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Beowulf Quiz

15 Questions
Beowulf Quiz

The warrior Beowulf must fight and defeat the monster Grendel who is terrorizing towns, and later, Grendel's mother, who begins killing out of revenge. Take this short quiz over the plot of the epic poem.  See how much you can remember! Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum . . .

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Below is a video clip of the poem being read in its original language.  What time and place is the setting for the poem? 
    • A. 

      The fourteenth century, in London

    • B. 

      The sixth century in what is now known as Denmark and southwestern Sweden.

    • C. 

      The eighteenth century, in Italy

  • 2. 
    At the begining of the poem, a great hall is described.  What is the name of the magnificent mead hall that is being terrorized nightly by an orge?
    • A. 

      Grendel

    • B. 

      Heorot

    • C. 

      Hyath

  • 3. 
    At the beginning of the poem, why does Beowulf go to the kingdom?
    • A. 

      He is going to marry the king's daughter.

    • B. 

      Hrothgar once sheltered Beowulf's father during a deadly feud, and he hopes to return the favor while enhancing his own reputation.

    • C. 

      He hopes to overthrow the king.

  • 4. 
    How does the poem begin?
    • A. 

      With a brief genealogy of the Scylding (Dane) royal dynasty

    • B. 

      With a large battle

    • C. 

      With a large banquet

  • 5. 
    When Beowulf first arrives in the kingdom, they sit in the mead-hall for a while,then the Danes retire to safer sleeping quarters, Beowulf and the Geats bed down in Heorot, fully aware that Grendel will visit them. He does.  What does he do?
    • A. 

      The ogre furiously bursts in on the Geats, killing one and then reaching for Beowulf.

    • B. 

      Kills the king and Beowulf.

    • C. 

      Retreats in terror.

  • 6. 
    Who is Grendel?
    • A. 

      The king of the hall

    • B. 

      The warrior who helped defeat the monster.

    • C. 

      A huge man-like ogre and a descendant of the biblical murderer Cain.

  • 7. 
    Grendel fights Beowulf.  How does the battle end?
    • A. 

      The beast suceeds in killing Beowulf.

    • B. 

      Beuwulf agrees to let the beast live if he no longer terrorizes the hall.

    • C. 

      Beowulf seizes the ogre's claw and does not let go. Beowulf emerges victorious as he rips Grendel's claw from its shoulder socket, sending the mortally wounded beast fleeing to his mere (pool). The claw trophy hangs high under the roof of Heorot.

  • 8. 
    Who is Beowulf?
    • A. 

      The king at the beginning of the poem.

    • B. 

      A young warrior in Geatland (southwestern Sweden) who comes to the Scyldings' aid, bringing with him 14 of his finest men.

    • C. 

      A monster

  • 9. 
    Who is Hrothgar?
    • A. 

      The aging king who Grendel has menaced for 12 years

    • B. 

      The young warrior whose father saved the king

    • C. 

      The name of the mead hall where the story takes place.

  • 10. 
    After Beowulf is king for a number of years, something shatters his peace.  What shatters Beowulf's peace?
    • A. 

      Another king

    • B. 

      A dragon

    • C. 

      A war

  • 11. 
    What is the name of Beowulf's sword that he uses to fight the dragon?
    • A. 

      Naegling

    • B. 

      Thatar

    • C. 

      Uther

  • 12. 
    Grendel fights Beowulf.  How does the battle end?
    • A. 

      The beast succeeds in killing Beowulf.

    • B. 

      Beowulf agrees to let the beast live if he no longer terrorizes the hall.

    • C. 

      Beowulf seizes the ogre's claw and does not let go. Beowulf emerges victorious as he rips Grendel's claw from its shoulder socket, sending the mortally wounded beast fleeing to his mere (pool). The claw trophy hangs high under the roof of Heorot.

  • 13. 
    Beowulf later becomes king.  How long does he rule In relative peace?
    • A. 

      30 years

    • B. 

      40 years

    • C. 

      50 years

  • 14. 
    Beowulf tries to take on the dragon alone, but he can't.  What warrior comes to his aid?
    • A. 

      Wiglaf

    • B. 

      Bayar

    • C. 

      Thaliat

  • 15. 
    How does the poem end?
    • A. 

      Beowulf is mortally wounded. Dying, Beowulf leaves his kingdom to Wiglaf and requests that his body be cremated in a funeral pyre and buried high on a seaside cliff where passing sailors might see the barrow. The dragon's treasure-hoard is buried with him.

    • B. 

      Beowulf kills Wiglaf and the dragon, and rules for another 50 years.

    • C. 

      The dragon kills Wiglaf and Beowulf.