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esthetic perception in Beowulf : a study of the sensible, spatial, and temporal in the narrative art… Hilmo, Magdalena Anna Maidie 1969

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AES.THETIC PERCEPTION IN BEOWULF: A STUDY OF THE SENSIBLE, SPATIAL, AND TEMPORAL IN THE NARRATIVE ART OF'THE POEM by MAGDALENA ANNA MAIDIE HILMO B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o lumbia, 1965 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department o f E n g l i s h We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1969 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o lumbia, I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and Study. I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department or by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g or p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date t°>. /96? ABSTRACT T h i s study d e a l s w i t h t h e t r e a t m e n t o f the senses i n the t e l l i n g o f the s t o r y o f Beowulf* The purpose i s t o l a y t h e groundwork f o r modern r e a d e r s who w i s h t o a p p r e c i a t e the poem's a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s b u t cannot f u l l y r e l a t e t o t h e p o e t ' s method o f d e s c r i p t i o n . I t i s n e c e s s a r y t o have an o v e r a l l v iew o f t h e manner o f d e s c r i p t i o n used t o convey sensuous e x p e r i e n c e s . The poet employs one or' more c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s t o d e l i n e a t e t h e most i m p o r t a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of h i s s u b j e c t , t h e r e b y p e n e t r a t i n g i t s e s s e n t i a l n a t u r e . The a u d i e n c e i m a g i n a t i v e l y completes the r e s t o f the p i c t u r e once i t has been g i v e n t h e most p e r t i n e n t and r e v e a l i n g c l u e s , s i m i l a r i n manner t o the i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c o u t l i n e drawings o f t h e p e r i o d . Even speeches a r e grounded by some t a n g i b l e r e f e r e n c e t o t h e speaker o r h i s s i t u a t i o n . To e n r i c h a passage the poet p i l e s up s e v e r a l s y n e c d o c h i -c a l images i n v a r i a t i o n s t o a c h i e v e the same e f f e c t as t h a t produced by a diamond s l o w l y r e v o l v e d so t h a t the l i g h t i l l u m i n a t e s v a r i o u s s p a r k l i n g f a c e t s from d i f f e r e n t v i e w p o i n t s . I n c l u d e d i n t h e v a r i a t i o n s a r e always a few c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s t o p e r m i t t a n g i b l e a p p r e h e n s i o n of t h e s u b j e c t . The d e t a i l s f u n c t i o n t h e m a t i c a l l y as w e l l as s t y l i s t i c a l l y . A v i s u a l p a r a l l e l t o t h i s method, showing a s i m i l a r i t y l n the mode o f p e r c e p t i o n , i s t h a t o f the i n t e r l a c e d e s i g n s i n which v a r i o u s s t r a n d s a r e h i g h l i g h t e d and t h e n submerged, e n a b l i n g comparison and c o n t r a s t by the j u x t a p o s i t i o n of v a r i o u s e lements . I t I s a way of p r e s e n t i n g m u l t i p l e c o o r d i n a t e happenings i n s t a n t l y . The s o r t o f concrete d e t a i l s g i v e n p a r a l l e l the v i s u a l a r t s i n the f e a t u r i n g of head and hands. Another thematic p a r a l l e l i s ev ident i n the snake m o t i f . V i s u a l l y and s y m b o l i c a l l y , the poet b r i n g s together t a n g i b l e images In the c o n t r a s t i n g movements of l i g h t - d a r k and v e r t i c a l - h o r i z o n t a l . The method of d e s c r i p t i o n i n any e r a depends on the way i n which the people are accustomed to p e r c e i v i n g the w o r l d around them. In Beowulf the most s i g n i f i c a n t sense i s the v i s u a l 9 as i n d i c a t e d by the numerous words of s i g h t . E v e r y t h i n g seen i s meant to be a p p r e c i a t e d f o r i t s own v i s u a l p r o p e r t i e s and f o r i t s importance to the people concerned. V i s u a l a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d to p l a c e s , c h a r a c t e r s , and t r e a s u r e s , u n d e r l i n i n g the important thematic concerns . The on ly re ferences to c o l o r i n the s t a r k b r i g h t and dark w o r l d of the poem are prov ided by h i n t s of y e l l o w and numerous re ferences to b l o o d . U n l i k e the r e s t of O l d E n g l i s h poetry i n which words of b r i g h t n e s s are t w i c e as numerous as words of d a r k n e s s , they are almost equal i n Beowulf* adding to the t r a g i c gloom. Not o n l y c l i m a t e , but a l s o g e o g r a p h i c a l f e a t u r e s determine the sensuous responses e l i c i t e d . The poet a l s o presents s e t t -ings f o r a l l the events , a l though they are o f t e n merely sugges-t e d , as they are i n the Bayeux T a p e s t r y , by the b r i e f e s t of i n d i c a t i o n s . The d e s c r i p t i o n s of the three major s e t t i n g s , which are a l l des ignated as " h a l l s , " are examined. There i s an emphasis on the human c a p a c i t y f o r p e r c e i v i n g the essence o f t h e s e n s i b l e w o r l d , w h i c h i s t h e s p h e r e f o r l i f e ' s a c t i o n s . T h e l i m i t i n g f a c t o r i n m a n ' s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d i s t h e c u r t a i l m e n t o f t i m e . A c u t e a w a r e n e s s o f m a n ' s t r a n s i t o r y s t a y s h a r p e n s t h e c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f s e n s u o u s t h i n g s a n d p l a c e s i n t h e p o e m . A s t u d y o f t i m e s e r v e s t o c l a r i f y t h e m e t h o d s b y w h i c h t h e p o e t p r e s e n t s t h e s u c c e s s i o n o f e v e n t s a n d a l s o t o s h o w how t h e p e r s o n s i n t h e e p i c r e a c t t o t i m e p a s s a g e . T i m e i s m e a s u r e d b y r e f e r e n c e t o r e g u l a r l y r e c u r r e n t e v e n t s . S u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s a r e p r e s e n t e d i n a m a n n e r s i m i l a r t o t h a t o f t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y . S e q u e n t i a l a c t i o n s a r e o f t e n s l o w e d d o w n , i n t e r r u p t e d , a n d s p e e d e d u p a g a i n . O c c u r r i n g i n a k i n d o f a b s o l u t e t i m e , d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t r e a s u r e s s e r v e t o g i v e t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f m u c h t i m e j h a v i n g p a s s e d w h e n t h e n a r r a t i v e i s r e s u m e d a t a l a t e s t a g e . T h e a l l u s i o n s a n d d i g r e s s i o n s o f t e n s e r v e t o p r e s e n t t h e m a j o r s t a g e s i n t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a s u b j e c t s i m u l t a n e o u s l y s o t h a t i t s t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e c a n b e s e e n . T i m e r h y t h m s a r e c o u n t e r p o i n t e d b y a l t e r n a t i o n s o f l o n g d u r a t i o n s w i t h s h o r t o n e s , a n d b y t h e a w a r e n e s s o f t h e l i m i t e d f i n i t e d u r a t i o n s w i t h t h e i n f i n i t e d u r a t i o n o f e t e r n i t y . D e a t h , a s t h e c h a r a c t e r s a r e p o i g n a n t l y a w a r e , e n d s s e n s u o u s p e r c e p t i o n o f t h e w o r l d . S u p e r v i s o r O U T L I N E OF CONTENTS C h a p t e r I . I N T R O D U C T I O N I I . A STUDY OF SOME METHODS OF CONCRETE D E S C R I P T I O N WITH O C C A S I O N A L RECOURSE TO S T Y L I S T I C AND THEM-A T I C P A R A L L E L S I N THE V I S U A L A R T S OF THE P E R I O D T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l s h o w how a f e w c o n c r e t e h i n t s a r e e n o u g h t o s t i m u l a t e a f u l l p i c t u r e o f t h e s u b j e c t i n t h e m i n d ' s e y e o f t h e a u d i e n c e . Row a f e w d e t a i l s c a l l f o r t h t h e e n t i r e e v e n t ( I I ) . T h e p r i n c i p l e o f c o m p l e t i o n . (T.II). T h e r o l e o f v a r i a t i o n A . D i s c o n t i n u o u s B . S e q u e n t i a l (IV). O b j e c t i v e d e s c r i p t i o n A . G e s t u r e s B . A p p e a r a n c e (V). I n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e s p e a k e r s A . A s u c c e s s i v e d e m o n s t r a t i o n B . A c l a s s i f i c a t i o n o f i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n 1 . P o s i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n t o p e o p l e 2 . P o s i t i o n a l r e l a t i o n t o a p l a c e 3* P e r s o n a l a p p e a r a n c e k* P e r s o n a l b e a r i n g a n d a t t i t u d e 5* M o v e m e n t s o f s p e a k e r s a n d a u d i e n c e ( y i ) . D e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e m a i n a n t a g o n i s t s A . F e a t u r i n g " h e a d a n d h a n d s " B . H i s t o r y o f " H e l m e t a n d H a n d s " s t y l e a n d i t s a p p l i c a t i o n i n B e o w u l f C. A t h e m a t i c p a r a l l e l t o t h e v i s u a l a r t s i n t h e s n a k e m o t i f (vil). C o n t r a s t i n g m o v e m e n t s o f i m a g e s A . G o o d a n d e v i l , l i g h t a n d d a r k n e s s v i s u a l l y c o n c e i v e d 1 . C r e a t i o n o f t h e w o r l d a n d t h e b u i l d i n g o f H e o r o t 2. C r e a t i o n o f e v i l a n d t h e o r i g i n s o f G r e n d e l 3 . C o m i n g t o g e t h e r o f t h e t w o m o v e -m e n t s Bto V e r t i c a l a n d h o r i z o n t a l m o v e m e n t s 1 . V e r t i c a l ( a ) . E v i d e n c e o f g r o w t h a n d h u m a n a c h i e v e m e n t ( b ) . C o u r a g e ( c ) . G l o r y 2. H i g h a n d w i d e ( a ) . G l o r y ( b ) . P o w e r 3 . C o m b i n a t i o n o f s y m b o l i c a n d p h y s i c a l (vilj"). A n a l y s i s o f i m a g e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y c o m p o u n d s 27 A . R o l e o f e x p e r i e n c e 1 . P o s i t i v e — p e r m i t s m o r e d e t a i l s t o b e s u p p l i e d 2. N e g a t i v e — d u l l s f r e s h n e s s 3 . B e o w u l f ( a ) . E f f e c t o f A . G . B r o d e u r ' s r e -s e a r c h ( i ) I m a g e s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r m o o d , c h a r a c t e r , a n d t o n e o f a p a s s a g e ( i i ) O r i g i n a l i t y o f B e o w u l f p o e t B . How i m a g e s m a k e e v e n s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e s o f m i n d m o r e v i v i d C. C o m p o u n d s m a k e t h e e x t e r n a l a n d t h e i n t e r -n a l c o n c r e t e 1 . P a r t o f a n i n t e g r a t e d m e t a p h o r i c a l s y s t e m 2* A l l i t e r a t i o n , s t r e s s , i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , a n d v a r i a t i o n c a u s e t h e c o m p o u n d s t o b e l i n g e r e d u p o n a n d s o r e i n f o r c e t h e s e n s i b l e r e f e r e n t s . I l l , ' . P E R C E P T I O N I N THE WORLD OF BEOWULF L i f e c o n s i s t s i n t h o s e a s p e c t s o f l i f e w h i c h c a n b e s e e n , h e a r d , t a s t e d , s m e l t , a n d f e l t , a n d w h i c h a r e e x p e r i e n c e d i n t h e f l o w o f t i m e . ( i ) I m p o r t a n c e o f s t u d y i n g p e r c e p t i o n 34 A . A s t h e b a s i s o f d e s c r i p t i o n B . To c l e a r u p t h e s t r a n g e n e s s o f A n g l o -S a x o n p o e t r y ( i l ) . S e n s e s a r e s h a r p e n e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e n e e d s 34 o f c e r t a i n w a y s o f l i f e * T h e s o r t o f a t t e n t i o n p a i d t o t h e e x t e r n a l s t i m u l i i n f l u e n c e s t h e w a y o f i n t e r p r e t i n g t h e w o r l d a n d i s t h e b a s i s o f d e s c r i p t i o n -35 T h e V i s u a l s e n s e A . I t i s t h e m o s t p r e d o m i n a n t s e n s e a s e v i d e n c e d b y t h e f r e q u e n t u s e o f s i g h t w o r d s w h i c h a l w a y s r e t a i n t h e i r v i s u a l p r o p e r t i e s a n d w h i c h t h e r e f o r e a d d t o t h e s e n s e q u a l i t i e s o f t h e poem* B . A d e t a i l e d s t u d y o f w o r d s o f s i g h t t o p r o v e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e v i s u a l e l e m e n t s i n t h e p o e m , t o i n d i c a t e t h e v a r i o u s w a y s o f l o o k i n g a t v i s u a l m a n -i f e s t a t i o n s , a n d t o s h o w w h a t s o r t o f f e a t u r e s a r e v i s u a l l y a t t e n d e d t o i n t h e p o e m . T h e v i s u a l u s e s o f t h e f o l l o w -i n g w o r d s a r e n o t e d : V e r b s : g e s e o n , u s e d 35 t i m e s ; s e o n . u s e d 12 t i m e s ; g e o n d s e o n . u s e d o n c e ; o f e r s e o n , u s e d t w i c e ; s c e a w l a n , u s e d 19 t i m e s ; l o c l a n , u s e d o n c e ; w i l t a n , u s e d 3 t i m e s ; g l o n d -w l l t a n , u s e d o n c e ; s t a r l a n , u s e d 5 t i m e s ? N o u n s : a n s y n , u s e d 4 t i m e s ; t a c e n , u s e d t w i c e ; w u n