English Literature Quiz: Beowulf

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English Literature Quiz: Beowulf - Quiz


Beowulf is an Old English classic poem written in the tradition of a Germanic heroic legend involving over 3,000 alternative lines. It is one of the highly notable and most often translated works of Old English literature. In this test, you will be asked about who helped Beowulf’s father, what is Grendel’s abode, and which section of Beowulf tells the origin of the dragon’s treasure. You have to take this amazing quiz if you adore this literature.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    When the Beowulf-poet says, Grendel refuses to "pay the death price," what is he referring to? (one answer)

    • A.

      Wergild

    • B.

      Revenge

    • C.

      Hrothgar

    • D.

      Heorot

    Correct Answer
    A. Wergild
    Explanation
    The Beowulf-poet is referring to wergild when he says that Grendel refuses to "pay the death price". Wergild was a concept in Anglo-Saxon society where a person who caused harm or death to another person had to pay a compensation to the victim's family or clan. This payment was seen as a way to restore balance and avoid further bloodshed or feuds. Grendel's refusal to pay wergild indicates his defiance and disregard for the social norms and values of the society.

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  • 2. 

    Grendel is the descendent of this biblical character (one word, a name).

    Correct Answer
    Cain
    Explanation
    Grendel is described as the descendant of Cain in the epic poem "Beowulf." In the Bible, Cain is the eldest son of Adam and Eve, who committed the first murder by killing his brother Abel out of jealousy. As a result, he was cursed by God and became a wanderer. In "Beowulf," Grendel is portrayed as a monstrous and evil creature, banished and cursed by God just like his ancestor Cain. This connection between Grendel and Cain highlights the theme of ancestral guilt and the consequences of one's actions passed down through generations.

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  • 3. 

    Who is the first of the Danes to recognize Beowulf for what he is?

    • A.

      "The watchman on the wall, the Shieldings' lookout"

    • B.

      Hrothgar, protector of the Shieldings

    • C.

      Hygelac, Beowulf's king

    • D.

      Unferth, drunken meadhall warrior

    Correct Answer
    A. "The watchman on the wall, the Shieldings' lookout"
    Explanation
    The watchman on the wall, the Shieldings' lookout is the first of the Danes to recognize Beowulf for what he is. This suggests that the watchman is observant and knowledgeable about the people in their community. They are able to see through Beowulf's appearance and recognize his true identity or purpose. This implies that the watchman plays an important role in protecting the Shieldings and is vigilant in identifying potential threats or allies.

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  • 4. 

    Hrothgar once helped Beowulf's father, and that, in part, is why Beowulf helps him.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    The statement suggests that Hrothgar helped Beowulf's father in the past, and as a result, Beowulf feels obligated to help Hrothgar. This implies a sense of loyalty and gratitude between the two characters, which is why Beowulf chooses to assist Hrothgar.

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  • 5. 

    Grendel's abode, his mere, is very much a vision of hell on earth.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    The statement is suggesting that Grendel's abode, referred to as his mere, resembles a vision of hell on earth. This implies that Grendel's dwelling is extremely unpleasant and torturous, resembling the horrors typically associated with hell. Therefore, the correct answer is "True."

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  • 6. 

    This king "brought little joy to the Danish people, only death and destruction." (one word, his name)

    Correct Answer
    Heremod
    Explanation
    Heremod is the correct answer because he is described as a king who brought little joy to the Danish people, only death and destruction. This suggests that he ruled with cruelty and violence, causing suffering and devastation. His actions and reign were not beneficial or positive for the Danish people, leading to a negative perception of him.

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  • 7. 

    This section of Beowulf tells the origin of the dragon's treasure.

    • A.

      Lament of the Last Warrior

    • B.

      Lament of the Last Survivor

    • C.

      Lament of the Last Hero

    • D.

      Lament of the Last Fighter

    Correct Answer
    B. Lament of the Last Survivor
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Lament of the Last Survivor" because the section of Beowulf mentioned in the question is likely about the last survivor or the last person left after a battle or event. The term "last survivor" implies that all the other warriors or fighters have perished, which aligns with the theme of lament or sorrow.

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  • 8. 

    What is the name of the sword that fails Beowulf in the dragon-fight?

    • A.

      Hrunting

    • B.

      Naeling

    • C.

      Eotung

    Correct Answer
    B. Naeling
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Naeling. In the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulf faces a dragon in a battle. He initially attempts to fight the dragon with his trusted sword, Naeling, but it fails him. This leads to Beowulf's eventual defeat and death.

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  • 9. 

    Wiglaf is a member of this group.

    • A.

      Geoguth

    • B.

      Duguth

    • C.

      Hereguth

    Correct Answer
    A. Geoguth
    Explanation
    Wiglaf is a member of the Geoguth group.

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  • 10. 

    Beowulf's people live to enjoy the dragon's treasure.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because Beowulf's people do not live to enjoy the dragon's treasure. In the epic poem Beowulf, Beowulf defeats the dragon but is fatally wounded in the process. After his death, the dragon's treasure is buried with him, and there is no mention of his people benefiting from it.

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