fulfilled his boasts. (full context)
Celebration (Lines 837–1250)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
In the morning, the Danes celebrate Beowulf's victory in Heorot. Men follow Grendel's tracks to the lake where Grendel died. The water boils with his... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
Repetition and Change Theme Icon
Christianity and Paganism Theme Icon
...Beowulf was able to defeat Grendel. Beowulf wishes he could have kept Grendel inside of Heorot, but says that "the Lord did not wish it." The narrator describes Grendel's arm, noting... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Repetition and Change Theme Icon
...immense damage caused by Beowulf's fight with Grendel is repaired, and a great feast held. Heorot is filled with friends and family, including Hrothgar and his nephew Hrothulf. But the narrator... (full context)
Grendel’s Mother (Lines 1251–1407)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
Repetition and Change Theme Icon
...Grendel's mother still lives, and wants revenge for the death of her son. She enters Heorot and seizes a man, waking the other warriors. Frightened, she takes Grendel's arm from its... (full context)
Family and Tribe Theme Icon
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Christianity and Paganism Theme Icon
Beowulf, who had slept in a private chamber that night, is brought to Heorot. Hrothgar tells him that Grendel grabbed Aeschere, Hrothgar's adviser and companion in battle. Hrothgar adds... (full context)
A Second Fight (Lines 1408–1639)
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Fame, Pride, and Shame Theme Icon
...are joyful. Four of them carry Grendel's head on their spears, and they return to Heorot. (full context)
New Celebration (Lines 1640–1912)
Good Warriors and Good Kings Theme Icon
Christianity and Paganism Theme Icon
At Heorot, Beowulf presents the head and sword hilt to Hrothgar. He describes his fight with Grendel's... (full context)