d o r s l o n , u s e d o n c e ; e a g e , u s e d 4 t i m e s A d j e c t i v e s ; g e s y n e , u s e d 5 t i m e s ; e b g e s y n e . u s e d t w i c e ; s w e o t o l , u s e d 3 t i m e s ; u n d y r n e , u s e d o n c e ; d y r n e , u s e d t w i c e C. S u m m a r y : T h e p o e t h a s u s e d w o r d s o f s i g h t 1 . W i t h d e f i n i t e r e f e r e n t s i n m i n d 2 . To v i s u a l l y f o c u s o n t h e m a t t e r o f t h e m a i n t h e m e a n d p l o t t o a l l o w b o t h i n -t e l l e c t u a l a n d s e n s u o u s a p p r e h e n s i o n o f i t 3 . T o s h o w t h a t e v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s s e e n i n B e o w u l f i s m e a n t t o b e a p p r e c i a t e d f o r i t s o wn v i s u a l p r o p e r t i e s a n d f o r i t s i m -p o r t a n c e t o t h e p e o p l e c o n c e r n e d 4 . To I l l u s t r a t e " t h a t t h e w a y m e a n i n g i s g i v e n t o t h i n g s s e e n f o r m s p a r t o f a n i n t e g r a t e d o u t l o o k o n l i f e D. M a i n o b j e c t s o f s i g h t 1 . P l a c e ( a ) , e n a b l e s a u d i e n c e t o p i c t u r e a b a c k -g r o u n d s e t t i n g ( b ) . g i v e s h u m a n m a s t e r y o v e r k n o w n a r e a s ( c ) . g i v e s i d e n t i t y a n d r o l e t o c h a r a c t e r s w ho k n o w t h e i r e n v i r o n m e n t ( d ) . b e c o m e s a n o b j e c t o f c o n t e m p l a t i o n i n i t s e l f 2. Characters—features destruction (a) , people i n armor (b) . people i n action manifesting hate (c) . monsters (d) . scenes of people feasting are undercut by references to s t r i f e * (e) . old and dying people and monsters 3» Treasures (a) , indicate semi-permanent human achievements (b) . span and l i n k together several time periods providing a unifying narrative thread (c) . used as v i s u a l d e t a i l s and symbols of a culture (d) . underline themes and symbolize r e -lationships (e) . integrate description with character-i z a t i o n E. Attention to the essence of surface appearances often reveals moral meanings F. Apprehension of color 1. Attention to brightness rather than hue 2. Variegated colors 3 . Role of the sun 4. Terms indicating brightness and a summary of t h e i r uses 5. Terms indicating darkness and a summary of t h e i r uses 6. Some disputed terms (a) » worm (b) . brun (c) . fealu 7. Gold 8. Words indicating white <?• Words indicating black 10. Words indicating grey 11. Absence of red and the substitution of terms indicating blood 12. Yellow as the only r e a l hue word Perception of sound A. Happiness i s expressed by sounds such as speech, laughter, song, and harp music, which, Incidentally, stimulate Grendel to r a i d Heorot B. Speeches focm a large part of the dramatic and audial content C. Intense moments are accompanied by sound D. The horn E. Animal sounds T a s t e a n d s m e l l a r e I n s i g n i f i c a n t i n B e o w u l f 71 T h e t a c t i l e r e s p o n s e t o t h e e n v i r o n m e n t i n a 71 c o l d c l i m a t e A . H a r d B . H o t a n d c o l d I V . SENSUOUS A P P R E H E N S I O N I N THE D E S C R I P T I O N S OF THE P H Y S I C A L S E T T I N G S I N BEOWULF AND THE IMPORTANCE OF P L A C E I N THE P O E T ' S P R E S E N T A T I O N OF L I F E I N T H I S TEMPORAL WORLD • " E a c h o f u s h a s t o l i v e u n t i l t h e e n d o f h i s l i f e i n t h i s w o rld'.' ( j f y I m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s e t t i n g i n t h e p o e t i c s c h e m e 75 A . P r o v i d e s a s e n s e o f l o c u s , g i v e s v e r s i m l -l i t u d e a n d s u b s t a n t i a l i t y t o a c t i o n s , p r o -v i d e s a t m o s p h e r e a n d a d d s i n t e r e s t t o s i t u a t i o n s B . I s c o n n e c t e d w i t h l i f e ' s a c t i v i t i e s , g i v e s i d e n t i t y t o c h a r a c t e r s (ll)» E x i l e i s a l o s i n g o f p l a c e a n d t h e r e f o r e o f 76 r i g h t s a n d i d e n t i t y ( i l l ) . V i o l a t i o n o f p l a c e , a t h e m e o f B e o w u l f ' A . P l a c e s f o u g h t f o r : << H e o r o t , t h e m e r e , t h e b a r r o w 1 . A q u e s t i o n o f m a s t e r y o v e r e n v i r o n -m e n t 2 . R e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f o w n e r s 3. P l a c e s a s a r e w a r d m o t i v e f o r f i g h t i n g B . W a s t e l a n d t h e m e : a t h w a r t i n g o f t h e p r o p e r f u n c t i o n o f a p l a c e ( I V ) L i f e i n t h i s w o r l d 79 A. T h e e a r t h a s s p h e r e f o r l i f e ' s a c t i o n s , t h e p l a c e t o b e o v e r c o m e a n d made u s e o f 1 . U n i v e r s a l i z a t i o n o f B e o w u l f w o r l d 2 . T h e t e m p o r a l t r a g e d y B . G r o w i n g u p ; a n e x p a n d i n g o f m a s t e r y o v e r p l a c e C. D e a t h : a l e a v i n g o f p l a c e ( V ) O u t l i n e o f p l a c e s i n B e o w u l f : T h e p o e t ' s 8 1 l o c a t i n g o f e v e r y s c e n e s h o w s i m p o r t a n c e o f p l a c e ( y i ) . H e o r o t 82 A . A n e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e d e s c r i p t i v e t e r m s f o r H e o r o t 1 . A r t i s t i c u n i t y o f m a j o r s c e n e s o f t h e w h o l e o f B e o w u l f b y d e s i g n a t i n g H e o r o t , t h e m e r e d w e l l i n g , a n d t h e d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w a s " h a l l s . " 2 . D e s c r i p t i v e t e r m s a r e u s e d a l t e r n a -t i v e l y a n d a r e a p p r o p r i a t e t o c o n t e x t 3» L i s t o f t e r m s a n d t h e i r m o d i f i e r s a s a p p l i e d t o H e o r o t * 4. T e r m s s h o w w h i c h a s p e c t s o f H e o r o t a r e e m p h a s i z e d ( a ) . I t i s h i g h a n d b o n e - a d o r n e d ( b ) . I t i s b r i g h t a n d g o l d - a d o r n e d ( c ) . I t i s a p l a c e f o r d r i n k i n g ( d ) . I t i s t h e " b e s t " o f h a l l s ( e ) . I t i s a l s o a " b a t t l e - h a l l " B . s t r u c t u r a l d e t a i l s f e a t u r e d w h e n a p p r o p r i a t e 8 7 t o t h e a c t i o n 1 . T h e b e n c h 2 . T h e d o o r 3 . T h e i n s i d e ( a ) . t h e h e a r t h ( b ) . t h e s e a t i n g 4. T h e r o o f 5 . T h e f l o o r C. O t h e r r o y a l h a l l s 1 D. I d e a l i s t i c c o n c e p t i o n o f H e o r o t ( V I l ) . T h e m e r e a s H e o r o t * s m a l e v o l e n t c o u n t e r p a r t 93 A . T e r m i n o l o g y o f m e r e d w e l l i n g a s " h a l l " B . T h e m e r e - h a l l i s t h e c e n t e r o f c h a o s C. A t m o s p h e r e o f t h e m e r e a r e a 1 . D a r k a n d m i s t y 2 . H u m i d , c o l d , a n d w i n d y 3* F e a r f u l b e c a u s e u n k n o w n 4. I n f e r n a l 5 . H o s t i l e D. L a n d s c a p e s o f t h e m e r e 1 . F a r f r o m man 2 . A p p r o a c h t o m e r e E . T h e l a n d s c a p e o f t h e m e r e i s p r o b a b l y a n i m a g i n a t i v e o n e F . D i s t a n c e f r o m H e o r o t G. T h e w a t e r o f t h e m e r e : d e s c r i p t i v e t e r m s H. M e r e g i v e s dam c h a r a c t e r , p r o v i d e s i m a g i n a -t i v e s t i m u l a t i o n , a n d i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h e v i l ( V I I I ) . O u t s i d e i n G e a t l a n d 105 A . B e o w u l f a l o n e a n d e x p o s e d o n t h e b a r r e n e a r t h B . T h e l a s t f i g h t a s a h o l d i n g o f g r o u n d C . The p u l l of the e a r t h : Images of weight D» The d r a g o n ' s "barrow 1 . C o n s t r u c t i o n and l o c a t i o n 2 . P l a c e of B e o w u l f ' s l a s t s tand E . Comparison and c o n t r a s t of the d r a g o n ' s barrow and B e o w u l f ' s barrow F . The d r a g o n ' s barrow as a " h a l l " G . B e o w u l f ' s barrow the p l a c e of the l a s t of the l a s t s u r v i v o r s The Sea A . Permeating i n f l u e n c e of the sea B . Sea v o c a b u l a r y V . THE PERCEPTION OF TIME IN BEOWULF " I have passed through my a l l o t m e n t of time on e a r t h " (i). The events of the poem occurred be fore the p o e t ' s N 6 t ime ( i l ) . Purpose of a study of p e r c e p t i o n of t ime 116 A . To c l a r i f y the methods by which the poet presents the s u c c e s s i o n of events B . To show how time passage was p e r c e i v e d (III). U n i t s of t ime mentioned and judged r e l a t i v e l y x i 7 a c c o r d i n g to human standards (iV) Two cruxes 119 A . How l o n g the dam l i v e d a f t e r G r e n d e l B . The age of the hoard (y\ How the poet presents sequences and: d u r a t i o n s 123 A . b_a sequences B . ob beet slows down And i n t e r r u p t s sequences (VI). The t r a n s i t i o n from the f i r s t to the second * : ^ . Z k p a r t of the poem ( y i l ) . The r o l e of the t a l e of the l a s t s u r v i v o r and 12k of o ther d i g r e s s i o n s and a l l u s i o n s A . To g i v e the i l l u s i o n of t ime passage B . To present a l l the major stages s i m u l t a n e o u s l y (VI11). T r a n s i t i o n s through short passages of d e s c r i p t i o n 127 a r r e s t i n g the t ime f l o w and o c c u r r i n g i n an abso-l u t e t ime p e r i o d (IX). C o u n t e r p o i n t t i m e r h y t h m s A . T h r o u g h a l t e r n a t i o n s o f l o n g a n d s h o r t d u r a t i o n s B . T h r o u g h a l t e r n a t i o n s o f i n f i n i t e a n d f i n i t e t i m e V X | D e e d s a c c o m p l i s h e d a r e a m a t t e r o f c o r r e c t t i m i n g ( X i ) A w o r t h w h i l e l i f e o f a c c o m p l i s h i n g d i f f i c u l t t a s k s a n d o f e x h i b i t i n g m a s t e r y i s t h w a r t e d b y t h e t r a n s i t o r i n e s s o f e x i s t e n c e V I . SUMMARY AND C O N C L U S I O N A P P E N D I X I A P P E N D I X I I A P P E N D I X I I I P L A T E S I - X I I B I B L I O G R A P H Y C H A P T E R I I N T R O D U C T I O N 1 B e o w u l f i s n o t s i m p l y a n u n s u b s t a n t i a l t a l e o f v a g u e , c h i m e r i c f o r c e s b r i g h t l y l i t o r d a r k l y s h a d o w e d d r i f t i n g m y s t e r i o u s l y t h r o u g h g o s s a m e r s p a c e i n t h e m i s t s o f r e m o t e a n t i q u i t y , b u t r a t h e r , i t i s t h e a c c o u n t o f f o r c e s m ade c o n c r e t e a n d o p e r a t i n g a l w a y s w i t h i n t h e r a n g e o f t h i s e a r t h , a c c o r d i n g t o t h e r h y t h m s o f a c t u a l l i f e * I d e a l s a n d t h e i r o p p o s i t e s a r e n o t p r e s e n t e d i n a b s t r a c t t e r m s b u t a r e t a n g i b l y m a n i f e s t e d . T h e i d e a l w a r r i o r a n d k i n g a s i l l u s t r a t e d b y h i s t h o u g h t s , s p e e c h , a n d a c t i o n s , r e i n f o r c e d b y a n a l o g i e s a n d c o n t r a s t s , i s e x e m p l i f i e d b y B e o w u l f h i m s e l f . E v e n H r o t h g a r i n h i s " s e r m o n " d r a m a t i c a l l y m a k e s h i s p o i n t a b o u t l e a d e r s h i p b y r e f e r r i n g t o o n e s p e c i f i c p r i n c e , H e r e m o d , who e x h i b i t e d , t o t h e d i s c o m f i t u r e o f t h e D a n e s , t h e o p p o s i t e o f t h o s e q u a l i t i e s n e c e s s a r y . I n t h e m a i n p o r t i o n o n h u m a n m a s t e r y ( a s u b j e c t a b o u t w h i c h t h e B e o w u l f p o e t i s v i t a l l y c o n c e r n e d a s e v i d e n c e d b y h i s m a n n e r o f p r e s e n t a t i o n ) H r o t h g a r d e m o n s t r a t e s t h e v i c e o f a r r o g a n c e b y f i g u r a t i v e l y s h o w i n g how t h e " s l a y e r " w o r k s o n t h e i n t e r n a l b a t t l e f i e l d s o t h a t t h e c o n c e i t e d o n e n e g l e c t s h i s w o r l d l y a n d s p i r i t u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s u n t i l h e " f a l l s f a t e d . " H r o t h g a r t h e n b r i n g s t h e p a s t t o b e a r o n t h e p r e s e n t b y t e l l i n g B e o w u l f t o t a k e h e e d a n d b y m e n t i o n i n g h i s own t r o u b l e s w i t h G r e n d e l , a r e v e r s e w h i c h came t o h i m a t a t i m e w h e n h e w a s s o s e c u r e a n d p r o u d i n h i s r e i g n t h a t h e " c o u n t e d n o t 2 a n y a d v e r s a r y u n d e r t h e s k y ' s c o u r s e . " 1 No t h o u g h t s o r e m o t i o n s a r e u n e m b o d i e d o r o c c u r w i t h o u t some i n d i c a t i o n o f a l o c a l i t y a n d o f a t i m e p e r i o d . " T h e p o e t , who,"0 - a s R e n w i c k a p p r o p r i a t e l y o b s e r v e s , " l i k e t h e p a i n t e r , w o r k s t h r o u g h h i s s e n s e s a s w e l l a s h i s i n t e l l e c t , h a s t o e m b o d y t h e u n i v e r s a l e n t i t l e s o f t h e m e t a p h y s i c a l 2 b e f o r e h e c a n m a k e a n y t h i n g o f t h e m . " T h i s i s n o t t o i m p l y t h a t a l l t h e s t r e a k s o f t h e t u l i p a r e p a i n t e d b y t h e B e o w u l f p o e t . S h o w i n g u s t h e A n g l o - S a x o n ' s w a y o f l o o k i n g a t h i s w o r l d , t h e p o e t ' s mode o f p e r c e p t i o n i s a l s o t h a t o f t h e v i s u a l a r t i s t o f h i s t i m e . T h e s i s t e r a r t s n e c e s s a r i l y d e r i v e f r o m t h e t e x t u r e o f t h e l i f e o f t h e p e r i o d o f w h i c h t h e y a r e t h e e x p r e s s i o n a s w e l l a s t h e p r o d u c t . T h e B e o w u l f p o e t s k e t c h e s i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l s o f s e t t i n g , a c t i o n , a n d a c t o r s s o t h a t t h e y may b e v i s u a l i z e d . I n a h i g h l y s t y l i z e d a n d s o p h i s t i -c a t e d f a s h i o n h e g i v e s d o m i n a n t i m p r e s s i o n s a n d a d o r n s t h e m . E a c h c h a r a c t e r a n d s i t u a t i o n i s p r e s e n t e d i n d i v i d u a l l y , y e t a l s o o n a l a r g e r s c a l e , t y p i c a l l y a n d g e n e r a l l y . A l l u s i v e m a t e r i a l i s s e t i n a d i f f e r e n t t i m e p e r i o d o r s p a t i a l a r e a . D e t a i l s a r e j u x t a p o s e d f o r p u r p o s e s o f h i g h l i g h t a n d c o m m e r i t a r y . 