Into Literature Grade 12 Unit 1 from BEOWULF Answers


Into Literature
Grade 12
from BEOWULF Answers


What qualities does the hero display?
  • Beowulf displays bravery, strength, and a desire to face a difficult challenge.

What obstacles must the hero overcome?
  • Beowulf must defeat a powerful and evil monster.

What themes does the epic convey?
  • The main themes in the poem are the clash between good and evil and the ultimate triumph of goodness.

What themes does the epic convey?
  • The poem includes a hero who embodies a culture, a supernatural villain, and the universal theme of good vs. evil.


1. unrelenting 
2. loathsome 
3. aghast 
4. wail 
5. affliction 
6. baleful 
7. plight


Annotate: Mark words and phrases in lines 14–29 that give clues about one of this epic poem’s universal themes.
  • a fiend out of hell, began to work his evil in the world.
  • he had dwelt for a time in misery among the banished monsters, Cain’s clan, whom the Creator had outlawed and condemned as outcasts.
  • and out of the curse of his exile there sprang ogres and elves and evil phantoms and the giants too who strove with God time and again until He gave them their reward.

Analyze: What is the universal theme described by these lines?
  • These lines describe the universal theme of a struggle between good and evil.

Annotate: Kennings are often more descriptive than simple nouns. Mark the kenning in line 75.
  • dark death-shadow

Interpret: How does kenning help readers visualize Grendel?
  • The kenning “dark death-shadow” depicts Grendel as a terrifying dark gray or black figure.

Annotate: Mark words and phrases in lines 109–124 that characterize Beowulf as a hero.
  • In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth, high-born and powerful.
  • like the leader he was

Infer: What is the hero’s motivation to go on this quest?
  • The king needs defenders, or help, and Beowulf is influential and powerful enough to provide it.

Annotate: Mark the words or phrases in lines 134–141 describing Beowulf.
  • And standing on the hearth in webbed links that the smith had woven, the fine-forged mesh of his gleaming mail-shirt, resolute in his helmet,

Analyze: What mood is created by the poet’s word choice?
  • The mood the author sets is one of significance and hopefulness.


Notice & Note: Mark the words or phrases in lines 191–207 highlighting the history between Hrothgar and Beowulf.
  • There was a feud one time, begun by your father.
  • his people, in fear of it, forced him to leave. He came away then over rolling waves to the South-Danes here, the sons of honour. I was then in the first flush of kingship,
  • Finally I healed the feud by paying: I shipped a treasure-trove to the Wulfings and Ecgtheow acknowledged me with oaths of allegiance.

Infer: What can you infer from Hrothgar sharing this story of the relationship between himself and the poem’s hero?
  • Hrothgar is glad to welcome Beowulf to his lands, in part because he had known Beowulf’s father.


Annotate: Mark the words or phrases in lines 245–251 that illustrate Grendel’s power. 
  • The iron-braced door turned on its hinge when his hands touched it. Then his rage boiled over, he ripped open the mouth of the building,
Compare: How does Grendel’s power compare to what you’ve read about Beowulf’s abilities?
  • Beowulf is described as the strongest man alive, but Grendel possesses supernatural strength.
Annotate: Poets often use a caesura to create a dramatic pause. Mark the caesuras in lines 283–284. 
  • Then Hygelac’s trusty retainer recalled his bedtime speech, sprang to his feet and got a firm hold//. Fingers were bursting//, the monster back-tracking//, the man overpowering//. 
Analyze: Which alliterative words carry the stresses in these two lines? How does the poet use caesuras in these lines to enhance the story?
  • Bursting and back-tracking are the stressed, alliterative words. The caesuras help to make the pace of the poem sound more dramatic.
Annotate: Mark words and phrases in lines 318–331 that tell why Beowulf’s companion warriors could not defeat Grendel. 
  • there was something they could not have known at the
  • time,
  • that no blade on earth, no blacksmith’s art
  • could ever damage their demon opponent.
  • He had conjured the harm from the cutting edge
  • of every weapon.
Analyze: What characteristic of an epic poem does this typify?
  • The reference to a demon who uses magic typifies the supernatural elements of an epic poem.
Annotate: Poets often use alliteration to create rhythm, emphasis, and mood. Mark the alliteration in line 340–345. 
  • Sinews split
  • and the bone-lappings burst. Beowulf was granted
  • the glory of winning; Grendel was driven
  • under the fen-banks, fatally hurt,
  • to his desolate lair. His days 
Infer: How does the poet’s use of alliteration enhance the description of Grendel’s wounds?
  • The use of alliteration in the phrases “sinews split” and “bonelappings burst” conveys the trauma of Grendel’s wounds because of the harsh, repeated sounds.


1. B 
2. F 
3. D
Mr. ‏El-Sayed Ramadan ‎ ‎


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