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Beowulf Quiz

50 Questions
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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Who first started to settle in Britain in ca. A.D. 400?
    • A. 

      Celtic druids

    • B. 

      Norman priests

    • C. 

      Roman emperors

    • D. 

      Christian monks

  • 2. 
    In which year is it thought that the British pagan religions had been totally replaced by Christianity? 
    • A. 

      Ca. 499

    • B. 

      Ca. 599

    • C. 

      Ca. 699

    • D. 

      Ca. 799

  • 3. 
    Which of the following is a Christian belief?
    • A. 

      Fatalism

    • B. 

      Fate

    • C. 

      Revenge

    • D. 

      Providence

  • 4. 
    “Animism” was typical of ancient tribes. Which of these options best describes this trend of thought?
    • A. 

      That the energy obtained from meat and fish is vital for one’s spiritual wellbeing

    • B. 

      That it is essential to maintain a positive outlook on life

    • C. 

      That everything has its own soul or spirit

    • D. 

      That humans are part of nature, as an animal species

  • 5. 
    In medieval numerology, which number represented perfection?
    • A. 

      1

    • B. 

      3

    • C. 

      10

    • D. 

      5

  • 6. 
    In the Anglo-Saxon world, what was considered the worst kind of punishment?
    • A. 

      Torture

    • B. 

      Public humiliation

    • C. 

      Imprisonment

    • D. 

      Exile

  • 7. 
    What was the Anglo-Saxon ritual of gift-giving called?
    • A. 

      Widsith

    • B. 

      Wyrsith

    • C. 

      Wyrd

    • D. 

      Wergild

  • 8. 
    Which of the following was considered a virtue and moral duty in Anglo-Saxon culture?
    • A. 

      Forgiveness

    • B. 

      Compassion for one’s enemy

    • C. 

      Revenge

    • D. 

      Removing of belongings before burial

  • 9. 
    What does the “King and Comitatus” relationship state?
    • A. 

      That the Lord must provide shelter and riches to his thanes in return for protection

    • B. 

      That the King must provide lands and titles to his children

    • C. 

      That the tribe must promise to respect the laws and religion of the King

    • D. 

      That the Lord and his thanes must commit themselves to a life of celibacy

  • 10. 
    Which of these rituals were carried out by Anglo-Saxon warriors before they went into battle?
    • A. 

      Praying

    • B. 

      Meditating

    • C. 

      Boasting

    • D. 

      Dancing

  • 11. 
    Anglo-Saxon epic poems were sung by which highly respected people?
    • A. 

      Scops

    • B. 

      Scaps

    • C. 

      Scips

    • D. 

      Scups

  • 12. 
    The mnemonic function is linked to the oral tradition of Anglo-Saxon literature. What was it used for? 
    • A. 

      To shock readers

    • B. 

      To foreshadow events

    • C. 

      To give hindsight

    • D. 

      To aid memory

  • 13. 
    During the Anglo-Saxon period, the ruling motive of every noble life was what?
    • A. 

      Love of glory

    • B. 

      Family honour

    • C. 

      Wealth and material possessions

    • D. 

      Love of nature

  • 14. 
    In which of these centuries is Beowulf's plot set?
    • A. 

      3rd Century A.D.

    • B. 

      5th Century A.D.

    • C. 

      7th Century A.D.

    • D. 

      10th Century A.D.

  • 15. 
    In which of these centuries is the oral version of the anonymous poem thought to be composed?
    • A. 

      4th Century A.D.

    • B. 

      5th Century A.D.

    • C. 

      8th Century A.D.

    • D. 

      9th Century A.D.

  • 16. 
    When did two Christian scribes write the Beowulf MS.?
    • A. 

      7th Century A.D.

    • B. 

      9th Century A.D.

    • C. 

      10th Century A.D.

    • D. 

      12th Century A.D.

  • 17. 
    Before being moved to the British Museum in 1753, the Beowulf MS. formed part of a collection of medieval manuscripts assembled by which English antiquarian? 
    • A. 

      Sir Robert Bruce Silk

    • B. 