1 P r . K l a e b e r , e d . , B e o w u l f a n d T h e F i g h t a t F l n n s b u r g . 3rd e d . ( B o s t o n : D.C. H e a t h a n d C o m p a n y , 1950) , 1 . 1??3« [ T h i s e d i t i o n w i l l b e u s e d t h r o u g h o u t . F o r c o n v e n i e n c e o f r e a d i n g a n d r e f e r e n c e , w h e n q u o t a t i o n s f r o m B e o w u l f a r e r u n o n a s p a r t o f t h e t e x t , t h e y w i l l b e i n t r a n s l a t i o n , p r o v i d e d t h a t n o l e x i c a l p r o b l e m s a r e i n v o l v e d , i n w h i c h c a s e t h e y w i l l r e m a i n i n O l d E n g l i s h . T h e l i n e s q u o t e d w i l l h e n c e f o r t h b e i n d i c a t e d i n b r a c k e t s a f t e r e a c h q u o t a t i o n / / 2 W.L. R e n w i c k , " I n t r o d u c t i o n / ' T h e B e g i n n i n g s o f E n g l i s h  L i t e r a t u r e t o S k e l t o n : 1509 ( L o n d o n : T h e C r e s s e t P r e s s ( ^ C o p y r i g h t 1939J, 1 9 6 6 ) , p . k9. 3 T h e a c t i v e , t e n s e , a n d d o m i n a n t i s a l t e r n a t e d a n d r e l i e v e d w i t h t h e p a s s i v e , s u s p e n d e d , a n d r e t i r i n g a t a l l l e v e l s . I n t e r l a c e i s e f f e c t i v e l y e m p l o y e d a t b o t h t h e s y l i s t l c a n d 3 s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l s . I t i s t h e c o m b i n a t i o n o f t h e s o l i d w i t h t h e s u g g e s t i v e t h a t p r o v i d e s t h e d o u b l e I m p a c t w h i c h s o i n t r i g u i n g l y c h a r g e s t h e i m a g i n a t i o n o f a l l who a p p r o a c h t h i s e p i c . I t i s t h e p u r p o s e o f t h i s s t u d y t o d e m o n s t r a t e m o r e c l e a r l y t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e B e o w u l f p o e t d e s c r i b e s h i s w o r l d , a n d f r o m t h i s t o d i s c o v e r t h e p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r e n d s o f A n g l o - S a x o n d e s c r i p t i o n , a n d t o s h o w how t h e A n g l o - S a x o n v i e w e d a n d l i v e d l i f e i n h i s t i m e . T h e p o e t ' s e x p r e s s i o n ' s a r e " n o t m e r e l y a q u e s t i o n o f l i t e r a r y a l l u s i o n , b u t o f w h a t e n t e r e d t h e m i n d s o f . . . p e o p l e e v e r y d a y , c o l o u r e d t h e s p e c t a c l e s t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e y l o o k e d a t l i f e , a n d m o u l d e d t h e f o r m i n w h i c h t h e y u t t e r e d t h e i r f e e l i n g s . " T h e l i f e p h i l o s o p h y o f t h e A n g l o - S a x o n s , i n s o f a r a s s u c h c a n b e s a i d t o e x i s t , e m e r g e s f r o m t h e c o n t e n t a n d g e n e r a l a t t i t u d e o f t h e i r s u r v i v i n g e p i c , j u s t a s P a r a d i s e L o s t r e v e a l s t h e r e l -i g i o u s p r e o c c u p a t i o n s o f a l a t e r a g e . 3 S e e J o h n L e y e r l e ' s a r t i c l e " T h e I n t e r l a c e S t r u c t u r e o f B e o w u l f . " UTQ, 37 (1967), 1-17, w h e r e h e i l l u s t r a t e s how t h e i n t e r w e a v i n g o f t w o o r m o r e s t r a n d s o f v a r i a t i o n p r o v i d e s s t y l i s t i c i n t e r l a c e . A t t h e s t r u c t u r a l l e v e l n a r r a t i v e t h r e a d s o f b o t h t h e m a i n a n d s e c o n d a r y m a t e r i a l i s I n t e r l a c e d . V a r i o u s n a r r a t i v e t h r e a d s I n c l u d e H y g e l a c ' s e x p e d i t i o n , t r e a s -u r e , a n d t h e p e a c e - w e a v i n g b o n d o f women. k B o n a m y D o b r £ e , E d i t o r ' s P r e f a c e , " T h e B e g i n n i n g s o f  E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e t o S k e l t o n ; 1509.P* i x - ^ x . 4 T h e e m p h a s i s w i l l b e o n t h o s e f e a t u r e s c o n c e r n e d w i t h p e r c e p t i o n . A l t h o u g h m u c h a t t e n t i o n h a s b e e n g i v e n t o t h e p o t e n t e f f e c t t h e poem d e r i v e s f r o m t h e p o r t r a y a l o f t h e s u b j e c t i v e s t a t e s o f m i n d o f t h e m a i n c h a r a c t e r s , n o t e n o u g h h a s b e e n p a i d t o t h e o b j e c t i v e , e x t e r n a l , s e n s i b l e a s p e c t s w h i c h m a k e t h e w o r l d o f B e o w u l f r e a l a n d b e l i e v a b l e , a n d w h i c h a r e i m p o r t a n t a n d w o r t h y o f c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n t h e m -s e l v e s a n d f o r t h e p a r t t h e y p l a y i n A n g l o - S a x o n p a t t e r n s o f t h o u g h t . T h e o n l y a t t e m p t a t a n y o v e r a l l a n a l y s i s o f t h i s s o r t w a s d o n e i n a c o n c i s e a n d i l l u m i n a t i n g t h r e e - p a g e a r t i c l e 5 i n 1882 b y F . A . M a r c h . H e t r i e s t o a c c o u n t f o r t h e s t r a n g e n e s s o f t h e B e o w u l f w o r l d b y e x a m i n i n g t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h i t s e f f e c t s o n t h e d i f f e r e n t s e n s e s a r e p r e s e n t e d . T h i s s t u d y w a s t h e i m p e t u s f o r my t h i r d c h a p t e r o n p e r c e p t i o n . 6 7 O t h e r a r t i c l e s b y W.E. M e a d i n 1899 a n d L . D. L e r n e r i n 1951 o n t h e u s e s o f c o l o r w o r d s ? , c o n s t i t u t e v i r t u a l l y t h e e n t i r e c o r p u s o f s c h o l a r s h i p o n t h i s s u b j e c t o f p e r c e p t i o n . S o m e w h a t m o r e h a s b e e n d o n e o n t h e v a r i o u s s e t t i n g s , 8 9 10 n o t a b l y b y K n u t S t j e r n a , W.W. L a w r e n c e , A . G . B r o d e u r , 11 a n d E d w a r d B . I r v i n g . U n f o r t u n a t e l y M r . I r v i n g ' s s t u d y o f t h e s e t t i n g o f t h e l a s t p a r t o f t h e poem d i d n o t a p p e a r u n t i l a f t e r I h a d c o m p l e t e d m u c h o f my q r i w o r k o n s e t t i n g , " " "5 F . A . M a r c h , " T h e W o r l d o f B e o w u l f . " Am. P h i l o l o g i c a l A s s . T r a n s , a n d P r o c . 1 3 (1882), A p p e n d i x , x x i - x x i i i . 6 W.E. M e a d , " C o l o u r i n O l d E n g . P o e t r y , " P M LA . 14 ( I 8 9 9 ) , 169-206. 7 L . D. L e r n e r , " C o l o u r W o r d s i n A n g l o - S a x o n , " MLR. 46 (1951), 246-249. 8 K n u t S t j e r n a , E s s a y s o n Q u e s . C o n , w i t h t h e QE Poem o f " B e o w u l f , " J . R . C l a r k H a l l , e d . a n d t r a n s . ( L o n d o n : C o v e n t r y , 1912) . b u t t h i s i s s i g n i f i c a n t s i n c e we b o t h a r r i v e d a t s i m i l a r c o n c l u s i o n s i n d e p e n d e n t l y , w h i c h r e i n f o r c e s t h e a r g u m e n t t h a t t h e p o e t a n d h i s c h a r a c t e r s w e r e p o i g n a n t l y a w a r e o f t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e w o r l d a s t h e r e g i o n o f l i f e ' s a c t i o n s . I h a v e t r i e d t o s h o w t h a t t h e p o e t ' s c o n c e r n w i t h l o c a t i o n i s f a r g r e a t e r t h a n h a s b e e n r e a l i z e d p r e v i o u s l y . * N o t o n l y d o e s h e e x e r t h i s d e s c r i p t i v e p o w e r s o n a f e w s i t e s , b u t i s c a r e f u l t o s u g g e s t t h e m a i n f e a t u r e s o f a l l s e t t i n g s , e n o u g h s o t h a t a n i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c p i c t u r e c o u l d b e made o f t h e w h o l e e p i c > w h i c h i s s i m i l a r t o a t a p e s t r y ? i n i t s o u t l i n e s C l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p l a c e i s t i m e . A s f a r a s I am a w a r e , t h e r e h a v e b e e n n o s t u d i e s o n t h e s u b j e c t b e y o n d w h a t 12 T o l k i e n r e f e r s t o a s t h e " t e m p o r a l t r a g e d y " o f t h e p o e m . I t i s s o c l o s e l y c o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e p e r c e p t u a l o u t l o o k o n t h e p l a c e s , t h i n g s , a n d p e o p l e o f t h e poem t h a t I f o u n d i t n e c e s s a r y t o t r e a t t i m e i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h t h e m . T h e h e i g h t e n e d a w a r e n e s s o f t r a n s i t o r y b e a u t i e s i s e v i d e n t i n t h e p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s . T h e r e a r e f e w d e s c r i p t i o n s i n O l d . E n g l i s h p o e t r y a n d f e w r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s i n t h e v i s u a l a r t s t h a t a r e s t r i c t l y 9 W.W. L a w r e n c e , " B e o w u l f " a n d E p i c T r a d i t i o n ( C a m b r i d g e : H a r v a r d U n i v . P r e s s , 1930). 10 A . G . B r o d e u r , T h e A r t o f " B e o w u l f " ( L o s A n g e l u s ' : U n i v . o f C a l i f . P r e s s , 195977 11 E d w a r d B . I r v i n g , J r . , A R e a d i n g ; o f " B e o w u l f " (New H a v e n a n d L o n d o n : Y a l e U n i v . P r e s s , 19687• 12 J . R . R . T o l k i e n , " B e o w u l f : T h e M o n s t e r s a n d t h e C r i t i c s , " A n Anthologyoof ^ B e o w u l f " C r i t i c i s m . e d . L e w i s E . N i c h o l s o n TToronto: B a x t e r , 1965). 6 r e a l i s t i c i n t h e l i t e r a l s e n s e . T h e d e s c r i p t i o n s i n t h e p o e m a r e f u l l y i n t e n d e d t o c a l l t o t h e m i n d ' s e y e o f t h e a u d i e n c e t h e s u c c e s s i v e s c e n e s i n w h i c h t h e s u p e r - h e r o p e r f o r m s h i s m a r v e l l o u s a n d t e r r i b l e f e a t s . I n some c a s e s t h e v i s u a l may b e s u g g e s t e d o n l y b y t h e h i n t o f a c o l o r c o n t r a s t o r b y t h e f i g u r a t i v e l a n g u a g e u s e d . I t i s s o m e t i m e s t h e i m a g i n a t i v e e y e t h a t i s s t i m u l a t e d b y t h e s p a r s e o r v a g u e d e s c r i p t i o n s w h i c h i n v i t e t h e b e h o l d e r t o l o o k b e y o n d a n d t h a t f i l l s i n t h e f u l l p i c t u r e o f t h e f a n t a s t i c e p i s o d e s t h a t o c c u r . I n t h e v i s u a l a r t s a l s o , t h e a r t i s t s e e m s s e l d o m c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e a c t u a l a n a t o m y o r e v e n s p e c i e s o f t h e a n i m a l h e i s r e n d e r i n g . O l d E n g l i s h w o r k s s p r i n g f r o m a m o r e p u r e l y c r e a t i v e a n d i a r t i s t i c i m p u l s e t h a n a r t w h i c h i s p h o t o g r a p h i c I n n a t u r e . W h i l e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f h e r o e s may b e s a i d t o e m b o d y t h e h o p e s a n d i d e a l s o f a n a t i o n , t h o s e o f m o n s t e r s t e n d t o b e m a n i f e s t a t i o n s o f i t s l n s e c u r i t e s a n d f e a r s . T h i s b r i n g s u s t o t h e p r o b l e m o f s y m b o l i s m . M u c h o f o u r e a r l y l i t e r a t u r e i s s a i d t o b e s y m b o l i c , a n d o n c e i t ; i s d e t e r m i n e d w h a t i s s y m b o l i c o f w h a t , t h e t o p i c i s o f t e n d i s m i s s e d , a s i f t h e w h o l e q u e s t i o n w e r e h e n c e f o r t h e n t i r e l y t h e o l o g i c a l o r s o c i o l o g i c a l i n n a t u r e a n d t h e r e f o r e t o b e e x a m i n e d o n l y o n t h o s e g r o u n d s . T h e o u t w a r d i n t e n t i o n may h a v e b e e n e x e m p l a r y , b u t t h e s e n s u o u s a n d i m a g i n a t i v e e l e m e n t s k e e p o n o p e r a t i n g n o t o n l y t o r e v e a l i n w a r d q u a l i t i e s t h r o u g h e x t e r n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n , b u t a l s o t o m a k e t h e w o r k a r t i s t i c a n d t h e r e f o r e o f i n t e r e s t t o o t h e r s b e s i d e s t h e o l o g i a n s a n d h i s t o r i a n s . 