The Final Battle Questions by jac58W


									Cantos 14, 15, 16, and 17—The Final Battle                                 Name______________________________

1. A hoarded treasure in Old English Literature usually symbolizes spiritual death or damnation. Why do you suppose this
is true? How does this fact add significance to Beowulf’s last fight with the dragon?

2. What details describe the dragon? Keeping those details in mind, explain what the dragon might symbolize as
Beowulf’s final foe.

3. Beowulf battles Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon. What do these battles have in common? One
interpretation of the epic is that Beowulf demonstrates how comitatus died with the Anglo-Saxon period. How do
Beowulf’s three battles support this idea? What is especially ominous about the behavior of Beowulf’s men during the
final battle? What does this suggest about the future of the kingdom?

4. The epic closes on a somber, elegiac note—a note of mourning. What words or images contribute to this tone?

6. “Life in 999: A Grim Struggle” (page 47) describes daily life in late Anglo-Saxon England. How does this picture of daily
life relate to what you’ve read in Beowulf? Explain and give support.

Think about the following question. You may discuss it and take notes, but you’ll write the actual response as part of the
Beowulf exam.

Epic poetry usually embodies the attitudes and ideals of an entire culture. What values of Anglo-Saxon society does the
written version of Beowulf reveal? What values of our modern society does the filmed version of Beowulf reveal?
(Consider both similarities and differences.)

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