      Sir Robert Bruce Cotton

    • C. 

      Sir Robert Bruce Velvet

    • D. 

      Sir Robert Bruce Jean

  • 18. 
    In which year was the Beowulf MS. badly damaged by a fire at Ashburnham House in Westminster? 
    • A. 

      1730

    • B. 

      1731

    • C. 

      1732

    • D. 

      1733

  • 19. 
    The Beowulf MS. is mainly written in which dialect?
    • A. 

      North Saxon

    • B. 

      East Saxon

    • C. 

      West Saxon

    • D. 

      South Saxon

  • 20. 
    How many verses is Beowulf composed of?
    • A. 

      2045

    • B. 

      4892

    • C. 

      3186

    • D. 

      4573

  • 21. 
    Which of these is not a defining feature of Beowulf’s couplet structure?
    • A. 

      A fairly free number of unstressed syllables

    • B. 

      “Head-rhymes” of syllable-initial sounds

    • C. 

      Two heavily stressed syllables in each unit

    • D. 

      “End-rhymes” of the final syllable sounds

  • 22. 
    In the poem, each verse is divided into two sections, called hemistichs. Which literary device is used to create the pause in between the hemistichs? 
    • A. 

      Haltering

    • B. 

      Parone

    • C. 

      Caesura

    • D. 

      Detention

  • 23. 
    The terms “orcneas” and “ealuscerwen” appear only once in Beowulf. What are they examples of?
    • A. 

      Alliteration

    • B. 

      Compound names

    • C. 

      Personification

    • D. 

      Hapax legomena

  • 24. 
    How would you describe the poem’s elegiac mood?
    • A. 

      Lyrical

    • B. 

      Dignified

    • C. 

      Solemn

    • D. 

      All of the above

  • 25. 
    Which of these kennings is not used in Beowulf to refer to the sea?
    • A. 

      Sail-road

    • B. 

      Bath-way

    • C. 

      Whale-path

    • D. 

      Tear-pond

  • 26. 
    Under which Old English poetic genre can Beowulf be classified?
    • A. 

      Short elegy with lyrical tone

    • B. 

      Riddle

    • C. 

      Epic poem

    • D. 

      Gnomic verse

  • 27. 
    Which of these literary devices particularly characterises the text?
    • A. 

      Omniscient narrator

    • B. 

      Onomatopoeia

    • C. 

      Circumlocution

    • D. 

      Malapropism

  • 28. 
    Which of the following is not a major theme in Beowulf?
    • A. 

      Honour as a virtue in Anglo-Saxon life

    • B. 

      Pride which can lead to negative consequences

    • C. 

      Love vs. lust

    • D. 

      Fate vs. providence

  • 29. 
    According to the poem, which elements construct a person’s identity?
    • A. 

      Deeds and courage

    • B. 

      Friendship

    • C. 

      Lineage

    • D. 

      A) and c) are correct

  • 30. 
    From which Northern Germanic tribe does Beowulf originate? 
    • A. 

      The Danes

    • B. 

      The Angles

    • C. 

      The Jutes

    • D. 

      The Geats

  • 31. 
    What is the name of the great mead hall described in Beowulf as “the foremost of halls under heaven”?
    • A. 

      Heorot

    • B. 

      Feorot

    • C. 

      Sheorot

    • D. 

      Meorot

  • 32. 
    Hrothgar is the King of which tribe?
    • A. 

      The Geats

    • B. 

      The Danes

    • C. 

      The Frisians

    • D. 

      The Britons

  • 33. 
    For how many years has Grendel been terrorising the Danes before Beowulf’s arrival?
    • A. 

      5 years

    • B. 

      7 years

    • C. 

      12 years

    • D. 

      45 years

  • 34. 
    Before the epic battle between Beowulf and Grendel in the great hall, which of these events takes place?
    • A. 

      Grendel falls asleep

    • B. 

      Beowulf sharpens his sword

    • C. 

      Grendel kills one of Beowulf’s men

    • D. 

      Beowulf kills Grendel’s mother

  • 35. 
    Grendel and his mother are described as the descendents of which biblical figure?
    • A. 