7 A n i n t e r e s t i n g q u e s t i o n i s o f c o u r s e r a i s e d b y t h e w h o l e p r o b l e m o f t h e p o e t ' s i n t e n t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y w h e n h i s w o r k i s o f a n a g e r e m o t e f r o m o u r s a n d w h e n h i s m a t e r i a l i s i t s e l f l e g e n d a r y . A c c u m u l a t i v e a s s o c i a t i o n s a d h e r e t o m a n y o f t h e e p i s o d e s a n d c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e p o e m . T h e p o e t may v e r y w e l l h a v e b e e n u n a w a r e o f t h e m e a n i n g s a n d i m p l i c a t i o n s o f m u c h o f h i s s u b j e c t , b u t - h e ! w a s a f t e r a l l a n a r t i s t , n o t a s c h o l a r l y c r i t i c o f o u r c e n t u r y . L i k e a l l m en o f h i s t i m e h e p r o b a b l y r e a c t e d t o c e r t a i n s u b j e c t s a n d i m a g e s i n a n i n t e n s e w a y , a n d may h a v e f e l t , b e i n g a n a r t i s t , t h a t i n v a r i o u s c o m b i n a t i o n s t h e y p r o d u c e d a s t r o n g , e x c i t i n g i m p a c t b y t h e i r v e r y s u g g e s t l v e n e s s . T h i s d o e s n o t i m p l y t h a t t h e p o e t w a s n o t i n c o n t r o l o f h i s p o e m ' s d e s i g n . Q u i t e t o t h e c o n t r a r y , h e e x h i b i t s a n e x t r e m e l y c o m p e t e n t m a s t e r y o f h i s p o e t i c m e d i u m a n d d i s p l a y s a f i n e s e n s i t i v i t y i n r e g a r d t o t h e p o t e n t i a l i t i e s o f t h e t h e m e s a n d i m a g e s w h i c h h e s e l e c t e d f r o m t h e common c a c h e o f t h e p o e t r y o f h i s a g e . T h e f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r w i l l e x p l o r e t h e b a s i s o f t h e B e o w u l f ' p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i v e t e c h n i q u e s t o m a k e t h e s u b j e c t m o r e c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o t h e m o d e r n r e a d e r w h o s e f r a m e o f r e f e r e n c e i s d i f f e r e n t f r o m t h a t o f t h e A n g l o - S a x o n a u d i e n c e o f t h e poem* 8 C H A P T E R I I A STUDY OF SOME METHODS OF CONCRETE D E S C R I P T I O N WITH O C C A S I O N A L RECOURSE TO S T Y L I S T I C AND T H E M A T I C P A R A L L E L S I N T H E V I S U A L A R T S OF THE P E R I O D A s t u d y o f t h e B e o w u l f p o e t ' s m e t h o d o f c o n c r e t e d e s c r i p t i o n i s n e c e s s a r y t o f u l l y a p p r e c i a t e t h e r i c h n e s s a n d y e t c o n c i s e n e s s o f h i s a r t . W h a t e v e r t h e s u b j e c t , t h e p o e t t e n d s t o c h o o s e o n e o r m o r e c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s t o d e l i n e a t e t h e m o s t e s s e n t i a l a n d p r e d o m i n a n t c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , r e v e a l i n g a n i n s i g h t i n t o i t s v e r y n a t u r e * T h r o u g h t h e d e v i c e o f v a r i a t i o n , t h e p o e t i n d i c a t e s a t o n c e t h e m o s t d i v e r s e a n d p e r t i n e n t a s p e c t s o f h i s t h e m e . W i t h s t a b b i n g i n s i g h t , t h i s m a s s i n g o f I m a g e s a l l o w s t h e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f s u b t l e n u a n c e s a n d d i s t i n c t i o n s o f t h o u g h t w i t h i n a s h o r t s p a c e . T h i s r e v e l a t o r y a n d e v o c a t i v e m e t h o d p e r m i t s t h e a u d i e n c e t o p a i n t t h e r e s t o f t h e p i c t u r e o n c e i t h a s b e e n s t i m u l a t e d t o s e e a n d u n d e r s t a n d t h e m o s t p i e r c i n g l y s i g n i f i c a n t e l e m e n t s o f t h e w h o l e , a n d t o r e c a l l t h e m l a t e r . T h i s c h a p t e r w i l l e x e m p l i f y t h e u s e o f s u c h d e s c r i p t i o n s s i n g l y a n d i n c o m b i n a t i o n s w h i c h a r e s o m e -t i m e s n o n c o n t i n u o u s a n d s o m e t i m e s s e q u e n t i a l . I l l u s t r a -t i o n s w i l l a l s o b e g i v e n o f t h e s o r t o f t a n g i b l e c l u e s g i v e n a b o u t p e r s o n s i n c e r t a i n s i t u a t i o n s . R e c u r r i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a l s o a p p e a r i n t h e v i s u a l a r t s o f t h e p e r i o d , a s w i l l b e s h o w n . S o m e t i m e s w h o l e m o v e m e n t s o f Images are u t i l i z e d to u n d e r l i n e and u n i f y the thematic concerns of the poet. F i n a l l y , a more thorough and b a s i c a n a l y s i s of the makeup of the images themselves w i l l conclude the chapter. The most important aspects and overtones of events are concentrated i n t o synedochical images which focus a t t e n t i o n on the most choice and s i g n i f i c a n t p e r c e p t i b l e f e a t u r e s i n a noncontinuous way. In more recent cen-t u r i e s a d e s c r i p t i o n of a b a t t l e , f o r i n s t a n c e , would l i k e l y be described by a d e t a i l e d s e q u e n t i a l n a r r a t i v e of the a c t i o n . J u s t as the perception of the Anglo-Saxon audience was v a s t l y d i f f e r e n t so a l s o was t h e i r method of d e s c r i p t i o n , as when i t i s s t a t e d at the beginning of the epic t h a t S c y l d S c e f i n g "from many t r i b e s deprived the mead-benches" (1. 5)» This concrete d e t a i l has been s e l e c t e d to c a l l f o r t h e n t i r e events, both the a c t i o n s i n the mead-halls and the a f t e r - e v e n t s when, as i l l u s t r a t e d i n The Wanderer and a t the end of Beowulf, e x i l e d people who have been deprived of mead-benches must "not once but o f t e n t r e a d a strange land"* (1. 3019) devoid of "mirth and joy of song" (1. 3022). Nothing more need be s a i d , f o r what n a r r a t i v e o f wars and t h e i r aftermaths could say more? Much of Beowulf i s described i n t h i s f a s h i o n . A few examples w i l l s u f f i c e to make t h i s method c l e a r . A choice s e l e c t i o n of the most p e r t i n e n t and memorable s e n s i b l e d e t a i l i s made when i t i s l a t e r r e c a l l e d t h a t Beowulf braved and survived the "crash of b a t t l e " which sums up and e x t e r n a l i z e s the " d i f f i c u l t i e s " and " h o s t i l i t i e s " of 10 the Grendel episode ( 1 . 2350-51) . A t the t i m e , f o r those w a i t i n g o u t s i d e , i t was the sound ( 1 . 999) which t e r r i f i e d them. Thus the poet has r e s u r r e c t e d the most prominent sensuous f e a t u r e of the Grende l f i g h t over a thousand l i v e s l a t e r w i t h o u t any sense of c o n f u s i o n or s u r p r i s e because he made the f i r s t b a t t l e c o n v i n c i n g l y v i g o r o u s i n t h i s p o i n t e d way. Hrothgar d e s c r i b e s the war fare of G r e n d e l i n terms of i t s a f termath by the statement t h a t "when day shone, a l l the bench-planks steamed w i t h b l o o d " and consequent ly he "possessed the l e s s o f the l o y a l " ( 1 . 485-487) . T h i s p i c t u r e of s l a u g h t e r i n Heorot v i v i d l y sums up the n i g h t ' s d e f e a t by the sensuous immediacy of the p lanks s t i l l s teaming. By t h i s s e l e c t i o n of the most p e r t i n e n t d e t a i l s , as f a r as H r o t h g a r can p e r c e i v e them, the poet manages to suggest events of the p r e v i o u s n i g h t too b r u t a l to m e n t i o n . The added d e t a i l o f the b r i g h t day r e v e a l i n g such a scene o n l y makes the s l a u g h t e r more incongruously h o r r i b l e . I t i s t h i s sugges t ive c a p a c i t y of the poet to summon f o r t h h a l f - f o r m e d shapes which the audience i m a g i n a t i v e l y completes t h a t i s demonstrated throughout the e n t i r e e p i c . He r e l a t e s o n l y the most p e r t i n e n t c l u e s as when he g i v e s an i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c p i c t u r e of t e r r o r as " the shapes of darkness came s t a l k i n g , wan under the c l o u d s " ( 1 . 6 5 0 ) , repeated a t i n t e r v a l s i n v a r i a t i o n s and a l t e r n a t e d w i t h d e s c r i p t i o n s of what the w a r r i o r s are c u r r e n t l y d o i n g i n 11 t h e h a l l u n t i l the two a r e b r o u g h t c l o s e r t o g e t h e r — " t h e s t r i d i n g shadow-walker" and "the w a r r i o r s s l e e p i n g " ( 1 . 703) . Though G r e n d e l i s v i s i b l e m o s t l y through h i s hand and the e e r i e l i g h t l n h i s eyes , h i s e f f e c t on H e o r o t i s c o n c r e t e enough as the poet d e s c r i b e s such p h y s i c a l d e t a i l s as t h e doo r " f a s t w i t h f i r e - f o r g e d bands" g i v i n g way when he touc h e s i t ( 1 . 721-722), a d d i n g t h e r e b y t o the t e r r o r of the scene as the m a t e r i a l g i v e s way t o the monster. When t h e poet w i s h e s t o e n r i c h a passage, he p i l e s up s e v e r a l such c o n c e n t r a t e d images t o a c h i e v e the same e f f e c t as t h a t produced by a diamond shimmering and s p a r k l i n g as i t s f a c e t s a r e v a r i o u s l y i l l u m i n a t e d by the s h i f t i n g l i g h t . An i l l u s t r a t i o n o f t h e changing f o c u s o f j u x t a p o s e d d e s c r i p -t l v e s o c c u r s l n the passage i n wh i c h H r o t h g a r l o o k s a t the h i l t ( 1 . 1677-86). Here the t h r e e f o l d v a r i a t i o n c a l l s a t t e n t i o n t o the h i l t , t o H r o t h g a r , and t o G r e n d e l . I t i s a "golden h i l t , " v i s u a l l y e m p h a s i z i n g i t s m a t e r i a l and shape; an " a n c i e n t work of g i a n t s , " p o i n t i n g o u t i t s f o r m e r u s e r s ; and i t i s t h e "work o f th e wonder-smith," d e s i g n a t i n g i t s c r e a t o r and magic p r o p e r t i e s . H r o t h g a r i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d as "the o l d w a r r i o r , " which d e s c r i b e s h i s age and f u n c t i o n i n a g e n e r a l way; as "the h o a r y b a t t l e - l e a d e r , " w h i c h makes the " o l d " v i s u a l and t h e " w a r r i o r " more s p e c i f i c a l l y a c h i e f w a r r i o r ; as "the Da n i s h l o r d , " w h i c h I n d i c a t e s h i s f u n c t i o n on an even more grand s c a l e f o r n ot o n l y i s he a l e a d e r i n b a t t l e b u t a l s o t he l o r d of a s p e c i f i c p e o p l e ; '7 12 and f i n a l l y , as " the best of e a r t h l y K i n g s , " which extends, and u n i v e r s a l i z e s h i s K i n g s h i p . Grende l i s f e a t u r e d as " the h o s t i l e man," which emphasizes h i s temperament; as w e l l as "God's enemy, g u i l t y of m u r d e r , " which puts him i n t o a u n i v e r s a l context and i n d i c a t e s h i s c r i m e . T h i s d i s c o n t i n -uous method of d e s c r i p t i o n enables the poet t o . l d e s c r i b e not o n l y the prominent v i s u a l f e a t u r e s of an o b j e c t but a l s o to move back and f o r t h i n t ime to g i v e i t s h i s t o r y . V a r i a t i o n a l l o w s the poet to move i n , o u t , and around h i s s u b j e c t bo th e x t e r n a l l y and i n t e r n a l l y . An audience a c c u -stomed to t h i s s t y l e would r e c e i v e the i m p r e s s i o n of h a v i n g a thorough knowledge o f a sub jec t by acquaintance w i t h i t s major a s p e c t s . Another obvious p a r a l l e l w i t h r e s p e c t to the i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s of the f i g u r e s may be seen i n the i n t e r l a c e d e s i g n s . I n the i n t e r l a c e v a r i o u s s t rands are h i g h l i g h t e d , submerged, and h i g h l i g h t e d a g a i n , w i t h o t h e r s t r a n d s s i m i l a r l y f e a t u r e d . In t h i s way a l s o , v a r i o u s elements are Juxtaposed w i t h each o ther t o p r o v i d e c o n t r a s t , as i n the l i t e r a r y example j u s t d i s c u s s e d , Hrothgar as " the b e s t of e a r t h l y K i n g s " i s c o n t r a s t e d to Grende l as "God ' s enemy," thereby p l a c i n g them both i n t o the same u n i v e r s a l c o n t e x t . I f we can v i s u a l l y conce ive of these two threads as two p a r a l l e l o r s i m i l a r elements i n the d e s i g n , then the thread f e a t u r i n g the h i l t c r o s s e s and l i n k s them, as t h e m a t i c a l l y , i t does s ince i t i s the o b j e c t which was the p o s s e s s i o n f i r s t of Grende l and then of Hrothgar (see P l a t e I I ) . 1 3 While much of the v a r i a t i o n i n Beowulf i s d i s c o n t i n u o u s , i t i s o c c a s i o n a l l y employed w i t h s e q u e n t i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s as w e l l . When Beowulf and h i s men a r r i v e i n Denmark they see " l a n d , s h i n i n g s e a - c l i f f s , steep mountains , broad headlands" ( 1 . 2 2 1 - 2 2 3 ) . Here the poet , as S t a n l e y G r e e n f i e l d remarks, i n d i c a t e s : the s h i p ' s approach t o l a n d by a combinat ion o f s e r i e s and v a r i a t i o n , p a r a d o x i c a l as t h i s may sound: f o r the f i r s t t h i n g the s a i l o r s would see i s an amorphous ' l a n d ' ; as they got n e a r e r , the landscape would b e g i n t o shape i t s e l f i n t o • s e a - c l i f f s s h i n i n g * ; and when nearer y e t , the steepness of those v e r y harbour c l i f f s would f i r s t become apparent , then t h e i r b r e a d t h . . . . t h e Beowulf poet has i n d i c a t e d not o n l y the o b j e c t s of s i g h t but movement and s h i f t of p e r s p e c t i v e s i m u l t a n -eously . 1 A f t e r t h e i r p a s s i v e journey the men are a l l a c t i o n upon t h e i r a r r i v a l as they " q u i c k l y " s tep onto the l a n d , f a s t e n t h e i r s h i p , shake t h e i r " s a r k s " ( 1 . 2 2 5 - 2 2 6 ) . These dynamic c l a u s e s which l e a v e out the c o n j u n c t i o n s are e x p r e s s i v e of the manner of these men, r i p p l i n g w i t h l i f e , which the S c y l d i n g ' s warder sees . A t t h i s p o i n t i n the n a r r a t i v e i t i s the appearance and g e s t u r e s , not the inward c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , which are n o t e d . N e i t h e r the Beowulf audience nor the coast guard has as y e t come t o know the thoughts and past a c t i o n s of these h e r o e s . Only t h e i r s t y l e and appearance are e v i d e n t l n the d i s t a n c e shot i n which o n l y t h e i r " b r i g h t s h i e l d s " ( 1 . 231) are seen moving over the gangway. I n t h i s o b j e c t i f i e d non-omnisc ient v iew 1 S t a n l e y B . G r e e n f i e l d , " 'Beowulf• 207b-228: N a r r a t i v e and D e s c r i p t i v e A r t , " N&Q. March 1966, p . 8 8 - 8 9 . 14 I t i s Imposs ib le as y e t to see t h e i r f a c e s under t h e i r h e l m e t s . Much of the communication i n t h i s scene i s by v i s u a l g e s t u r e s , as when the warder demonstrates h i s a t t i t u d e and p o s i t i o n by m i g h t i l y shaking h i s spear ( 1 . 235-2 3 6 ) . The v i s u a l i d e n t i f i e s the c h a r a c t e r s f o r what they are s i n c e the o n l y t h i n g t h a t can be known of them i s what can be seen of them: they are i n armor and they were seen a r r i v i n g i n t h e i r " h i g h k e e l " ( 1 . 2 3 8 ) . I t i s v e r y l i k e many of the l o o s e o u t l i n e drawings o f the p e r i o d which g i v e the i l l u s i o n of model led forms w i t h s o l i d a r i t y , as Margaret R I c k e r t observes when she p o i n t s out t h a t the "Saxon a r t i s t ' s unique achievement was to embody by the merest l i n e a r sugges-t i o n , a l l the monumentality and s p i r i t u a l d i g n i t y of the , p a i n t e d c o n t i n e n t a l f i g u r e s " (See P l a t e s I and I I I ) . 2 In t h i s e n t i r e s e c t i o n the emphasis i s on the noble manner of the Geats who proceed i n a grand f a s h i o n . T h i s i s r e i n - . f o r c e d by s e v e r a l d e s c r i p t i v e enumerations of t h e i r weapons and armor, and of the road on which t h i s i m p r e s s i v e p r o c e s s i o n moves. The t o t a l e f f e c t of Beowulf i s one of much movement and a c t i o n which o f t e n s h i f t s I n n a r r a t i v e speed. To c a t c h t h e i r beauty and s i g n i f i c a n c e b e f o r e p a s s i n g o n , some scenes are momentari ly h e l d i n o n e p e r s p e c t i v e o r aspect and then s h i f t e d t o v a r i o u s o thers* worth o b s e r v i n g and n o t i n g . The numerous speeches which p e r i o d i c a l l y i n t e r r u p t 2 Margaret R i c k e r t , P a i n t i n g i n B r i t a i n : The M i d d l e  Ages (London: Penguin Books , 19~•), p . 6. 15 and occupy approximate ly o n e - t h i r d of Beowulf are not spoken i n a v o i d but are i n t r o d u c e d and succeeded by some d e f i n i t e i n d i c a t i o n of e i t h e r the s p e a k e r ' s person o r s e t t i n g . Even though the speeches slow down the n a r r a t i v e t ime f l o w , t h i s manner of i n t r o d u c t i o n f i t s them i n t o the n a t u r a l sequence of events and thus serves as a u n i f y i n g d e v i c e . A g lance a t the way i n which the poet s u c c e s s i v e l y i n t r o d u c e s and l e a v e s o f f the speeches a t the b e g i n n i n g of the ep ic w i l l demonstrate how, even i n t h i s r e s p e c t , he e s t a b l i s h e s r a p p o r t between the speakers and t h e i r p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l s u r r o u n d i n g s . We have a l r e a d y seen the coas t guard r i d i n g t o the shore and shaking h i s spear b e f o r e speaking t o the v i s i t o r s . T h i s p o i n t s the a t t e n t i o n of the audience t o the person of the speaker , h i s a c t i o n s , and h i s a t t i t u d e w h i l e l i s t e n i n g to what he has t o say . A f t e r h i s c h a l l e n g e our v i s u a l a t t e n t i o n i s s h i f t e d to one who appears to be " the h o s t ' s l e a d e r " ( 1 . 258-259) . A f t e r he .speaks the audience t u r n s t o see the r e a c t i o n of the " f e a r l e s s " coas t guard where he s i t s "on h i s h o r s e " ( 1 . 286-28?) . A f t e r t h i n g s are s e t t l e d i n h i s speech he d i r e c t s the Geats who depart from the s h i p which "remained" ( 1 . 301) . There f o l l o w s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f the w a r r i o r s on t h e i r way u n t i l the coast guard " t u r n e d h i s h o r s e , then s p o k e . . . " ( 1 . 315)• Al t ho u gh the poet mentions o n l y the a c t i o n of t u r n i n g the horse the audience completes the v i s u a l movement by i m a g i n i n g the coas t guard moving back t o the shore w h i l e the Geats proceed toward 16 H e o r o t . S i n c e he h e n c e f o r t h wants to concentra te on the G e a t s , immediate ly a f t e r the coast g u a r d ' s f a r e w e l l , he c a l l s v i s u a l a t t e n t i o n to the " s t o n e - v a r i e g a t e d s t r e e t " and to the men i n armor (1. 320 f f . ) . A f t e r a t ime they a r r i v e near the h a l l and are greeted by a man whose " p r o u d " b e a r i n g (1. 332-333) when he asks the Geats as to t h e i r r a c e , l i k e t h a t of the " f e a r l e s s " coast g u a r d , bespeaks the s t r e n g t h of the Danes.3 He i s answered by Beowulf whose w a r - s t r e n g t h i s emphasized as he stands heard under helme (1. 3^2), a p a r t i a l l y v i s u a l f e a t u r e which o f t e n t y p i f i e s t h i s hero and g i v e s re in forcement to what he s a y s . As i s now e v i d e n t , the speeches are i n t r o d u c e d and succeeded by some c l u e about the speaker o r scene t o which an audience can r i v e t i t s a t t e n t i o n . A s i g n i f i c a n t p o s i t i o n a l re la t ion?*\ to people i n the immediate l o c a t i o n of the speaker i s f r e q u e n t l y g i v e n , as when Hrothgar i s surrounded by h i s "-band.of e a r l s " (1. 357), h i s " h a l l -t r o o p " (1. 1317), and when Beowulf has around him "many a w a r r i o r " (1. 399), "many a brave seaman" (1. 689-690), as w e l l as when U n f e r t h s i t s "a t the f e e t of the S c y l d i n g ' s 3 Compare the exaggera t ion and importance of s tances and ges tures i n Anglo-Saxon a r t , as f o r example P l a t e I o f which Margaret R i c k e r t says ( p . 4 1 ) : "Nor has the a r t i s t missed the emot ional s i g n i f i c a n c e of the p i c t u r e : the V i r g i n ' s head i s bowed and h a l f - c o n c e a l e d | i n her mantle which she c l u t c h e s c o n v u l s i v e l y w i t h c lenched hands; John stands w i t h eager ly upturned f a c e , h o l d i n g w i t h o u t s t r e t c h e d arm the s c r o l l on which?has w r i t t e n h i s t e s t i m o n y , ' t h i s i s the d i s c i p l e who bears w i t n e s s ' ; and between and above the two towers the c r o s s b e a r i n g the p o w e r f u l l y p r o p o r t i o n e d f i g u r e o f the dead C h r i s t w i t h drooping head and s l i g h t l y sagging body—a God i n human f o r m . " 0 17 l o r d " (1. 501), bo th the "nephew and u n c l e " together (1. 1119-20), s t r e s s i n g t h a t l n t h i s s o c i e t y p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l p o s i t i o n are one. A s p e a k e r ' s r e l a t i o n to a p l a c e i s a l s o o f t e n i n d i c a t e d , as when Hrothgar stands on the s t a p o l e (1. 926) to v i e w . G r e n d e l * s hand, o r when the aged Beowulf s i t s on the head-l a n d (1. 2417) be fore the dragon f i g h t . I n these cases the c a r e f u l l y s e l e c t e d d e t a i l s are s i g n i f i c a n t to the theme and a c t i o n . Such bare i n d i c a t i o n s of p l a c e s are s i m i l a r t o the few l i n e s p l a c i n g the f i g u r e s of many manuscr ipt i l l u m i n a t i o n s on some s o r t of ground o r f l o o r . Margaret R i c k e r t observes t h a t i n the manuscr ipt drawings the " s e t t i n g s f o r scenes s c a r c e l y served t o do more than h e l p i d e n t i f y a f i g u r e o r e x p l a i n a s tory . " 2 * ' I t i s not necessary t o p r o v i d e exhaus t ive d e t a i l s when a few w i l l convey the i d e a t h a t there i s a l o c a t i o n which the audience can more s p e c i f i c a l l y f i l l i n a c c o r d i n g t o such p l a c e s as they have seen. T h i s tends to 4 P a i n t i n g i n B r i t a i n , p . 1. See P l a t e s I and I I I . The whole s e c t i o n from l i n e s 19^-300 c o u l d e a s i l y be rendered i n t o a s i m i l a r drawing i n which the f i g u r e s on the l e f t would become the wise men ibeholdlng the omen} the lower c e n t r a l w a r r i o r s , the Geats i n the b o a t ; and the descending f i g u r e on the r i g h t , the Danish coast g u a r d . I f i t were t o be done i n cont inuous o r t a p e s t r y f a s h i o n , there would be a Geat o r two l e a v i n g the c l i f f and e n t e r i n g the boat on the l e f t s i d e and perhaps Beowulf and a few Geats c r o s s i n g the gangway to the r i g h t s i d e . I f the v i s u a l n a r r a t i v e were to c o n t i n u e , the r i g h t s i d e would be extended to show the Geats marching i n t h e i r armor to a p o i n t i n the d i s t a n c e which would be H e o r o t , w i t h i n which H r o t h g a r would be s i t t i n g w i t h h i s Danes as Wulfgar makes h i s approach, e t c . The Beowulf poet g ives us enough concrete v i s u a l c l u e s about the s e t t i n g , c h a r a c t e r s , and o b j e c t s , as w e l l as the a c t i o n s , to see the e p i c i n j u s t t h i s i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c manner. The a l l u s i o n s and d i g r e s s i o n s i n the poem c o u l d be i n d i c a t e d by f i g u r e s i n the upper and lower borders as i n the Bayeux t a p e s t r y ^ (Plates IX]X>XI) . 18 relate one place to another and to make the individual representative of the general, with the implication that what is true in one case can, in i t s main outlines, be applied to another. The Information given about the persons of such speakers as Beowulf himself i s such that, while loosely descriptive of the general outlines of the hero of our epic, i t could apply to the heroic type of other times and places. The features of Beowulf could, just as the carved r e l i e f s of warriors on helmet plates such as the one from Vendel,(UppIand,I(Plate VIII), be applied to any hero of exceptional mould. It i s only necessary to determine the main aspects to identify the pattern. This i s shown when Hrothgar i s often described as "old and hoary." When a special visual impression i s wanted, the poet adds such details as are relevant to the desired effect, as Beowulf# upon his f i r s t entrance and before his f i r s t speech in Heorot i s depicted as heard under helmeT upon whom shines a "bymie" or "war-net sewed by the Ingenuity of the smith" (1. 404-406). Some of the other clues about the speaker include his bearing and attitude, as-evident in the case of the last survivor who ends his lament glomormod (1. 2267), or when Beowulf, nlbheard (1. 2417), sits on the headland and bids good luck to his hearth companions. These attitudes, as any actor knows, carry with them a certain definite stance. The speech i s often introduced or succeeded by the movements of the speaker ' or of his audience. This provides 19 some k i n e s t h e t i c r e l i e f f o r the s t a s i s of the speech, o f t e n g i v e s an i n d i c a t i o n of the emot ional s t a t e of the speaker , and sometimes r e i n f o r c e s the speech w i t h a c t i o n . T h i s i s i l l u s t r a t e d when Beowulf takes the " g o b l e t " from Wealhtheow and then d i s c o u r s e s about b a t t l e ( 1 . 628-631) . The t a k i n g of the g o b l e t , a l i n k between the two, p r o v i d e s a movement by which each person makes a p h y s i c a l and symbol ic e x t e n s i o n towards the o t h e r , the " f i e r c e w a r r i o r " and the g r a c i o u s queen. Subsequent to h i s speech, Wealhtheow, "who l i k e d these words w e l l , " goes " g o l d - a d o r n e d " to " s i t b y , h e r l o r d " ( 1 . 639-641) . Her movement has been towards Beowulf who has accepted the o b l i g a t i o n and promised t o a i d the Danes, and then back to H r o t h g a r who, as a peace-weaver, she has r e p r e s e n t e d . The movements, toge ther w i t h the speech, present such a scene of grace and cour tesy t h a t the people* reassured about B e o w u l f ' s purpose i n r e l a t i o n to them, take the cue as "noble words" are spoken and the happy "sounds of the v i c t o r - p e o p l e " are resumed ( 1 . 