      Abel

    • B. 

      Cain

    • C. 

      Judas

    • D. 

      Moses

  • 36. 
    How does Beowulf kill Grendel?
    • A. 

      With a sword

    • B. 

      By pulling off his arm

    • C. 

      With a bow and arrow

    • D. 

      By decapitation

  • 37. 
    After Grendel dies in the marshes, his mother decides to take revenge. Which warrior does she kill in the hall?
    • A. 

      Hrothgar

    • B. 

      Ælfhere

    • C. 

      Wiglaf

    • D. 

      Æschere

  • 38. 
    How does Unferth show Beowulf that he wishes to make amends with him?
    • A. 

      By shaking his hand

    • B. 

      By placing his helmet at his feet

    • C. 

      By giving him his sword “Naegling”

    • D. 

      By giving him his sword “Hrunting”

  • 39. 
    The sword which Beowulf finds on a cabinet and uses to behead Grendel’s mother is made of which metal?
    • A. 

      Gold

    • B. 

      Silver

    • C. 

      Copper

    • D. 

      Bronze

  • 40. 
    When Beowulf discovers Grendel’s corpse in the lair, what does he decide to do?
    • A. 

      Cut off a lock of his hair to take to Geatland

    • B. 

      Bury him under an Elm tree in Heorot

    • C. 

      Wrap him in cloth and throw him in the lake

    • D. 

      Sever his head to take to Heorot

  • 41. 
    What does Hrothgar give Beowulf to show his appreciation for killing Grendel’s mother?
    • A. 

      He gives his daughter’s hand in marriage

    • B. 

      He gives him the keys to his castle

    • C. 

      He gives him the sword “Nægling”

    • D. 

      He gives him a hug

  • 42. 
    After his triumphant return to Geatland, Beowulf does what?
    • A. 

      Recounts his adventures to King Hygelac and Queen Hygd

    • B. 

      Goes back home and sleeps for a whole week

    • C. 

      Goes to his father’s grave and leaves his sword there

    • D. 

      Gives his wife and children a treasure chest

  • 43. 
    Following the successive deaths of both Hygelac and his son, Beowulf becomes the King of the Geats, ruling wisely for how many years? 
    • A. 

      20

    • B. 

      30

    • C. 

      40

    • D. 

      50

  • 44. 
    What does the slave-thief do to enrage the dragon before its fight with Beowulf?
    • A. 

      Pulls its tail

    • B. 

      Steals a cup from the treasure-hoard it was guarding

    • C. 

      Eats one of its eggs

    • D. 

      Throws a rock at it

  • 45. 
    Beowulf eventually manages to slay the dragon by stabbing which part of its body?
    • A. 

      Head

    • B. 

      Back

    • C. 

      Side

    • D. 

      Heart

  • 46. 
    When Beowulf realises that the dragon's bite is venomous and he is dying, what does he ask of Wiglaf?
    • A. 

      To assure that his ashes are buried with the dragon’s treasure

    • B. 

      To carry him to his castle to see his wife and children

    • C. 

      To tell his troops to have a feast in his honour

    • D. 

      To bring him some food and take off his armour

  • 47. 
    What does the gift of the golden torque symbolise in the poem?
    • A. 

      Transferral of power

    • B. 

      Lucifer’s flame

    • C. 

      Religious salvation

    • D. 

      Eternal youth

  • 48. 
    Beowulf’s funeral barrow overlooks what?
    • A. 

      His castle

    • B. 

      His favourite forest

    • C. 

      The sea

    • D. 

      The site where he killed the dragon

  • 49. 
    After Beowulf’s death, what do the Geats fear?
    • A. 

      That Grendel’s uncle will seek revenge

    • B. 

      That the dragon will haunt them eternally

    • C. 

      That God will condemn them to eternal damnation

    • D. 

      That enemy tribes from the North and South will attack them

  • 50. 
    • A. 

      Prudence and courage

    • B. 

      Patience and generosity

    • C. 

      Intelligence and politeness

    • D. 

      Tolerance and strength