642-644) . A f t e r B e o w u l f ' s promise to d e s t r o y the dam a l s o , Hrothgar shows h i s tremendous emot ional s t a t e by l e a p i n g up and t h a n k i n g God ( 1 . 1397) . Not i n f r e q u e n t l y movement accompanying a speech i n v o l v e s the d i s p l a y i n g o f t r e a s u r e s which are the t o p i c , as when Beowulf commands H r o t h g a r ' s g i f t s , which are enumerated ( 1 . 2152-54) , to be borne i n f r o n t of Hygelac be fore he speaks to the k i n g , and subsequent to which movement i s a g a i n resumed as f o u r horses f o l l o w . The p a s s i n g of the 20 kingdom to W l g l a f I s accomplished by Beowul f *s a c t i o n of g i v i n g him the "go lden r i n g " from h i s neck, f o l l o w e d by the speech i n which he makes known h i s wishes ( 1 . 2809 f f * ) . The heaviness of the l a s t p a r t of the e p i c i s e v i d e n t i n the movements of the hero who a r i s e s a f t e r h i s f a r e w e l l speech " w i t h h i s s h i e l d " and bears h i s "war -sark under stony c l i f f s " ( 1 . 2538-40) , which i s t o t a l l y u n l i k e the eager Beowulf of the f i r s t p a r t who "hastened w i t h v a l o r ; nor ; ' - v would he w a i t f o r an answer" ( 1 . 1493-9*0, so anxious was he t o get i n t o the mere. Thus i t i s c l e a r t h a t the speeches are u s u a l l y accompanied by some i n f o r m a t i o n about the s p e a k e r ' s s o c i a l p o s i t i o n , p h y s i c a l l o c a t i o n , ^ a p p e a r a n c e , b e a r i n g , and a s s o c i a t e d movements. Not o n l y i s Beowulf f r e q u e n t l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d as heard  under helme but a l s o by some term d e s c r i b i n g h i s enormously p o w e r f u l h a n d g r i p . Whi le i t * i s l i k e l y t h a t t h i s l a t t e r i s d e r i v e d p a r t l y from h i s f o l k - t a l e c o u n t e r p a r t the ' B e a r ' s s o n ' , - * a p a r a l l e l can a l s o be seen i n the v i s u a l a r t s i n which a s i m i l a r m o t i f found a e s t h e t i c e x p r e s s i o n i n the "Helmet and Hands" s t y l e . As T . D . K e n d r i c k has argued , t h i s s t y l e d e r i v e s from a s i x t h - c e n t u r y E n g l i s h development of the f i f t h - c e n t u r y German b r a c t e a t e s which were i m i t a t i o n s i n embossed g o l d of the c o i n s and medals of the l a t e Rpman emperors such as t h a t of C o n s t a n t l u s I I i n which the " p o r t r a i t - b u s t w i t h e l a b o r a t e head-dress and r a i s e d hand was 5 In f o o t n o t e 3 , p . x i x , K l a e b e r q u e r i e s : " D i d Beowulf i n h e r i t h i s w r e s t l i n g s t r e n g t h from h i s f a t h e r ( c p . handbona 460)?" 21 conver ted Into the b a r b a r i c t r a v e s t y t h a t we see on the Taplow h o r n . " ^ The c r o u c h i n g quadrupeds t h a t appear on the margins of many equal-armed brooches and on o t h e r p i e c e s of Anglo-Saxon metalwork are amalgamations "o f the emperor and h i s h o r s e , and as a rough g e n e r a l i z a t i o n i t may be s a i d t h a t what we are now w i t n e s s i n g i s the Anglo-Saxon a b s u r d i t y of crowning the Teutonic animal w i t h an Emperor 's h a t . " 7 In t h i s s t y l e the heads and l i m b s are the most prominent elements l n des igns i n which p a r t s of the body are broken up i n t o s e c t i o n s , r e s u l t i n g from the technique of " l a t e roman Q c h i p - c a r v i n g v a r i e t i e s of p a t t e r n . " I t might be noted t h a t the f e a t u r e of c l e a r l y d i s c e r n i b l e o r exaggerated hands c o n t i n -ued I n the drawings oand c a r v i n g s of the whole of the 9 Anglo-Saxon p e r i o d and l a t e r . The date of the o r i g i n s of t h i s s t y l e i n the p l a s t i c a r t s i s i n t e r e s t i n g because i t c o i n c i d e s w i t h the g e n e r a l p e r i o d of the events pf the e p i c . The c p n c e n t r a t i o n on the head and hands as the most d i s t i n g u i s h i n g and f r e q u e n t l y mentioned p a r t s of both humans and monsters i s not unusual s ince i n t e l l i g e n c e and m o t i v a t i o n 6 T . D . K e n d r i c k , Anglo-Saxon A r t to A . D . 900 (London: Methuen and C o . L t d . , 1938) , P . 77 . See P l a t e s I V , e s p e c i a l l y v i i i ; V , V I , and V I I . 7 K e n d r i c k , p . 77* 8 K e n d r i c k , p . 78. 9 T h i s i s i l l u s t r a t e d , f o r i n s t a n c e , i n the drawings of the l a r g e hands i n the " P r e s e n t a t i o n of the Book to Pope G r e g o r y , " l n the enlarged g e s t u r i n g hands of S t . Dunstan k n e e l i n g be fore C h r i s t , o r l n the e x p r e s s i v e hands of " K i n g Edgar o f f e r i n g C h a r t e r to C h r i s t " (Margaret R i c k e r t , P l a t e s 19 , 2 2 , 2 5 ) . 22 d e r i v e from the head and a c t i o n from the hand. V i s u a l l y , i t i s a l s o c l e a r t h a t the most o u t s t a n d i n g f e a t u r e s of w a r r i o r s , such as those on the bronze p l a t e from b l a n d ( P l a t e V I I I ) , are t h e i r Impress ive s h i n i n g boar helmets and t h e i r hands w i t h weapons. In Beowulf words a s s o c i a t e d w i t h heads , i n c l u d i n g the he lmet , f a c e , o r neck , but e x c l u d i n g s o l e mention of eyes , occur some 77 t i m e s , w h i l e words a s s o c i a t e d w i t h hands, f i n g e r s , and s h o u l d e r s , but ex -c l u d i n g mention of extending weapons, occur 79 t i m e s . A l th o ugh they are not always mentioned t o g e t h e r , as when i t i s s a i d t h a t Beowulf 's .^ 'hand d i d not w i t h h o l d the s t r o k e , so t h a t the r ing-marked sword sang on h e r head" ( 1 . 1520-2 1 ) , o r t h a t H r u n t i n g "had endured many hand-encounters , o f t e n cut through a; helmet" ( 1 . 1525-26) , t h i s e x t r a -o r d i n a r y balance and number i s worthy of n o t i c e . Of t h i s number, "helmet" i s used f i g u r a t i v e l y 8 t imes i n the sense of " p r o t e c t o r . " O t h e r w i s e , "helmet? i s used f i g u r a t i v e l y o n l y t w i c e more, and hand f o u r t i m e s , as when i t . i s s t a t e d t h a t the "broad r e a l m " passed i n t o B e o w u l f ' s "hands" ( 1 . 2207-08) , not i n a p p r o p r i a t e l y i n d i c a t i n g "power" o r " c o n t r o l . " Of great i n t e r e s t i s the use of hands i n Beowul f . B e o w u l f ' s hands, mentioned s l i g h t l y over 20 t i m e s , have a s t r o n g e r g r i p than t h a t of any o t h e r man, i n f a c t , they have the s t r e n g t h of t h i r t y men. Wi th them he measures " s e a - s t r e e t s " ( 1 . 51*0, t e a r s out G r e n d e l * s arm,^crushes the Hugas ' champion, and g e n e r a l l y renders swords u s e l e s s . 23 T h e t o u c h o f G r e n d e l * s h a n d , a l s o m e n t i o n e d o v e r 20 t i m e s , I s s o p o w e r f u l t h a t H e o r o t ' s d o o r " f a s t w i t h f i r e - f o r g e d b o n d s " (1. 722) g i v e s w a y , a n d w i t h h i s h a n d s h e k i l l s t h e w a r r i o r s a n d t e a r s t h e m t o p i e c e s . T h e m e e t i n g b e t w e e n B e o w u l f a n d G r e n d e l i s l i t e r a l l y a " h a n d - f i g h t " (1. 2072). I t may a c c u r a t e l y b e s a i d t h a t t h e i n t e r e s t i n h e a d a n d h a n d s , w h i c h m a k e f o r h u m a n m a s t e r y o r d e f e a t , i s a p p a r e n t i n b o t h t h e v i s u a l a n d l i t e r a r y a r t s o f t h e p e r i o d . A n o t h e r p a r a l l e l t o t h e s i s t e r a r t s c a n b e f o u n d i n t h e s n a k e m o t i f . S n a k e - l i k e m o n s t e r s r e a p p e a r i n t h e p i c t o r i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s o f S c a n d i n a v i a i n t h e t h i r d c e n t u r y a f t e r h a v i n g v i r t u a l l y d i s a p p e a r e d a s a s u b j e c t s i n c e t h e B r o n z e A g e . 1 0 T h e r e i n t r o d u c t i o n o f t h e s n a k e m o t i f a n d i t s g r o w i n g p o p u l a r i t y i n t h e n e x t f e w c e n t u r i e s , n o t a b l y d u r i n g t h e p e r i o d o f t h e e v e n t s o f t h e e p i c , b r o u g h t a b o u t a m o d i f i c a t i o n o f t h i s f i g u r e s o t h a t a s e r i e s o f a n i m a l f i g u r e s d e v e l o p e d f r o m i t , t e s t i f y i n g t o a n i n t e r e s t i n m o n s t e r s g e n e r a l l y . T h e s n a k e f i g u r e w a s u s e d n o t o n l y f o r o r n a m e n t a t i o n b u t a l s o f o r t h e s u b j e c t o f t h e m o n s t e r k i l l i n g s o n s u c h b r a c t e a t e s a s t h o s e f r o m b l a n d a n d D e n m a r k d a t i n g a b o u t 500 A.D., o r o n t h e b r o n z e h e l m e t -p l a t e f r o m G r a v e N o . 1, V e n d e l , U p p l a n d , o n a l l t h r e e o f w h i c h a h e l m e t e d r i d e r i s a d v a n c i n g u p o n a s n a k e - l i k e c r e a t u r e ( P l a t e V I I ) . P a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e i n t h e h e l m e t - p l a t e f r o m V e n d e l i s t h e p r o m i n e n c e o f t h e d e g e n e r a t e d 10 K n u t S t j e m a , E s s a y s o n Q u e s t i o n s C o n n e c t e d w i t h t h e  O l d E n g l i s h P o e m o f " B e o w u l f " . J o h n R. C l a r k H a l l e d . a n d t r a n s T ( L o n d o n : C o v e n t r y , 1912), p . 156. boar Image on the he lmet , which appears I n a more r e a l i s t i c form i n the bronze p l a t e from b l a n d ( P l a t e V I I I ) . , and of the two accompanying b i r d s of p r e y , probably f a t e f u l r a v e n s , which make t h e i r way i n t o Beowulf a l s o . W h i l e t h i s does not c l e a r up the compos i t ion date of the e p i c i t does p o i n t to an e a r l y date f o r the o r i g i n s of the s t o r y about the S c a n d i n -a v i a n mat ter of B e o w u l f . The poet uses such images as have been mentioned and b r i n g s them toge ther i n c o n t r a s t i n g movements. An example of such a movement i s the making of Heorot " h i g h and h o r n -c u r v e d " ( 1 . 82) where in H r o t h g a r c o u l d " d i s t r i b u t e a l l " ( 1 . 71 ) , p a r a l l e l e d i n the C r e a t i o n by the Master A r c h i t e c t i n the song of H e o r o t * s scop who t e l l s : cwffib pat se M m i h t i g a eorban w o r h ( t e ) , w l i t e b e o r h t n e wang, swa waeter bebugej) gese t te s i g e h r e b l g sunnan ond monan leoman t o l e o h t e landbuendum, ond gefrsetwade f o l d a n seeatas leomum ond l e a f u m , l l f eac gescebp cynna gehwylcum para be cwice h w y r f a b . — ( 1 . 92-98) Both the c r e a t i o n of the h a l l and of the e a r t h are v i s u a l l y conceived and r e f l e c t the d u a l impulse of making something a t once b e a u t i f u l and u s e f u l . The c o n t r a s t i n g movement beg ins when the " b o l d demon" who " d w e l t i n darkness " c o u l d h a r d l y endure such songs and merriment ( 1 . 86-88) , and i s p i c k e d up a g a i n a f t e r the song of the C r e a t i o n of the " b r i g h t " e a r t h i n the t a l e of the c r e a t i o n of e v i l ( 1 . 106 f f . ) . The two movements come together when Grende l invades the " h i g h house" ( 1 . 116) and takes 30 of i t s thanes to h i s own dark d w e l l i n g . The b r i g h t m e a d - h a l l i s subsequently 25 deser ted by i t s i n h a b i t a n t s who "elsewhere a t a d i s t a n c e sought r e s t " ( 1 . 138-139) . A v i s i b l e scene of t h e i r m i s f o r t u n e i s the s l n c f a g e ( 1 . 16?) but " I d l e h a l l " ( 1 . 1^5) which Grende l occupies on "dark n i g h t s " ( 1 . 167) . The l a n d and i t s i n h a b i t a n t s are now " h e l d i n p e r p e t u a l n i g h t " ( 1 . 161 ) . Beowulf i n " b r i g h t l y decorated armor ( 1 . 214) comes to purge f i r s t the h a l l and than the e n t i r e l a n d of i t s o p p r e s s i o n by the monsters of darkness* I t must be understood t h a t , w h i l e the darkness i s s y m b o l i c , i t i s a l s o so p e r v a s i v e t h a t i t i s made concrete I n the form of monsters and I n the r e g i o n of t h e i r d w e l l i n g where the sun does not f i l t e r through and whose i n f l u e n c e spreads v i s i b l y over H e o r o t . W h i l e not r e a l i s t i c , i t i s a h i g h l y e f f e c t i v e p o e t i c r e n d e r i n g of the f o r c e s of l i g h t and order versus darkness and chaos . V i s u a l l y represented the ep ic stage can be Imagined as d a r k , b u t w i t h the c r e a t i o n of Heorot a n d , on a l a r g e r l e v e l , of the w o r l d , b r i g h t n e s s f l o o d s over a l l , then w i t h the a c t i v i t i e s of G r e n d e l and of the race of C a i n g e n e r a l l y , a shadowed a r e a appears which soon spreads over the l i g h t when G r e n d e l l a y s Heorot w a s t e . With the coming of Beowulf a spot of l i g h t occurs over the h a l l . A l t ho u gh Beowulf l e a v e s the l a n d i n b r i g h t n e s s , j u s t as e v i l began i n the f i r s t p l a c e , a spark of t r o u b l e smolders beneath the sur face which w i l l , as Beowulf f o r e c a s t s to H y g e l a c , d a r k l y smolder up a t some time i n the f u t u r e . 26 Another s o r t of v i s u a l movement i s v e r t i c a l l y and h o r i z o n t a l l y c o n c e i v e d . Evidence of growth and human achievement i s v e r t i c a l l y expressed when S c y l d ' s r i s e i s accompanied by I n t i m a t i o n s of h e i g h t and g l o r y as he "grew up under the c l o u d s " (1. 8), o r when some person had achieved under the heavens" ( e . g . , 1. 505) some noteworthy deed. A c t i o n , whether good o r e v i l , i s a concomitant o f l i f e and so i s not c a r r i e d out p a s s i v e l y or h o r i z o n t a l l y but happens when c r e a t u r e s l i t e r a l l y r i s e t o meet the needs o f the moment^  as when the poet says t h a t Beowulf remembered h i s evening speech and "s tood u p r i g h t " (1. 758-759). Courage i n Beowulf i s s i g n i f i c a n t l y conveyed by u p r i g h t motions as shown i n the h e r o ' s r e c o l l e c t i o n of the G r e n d e l f i g h t : "when I i n anger stood u p r i g h t " (1. 2092). B a l a n c i n g the excess ive heaviness and h o r i z o n t a l l t y of death and de fea t i n the l a s t p a r t a re the a c t i o n s of the heroes a t t e m p t i n g t o c o u n t e r a c t the i n e v i t a b l e , as when Beowulf "arose w i t h h i s s h i e l d " (1. 2538) and when " the s t o u t -hear ted stood a g a i n s t h i s h i g h s h i e l d " (1. 2566),, a f t e r which he " r a i s e d up h i s hand" (1. 2575) a g a i n s t the dragon but i s n e v e r t h e l e s s overcome. H i s death i s f u r t h e r p o s t -poned by Wigleif who " s t a n d i n g u p r i g h t mani fes ted v a l o r " (1. 2695). E a r l i e r i n the f i r s t p a r t B e o w u l f ' s c a l l to a c t i o n i s expressed l n s i m i l a r terms when he urged Hrothgar to " A r i s e " and "go q u i c k l y " (1. 1390). A s p l e n d i d p r o c e s s i o n i s made more i m p r e s s i v e by b e i n g v e r t i c a l l y p r e s e n t e d , as when Beowulf and h i s men 27 are d e s c r i b e d i n the f o l l o w i n g manner: " the mighty qne a r o s e , around him many a warr ior*" ( 1 . 399)• S i m i l a r e f f e c t s of awe and r e s p e c t are produced by a l l the p r o c e s s i o n s , i n c l u d i n g those of Hrothgar or Wea^theow and t h e i r t r a i n s . G l o r y i s f i g u r a t i v e l y conceived i n a v e r t i c a l and h o r i z o n t a l sense when i t i s o f t e n mentioned t h a t someone's g l o r y i s " r a i s e d up throughout the wide ways" ( 1 . 1703-04) . Large areas are h o r i z o n t a l l y expressed i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the spread of a r u l e r ' s power o r a h e r o ' s g l o r y . In the p r e c e d -i n g q u o t a t i o n i t i s seen t h a t the g r e a t e s t achievement p o s s i b l e i s t o have t h i s t o t a l i n f l u e n c e over a l l t h a t i s h i g h and w i d e . T h i s c o n c e p t i o n of g l o r y i s g i v e n concre te e x p r e s s i o n i n B e o w u l f ' s barrow which has the t r i p l e purpose of c o v e r i n g h i s body, be tokening h i s g l o r y , and s e r v i n g as a guide to s e a f a r e r s N i t towers " h i g h over Hronesness" ( 1 . 2 8 0 5 ) . The symbol ic and the p h y s i c a l a re a l s p combined when l e a d e r s are expected to be r a i s e d up h i g h e r than the r e s t of the men i n the h a l l by means of a h i g h seat from which t r e a s u r e i s d i s p e n s e d . Human mastery over mat ter i s noted by the a b i l i t y to r a i s e up something i n a p l e a s i n g and p r a c t i c a l form such as m e a d - h a l l s , s h i p s , a n d banners , which are c o n t i n u a l l y preceded by some a d j e c t i v e d e s i g n a t i n g h e i g h t . S ince i t has now been shown ( w i t h the o c c a s i o n a l a i d o f f e r e d by an a e s t h e t i c and themat ic recourse to the v i s u a l a r t s ) how the f e a t u r e d t a n g i b l e a s p e c t s of the 28 sub jec t s are p r e s e n t e d , i t l i s d e s i r a b l e t o e x p l o r e the compos i t ion of the images themselves . By f a r the most power fu l a r t i s t i c e f f e c t i n Beowulf i s achieved by means of s u b s t a n t i v e and a d j e c t i v a l compounds. I n a compound which f e a t u r e s the most prominent aspects of a s u b j e c t , f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h the r e f e r e n t p l a y s a g r e a t r o l e i n i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . P o s i t i v e l y , exper ience permi ts the s u p p l y i n g of more d e t a i l s even when o n l y s l i g h t d e s c r i p t i v e c l u e s are g i v e n . T h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y n o t i c e a b l e i n the kenning whose "essence" i s " i n c o n g r u i t y between i t s r e f e r e n t and t h a t which i t i s c a l l e d i n the base-word, and an a r t i f i c i a l r e s o l u t i o n of the i n c o n g r u i t y through the cho ice of l i m i t i n g w o r d , " but a l s o i n the kent h e i t i which "embodies not a s t r a i n e d image, not an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the r e f e r e n t w i t h something which i t i s n o t , but a j u s t metaphor o r m e t o n o m y . " 1 1 A s o c i e t y u n f a m i l i a r w i t h swords, f o r i n s t a n c e , would not immediately i d e n t i f y the kenning h i l d e l e o m a or " b a t t l e -gleam" w i t h a sword. To the A n g l o - S a x o n , however, the l i m i t i n g element h l l d e - s u f f i c i e n t l y l o c a t e s the - leoma so t h a t n o t h i n g c o u l d be more b r i l l i a n t l y obvious than t h a t a sword f l a s h i n g i n b a t t l e should be so d e s c r i b e d , e s p e c i a l l y when from a d i s t a n c e the whole sword as w i e l d e d by i t s p o w e r f u l master i s not seen but o n l y i m a g i n a t i v e l y "completed" from a g l impse of l i g h t momentari ly c a t c h i n g i t s b l a d e as i t descends upon i t s v i c t i m . Thus, when H u n l a f i n g s i g n i f i c a n t l y 11 D e f i n i t i o n s by A r t h u r G i l c h r i s t B r o d e u r , The A r t of  Beowulf ( B e r k l e y : U n i v . o f C a l i f . P r e s s , 1959) , P* 253 . 29 presents the " b a t t l e - g l e a m " t o Hengest , i t 3is in tended to arouse Hengest to the l i g h t n i n g - l i k e a c t i o n of b a t t l e . The second use of h l l d e l e o m a a l s o a p p l i e s t o a "weapon" t h a t gleams or " f l a m e s " — t h e b r e a t h of the d r a g o n ( l . 2583) : Nowhere e l s e i n extant poe t ry i s t h i s kenning u s e d . Al though the d e s c r i p t i o n of the s u b j e c t i v e aspec ts of Beowulf i s not the pr imary concern of the major p o r t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s , i t i s worth n o t i c i n g t h a t even i n t h i s f i e l d the Anglo-Saxon sometimes b r i n g s h i s immediate e x t e r n a l w o r l d i n s i d e t o make thoughts and emotions more v i v i d . Heremod's g r e e d , f o r example, i s r e f e r r e d t o by the e x p r e s s i o n b r e a s t h o r d blodreow o r " b l o o d t h i r s t y b r e a s t - h o a r d " ( 1 . 1?19) . 0'* Here there are dimi^shed v i s u a l r e f e r e n c e s i n " b l o o d , " w h i c h , as w i l l l a t e r become e v i d e n t , a l s o f u n c t i o n s as a c o l o r word f o r r e d , and i n "hoard" which suggests a l l the s h i n i n g t r e a s u r e s of which the N o r d i c s were so f o n d . T h i s l a t t e r shows t h a t the images a c q u i r e d from d a i l y l i f e are s t i l l , t o some e x t e n t , " d i r e c t l y v i s u a l . " 1 2 The term " b l o o d t h i r s t y " i n d i c a t e s the method and emotion f r e q u e n t l y i n v o l v e d i n o b t a i n i n g a h o a r d : b l o o d i s o f t e n s p i l t , an a c t which i s not l i k e l y t o be performed w i t h o u t some s t a t e of exci tement i n b o t h the k i l l e r and the v i c t i m , and a t a s t e f o r t h i s a c t i o n can be a c q u i r e d , as i s l i t e r a l l y t r u e of Heremod. As i s e v i d e n t by i t s many uses i n the e p i c b l o o d has power fu l e v o c a t i v e q u a l i t i e s l n any c o n t e x t . I t i s s e n s i b l e i n t h a t 12 Renwick, p . 22 . 30 i t can be seen, s m e l l e d , touched; i t i s e ssent ia ] , to l i f e ; and i t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the b r e a s t . " B l o o d - t h i r s t y b r e a s t -h o a r d " i l l u s t r a t e s the tendency of the poet to p o r t r a y and conceive even the i n n e r emot ional and s p i r i t u a l s t a t e s of h i s c h a r a c t e r s i n a sensuous f o r m . T h i s does not n e c e s s a r i l y mean t h a t the Anglo-Saxon audience of Beowulf r e a c t e d to " b l o o d t h i r s t y b r e a s t - h o a r d " as i f i t were a s i n g u l a r l y f r e s h and o r i g i n a l metaphor to be r e l i s h e d f o r a l l i t s s t i m u l a t i n g s e n s i b l e and mental a p p e a l . C e r t a i n l y the e f f e c t of many metaphors would be somewhat l e ssened w i t h repeated u s e , but when they are used i n an a p p r o p r i a t e c o n t e x t i n p o e t r y , and i n s t e a d of o r d i n a r y , a b s t r a c t words such as " g r e e d , " i t can s a f e l y be assumed t h a t , i f the poet i s not inadequate i n h i s a r t , they r e t a i n e d a t l e a s t some of t h e i r concre te q u a l i t i e s , o r e l s e the poet would have used the more common word ( s u r e l y some of the everyday words would e q u a l l y have served a l l i t e r a t i v e purposes)• That the s e n s i b l e r e f e r e n t s are Intended to be a t l e a s t p a r t i a l l y c a l l e d to mind i s e v i d e n t i n such d e s c r i p t i o n s as t h a t of H r o t h g a r ' s g r i e f over B e o w u l f ' s d e p a r t u r e , o therwise f o u r l i n e s (1. 1877-80) would not be devoted to d i f f e r e n t aspec ts of what i s o c c u r r i n g i n h i s b r e o s t - . Hrothgar cannot r e s t r a i n i t s -wylm , a term w h i c h , w i t h i t s r e l a t e d words r e f e r r i n g to the motions of the water so f a m i l i a r t o 31 the e a r l y Germanic peoples, i s o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h emotion and i s a s u i t a b l e d e s c r i p t i o n of the sense of excitement and Increased c i r c u l a t i o n . H r o t h g a r 1 s d i s t r e s s i s f u r t h e r dwelt upon by the v a r i a n t images of being r e s t r a i n e d or bound because he cannot go w i t h Beowulf or reasonably prevent him from going. This i s p o w e r f u l l y expressed by the hrebra hygebendum which are f a s t and beorn wib blode. so anxious i s he. To put i t one way, Hrothgar cannot r e s t r a i n h i s breostwylm or the e x c i t e d surgings w i t h i n him; to put i t another, the hrepre hygebendum. i . e . , the i n t e l l e c t u a l r e s t r a i n t s of h i s reason which knows Beowulf must go, are f i r m and s t r i v e a g a i n s t h i s d e s i r e , beorn wib blode. suggesting the heated, seething s t a t e of great emotion and f r u s t r a t i o n . Such v a r i a t i o n s y i n " t h e i r choice and t h e i r p l a c i n g i n r e l a t i o n to one another can be made to y i e l d expressive v a r i e t y of tone and t h a t counterpoint of meanings by which f i g u r e s of r h e t o r i c e n r i c h the sense w i t h c r o s s - l i g h t s and superimposed images."^ The compounds f r e q u e n t l y make concrete the a b s t r a c t , as i n the preceding example the a b s t r a c t hyge i s combined w i t h the t a n g i b l e bendum and t r a n s f e r r e d to d e s c r i b e the p o n d i t i o n of the hrebre. The compressed imagery of compounds g i v e s the d e s c r i p t i o n j a f u l l e r sense q u a l i t y . In t h i s tendency toward analogy the inner landscape i s g i v e n r h e t o r i c a l " c o l o r . " As has become evident i n the preceding d i s c u s s i o n , mental and emotional s t a t e s i n Beowulf are o f t e n described 13 Renwick, p. 71 . 32 i n c o n c r e t e t e r m s . T h o u g h t h e s e i n t e r n a l d e s c r i p t i o n s a r e n o t m e a n t t o b e t a k e n l i t e r a l l y , t h e r e i s a n e v o c a t i o n o f d e t a i l s t o b e i m a g i n a t i v e l y p i c t u r e d , w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t t h e p o e t r y i s made m o r e s t i m u l a t i n g a n d t h e m e a n i n g e n r i c h e d . T h e p o e t ' s u s e o f c o m p o u n d s f o r e x t e r n a l a n d i n t e r n a l s u b j e c t s i l l u s t r a t e s h i s c o n c e r n w i t h u s i n g a h i g h l y e l e v a t e d , f i g u r a t i v e , a n d c o n c i s e m e t h o d o f d e s c r i p t i o n t o c r e a t e a s t r o n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f h i s s u b j e c t , o f i t s s e r i o u s n e s s , a n d o f a n I m p l i e d s i m i l a r i t y o f nature i n i t s f e a t u r e s a s p e c t s t o o t h e r t h i n g s . " O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y , " i n o t h e r w o r d s , " h a s a n i n t e g r a t e d m e t a p h o r i c a l s y s t e m w h i c h d r a w s a l l c r e a t e d t h i n g s i n t o a u n i f i e d p o e t i c o u t l o o k o n n a t u r e , i n a n i m a t e o b j e c t s , h u m a n s o c i e t y , a n d d e s t i n y . " 1 4 A l l i t e r a t i o n a n d s t r e s s f u r t h e r c a u s e t h e c o m p o u n d s t o b e d w e l t u p o n a n d r e i n f o r c e d a u d i b l y . I f t h e a u d i e n c e i s f o r c e d t o l i n g e r u p o n a n i m a g e t h r o u g h t h e l e n g t h o f t i m e i t t a k e s t o g o o v e r a c o m p o u n d m e t a p h o r a n d t o i n t e r p r e t i t s i n g e n i o u s r e l e v a n c e , t h r o u g h v a r i a t i o n , t h r o u g h a l l i t e r a t i o n , a n d t h r o u g h s t r e s s , i t i s h i g h l y u n l i k e l y t h a t i t w i l l n o t h a v e r e a c t e d t o some o f t h e a s s o c i a t e d s e n s i b l e a s p e c t s . A f t e r t h i s b r i e f a n a l y s i s o f t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e B e o w u l f p o e t h a s e x p e r t l y c h o s e n t o f e a t u r e t a n g i b l y c e r t a i n a s p e c t s o f h i s s u b j e c t , p a r t i c u l a r l y t h r o u g h t h e u s e o f c o m p o u n d s , i t r e m a i n s f o r t h e s u c c e e d i n g c h a p t e r s t o 1 4 D e n i s H o w a r t h , " R i d d l e s , " U n p u b l i s h e d E s s a y , T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , 1966, p . 3. e x p l o r e the p o e t ' s mode of p e r c e p t i o n , and the d e s c r i p t i o n of the s p a t i a l and temporal i n the w o r l d of B e o w u l f . 34 CHAPTER I I I PERCEPTION OF THE WORLD IN BEOWULF To examine t h e p o e t i c d e s c r i p t i o n s o f an e r a so f a r removed f r o m o u r own i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o i n v e s t i g a t e t h e method of d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h d e r i v e s f rom t h e manner i n w h i c h a p e o p l e a r e accustomed t o p e r c e i v i n g t h e w o r l d around them. Much of t h e s t r a n g e n e s s o f t h e p o e t r y o f t h e A n g l o - S a x o n s i s t h e r e s u l t o f a d i f f e r e n c e i n t h e way t h e y r e c e i v e d and gave meaning t o t h e i r s e n s o r y e x p e r i e n c e s and, c o n s e q u e n t l y , i n t h e p o e t i c form t h e y chose t o g i v e t o d e t a i l s s e l e c t e d f o r d e s c r i p t i v e a t t e n t i o n . The i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n s o f s e n s a t i o n s depends l a r g e l y upon t h e e x p e r i e n c e s and needs of a p e o p l e . Due t o t h e needs o f a c e r t a i n way o f l i f e c e r t a i n senses t e n d t o be sharpened. Out o f t h e w e l t e r o f s t i m u l i r e a c h i n g o u r sense o r g a n s , our p e r c e p t i o n o f them i s s e l e c t i v e and we a t t e n d t o o n l y t h o s e few w h i c h make i t p o s s i b l e f o r u s t o p e r c e i v e t h e w o r l d i n a c o h e r e n t , u n i f i e d , and b a s i c a l l y s a t i s f y i n g way. 1 I t i s , f o r example, an i n d i c a t i o n o f an e c o n o m i c a l l y and t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y c u l t u r e when soap and d eodorant a d v e r t i s e m e n t s make t w e n t i e t h - c e n t u r y man e x c e s s i v e l y c o n s c i o u s o f t h e sense of s m e l l . I t would be t o t h e advan-t a g e of t h e Anglo-Saxon, on t h e o t h e r hand, t o have a 1 Edro I c S i g n o r i , P s y c h o l o g y 1 0 0 , A Correspondence Course o f t h e U n i v . o f B.C., Paper 1 7 , P* 2 . 35 d u l l e d s e n s i t i v i t y t o s m e l l i n t h i s p a r t i c u l a r r e s p e c t . I n keeping w i t h t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n i t may be noted t h a t , as P . A . March puts i t : " I n t h i s po le l a n d i s found no b r e a t h  of f r a g r a n c e . There i s but one mention of s m e l l . A dragon i s s a i d t o s m e l l o r f o l l o w the scent of h i s enemy's 2 f o o t p r i n t s . " To t h i s may be added the "deadly r e e k " ( 1 . 2661) through which W i g l a f wades to h e l p h i s l o r d a g a i n s t the d r a g o n . S i m i l a r l y , t o appeal f l a t t e r i n g l y t o the f l a v o u r - d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c a p a c i t i e s of a p r o s p e c t i v e gourmet, modem food adver t i sements emphasize the t a s t e of t h e i r products which may be heightened by s p e c i a l s p i c e s and p r e s e r v i n g technique I n Beowulf , except f o r humans eaten by monsters , there i s no d e s c r i p t i o n of s o l i d f o o d , mueh l e s s of i t s t a s t e a n d , w h i l e b e e r , a l e , w i n e , and mead f l o w f r e e l y , t h e r e i s no mention of t h e i r t a s t e . The most important f e a t u r e of Anglo Saxon f e a s t s seems to have been not the t a s t e of the food but the s o c i a l c o n v i v i a l i t y of the o c c a s i o n . The s o r t of a t t e n t i o n p a i d to the i n f o r m a t i o n r e c e i v e d from the senses h e l p s form part? of the concept of the na ture of r e a l i t y . The predominant senses at tended t o i n f l u e n c e not o n l y the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the w o r l d but a l s o , n e c e s s -a r i l y , the d e t a i l s of d e s c r i p t i o n recorded by the poet p e r c e i v i n g h i s w o r l d . A more thorough study of the percep-t u a l processes a t the b a s i s of the d e s c r i p t i o n s o f the 2 F . A . March, "The World of B e o w u l f . " Am. P h i l o l o g i c a l  A s s o c . T r a n s a c t i o n s and P r o c e e d i n g s . 13, TT882), Appendix p . x x i l . 36 Beowulf poet i s i n o r d e r . Perhaps the most s i g n i f i c a n t sense e v i d e n t i n Beowulf Is the v i s u a l . Beowulf i s a v e r y v i s u a l poem. Our ances tors d i d not l i v e i n the realms of the m i n d . Be ing a f a i r l y p r i m i t i v e people to whom s e c u r i t y and comfort were not to be taken f o r g r a n t e d , the sense of s i g h t was v e r y Important i n the s t r u g g l e f o r l i f e , as when Beowulf , i n the n i c k of t ime sees the " o l d sword of the g i a n t s " ( 1 . 1558) which saves h i m . One of the c a l a m i t i e s of age i s t h a t " the b r i g h t n e s s of eyes f a i l s and darkens" ( 1 . I 7 6 6 - 6 7 ) . That the poet i s v e r y aware of the importance of s i g h t i s e v i d e n t by the f requent use of words a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e e i n g . No verb of see ing i s used i n the modern sense i n which the v i s u a l element i s o f t e n e n t i r e l y l o s t as when someone today says , " I s e e , " i n the sense of unders tanding o r of s p i r i t u a l r e v e l a t i o n . In Beowulf there i s always some p e r s o n , t h i n g , p l a c e , o r a c t i o n t h a t i s the ob jec t of s e e i n g . This adds to the r i c h sense q u a l i t i e s of the poem. The most f r e q u e n t verb of s i g h t , geseon, * to see, 3 b e h o l d , p e r c e i v e , * used 35 t imes and d i s t r i b u t e d evenly throughout the e p i c , c a l l s upon the sense of s i g h t d i r e c t l y . A t t e n t i o n i s drawn to the Geats* s i g h t i n g of the l a n d of the Danes ( 1 . 221) , an i n d i c a t i o n of a s u c c e s s f u l voyage. The welcome f e a t u r e s of the l a n d w i t h i t s ' s h i n i n g s e a -c l i f f s , steep mountains , broad headlands" ( 1 . 222-223) are 3 D e f i n i t i o n s i n t h i s s e c t i o n are from the " G l o s s a r y " of K l a e b e r * s e d i t i o n . p l e a s a n t l y dwel t upon, and p r o v i d e a v i s i b l e , s t a b l e , and s o l i d c o n t r a s t to the " b i l l o w y sea" ( 1 . 2 1 ? ) . Another i n d i c a t i o n of a task performed w e l l , a n d of sa fe ty , i s the s i g h t i n g of the "headlands" ( 1 . 571) by B e o w u l f , a t the end of the Breca e p i s o d e . The poet f e e l s i t necessary to add t h a t t h i s shows "Wyrd o f t e n p r o t e c t s an undoomed w a r r i o r when h i s v a l o r a v a i l s ! " ( 1 . 571-572). Qui te d i f f e r e n t are the overtones a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p l i g h t of Hengest and h i s Danes whose misery i s , c o n c r e t e l y d e s c r i b e d i n terms of t h e i r be ing f o r c e d " t o see the l a n d of the F r i s i a n s " ( 1 . 1126) f o r the e n t i r e w i n t e r . A l s o a c t i n g as a reminder of a t r a g i c s i t u a t i o n i s the " s o n ' s bower, the wasted w i n e - h a l l , a r e s t i n g p lace o f . t h e w i n d s " ( 1 . 2455-56) upon which the o l d man h e l p l e s s l y gazes w i t h o u t b e i n g a b l e to e f f e c t the r e t u r n appearance of h i s l o v e d one. The seeing of h i s l a s t b a t t l e - p l a c e by Beowulf i s e m o t i o n a l l y powerfu l because of i t s sensed s i g n i f i c a n c e by the h e r o . Of p a r t i c u l a r impact i s the s i n g l i n g out of the " a r c h of s tone" ( 1 . 25^5) as the o b j e c t of h i s g a z e . T h i s i s n a t u r a l s i n c e t h i s i s the exact spot from which the dragon w i l l emerge b u t , because Beowulf w i l l d i e t h e r e , t h i s image has a l l the o t h e r w o r l d l y connota t ions of the entrance to a d a r k , a l i e n w o r l d t h a t i s as myster ious and unknown as i t s i n h a b i t a n t . In a d d i t i o n , the remains of Beowulf h i m s e l f w i l l be p laced l n a s i m i l a r barrow of e a r t h and a n c i e n t s tone , thus t i g h t e n i n g the connect ions 38 between the dead h e r o , the dead g u a r d i a n , and the dead r a c e . A f t e r Beowulf i s wounded the hero a g a i n l o o k s a t the a r c h , though the poet uses a d i f f e r e n t verb of s i g h t . The s i g -n i f i c a n c e of the a r c h i s r e i n f o r c e d by t h i s v i s u a l a t t e n t i o n a t c r u c i a l moments. As i s ev ident by now the poet does not s imply use geseon and the p lace seen c a r e l e s s l y , o r p u r e l y f o r ornamental purposes o r sensual a p p e a l , but to p o i n t out a p l a c e f o r h i s audience to l o o k a t i m a g i n a t i v e l y , to contemplate as the l o c a t i o n of some p a r t i c u l a r human f e a t o r s i t u a t i o n . The c h a r a c t e r s i n the e p i c have t h i s r e a l i z a t i o n of the importance o f t h a t which i s seen. The same f e e l i n g of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h a t which i s seen i s a t tached t o the t h i n g s as w e l l as to the p l a c e s seen. Jewels and o ther t r e a s u r e s are 5 t imes the o b j e c t s of geseon; H r o t h g a r * s g i f t s to Beowulf ( 1 . 1023) , men-t i o n e d a g a i n as g o l d ( 1 . 1484-85) , the p r e c i o u s p r o p e r t y Beowulf sees i n the dam's mere abode ( 1 . 1613) , the many p r e c i o u s jewels W i g l a f sees i n the d r a g o n ' s barrow ( 1 . 2756-57) , and, hanging h i g h over the d r a g o n ' s hoard) the g i l d e d banner whose gleam enables W i g l a f t o observe the t r e a s u r e ( 1 . 2767-70) . As g i f t s , j ewels and s i m i l a r t r e a s u r e s may be outward tokens of "manly v i r t u e " ( 1 . i486) f o r one ' s l o r d and f o r a l l to see . As b u r l e d t r e a s u r e , j ewels c a r r y connota t ions of mystery , of w e a l t h , of power, of u s e l e s s -n e s s . The f requent mention of such t h i n g s b e i n g seen g i v e s the e p i c a heavy tone of t i m e . The g l i t t e r of j ewels s p a r k l e s f o r t h as reminder? of human tragedy and t r a n s i e n c y , and yet 39 a l s o of human mastery which enabled such jewels to be f a s h i o n e d . The awesome power of the G e a t i s h w a r r i o r s i s s p l e n d i d l y presented when "the S c y l d i n g ' s warder saw b r i g h t s h i e l d s borne over the gangway" ( 1 . 2 2 9 ) . The metonomy makes the i d e n t i t y and r o l e of the s t r a n g e r s v i s i b l y e v i d e n t . The s i g h t of "a v i c t o r y - b l e s t sword" ( 1 . 1557), o r as Beowulf l a t e r r e c a l l s i t , of a "mighty o l d sword" ( 1 . 1663) , as a l r e a d y mentioned, saves Beowulf , w h i l e l n another i n s t a n c e , the s i g h t of a r i n g - s w o r d i s the cause of a renewed feud between the Danes and Inge ld s i n c e i t i s taken as a f l a u n t i n g s i g n by the o l d s p e a r - w a r r i o r ( 1 . 2041) . H o r r o r i s i n s p i r e d by the appearance of the v a r i o u s monsters : by the "worm-kind" who swim on the mere ( 1 . 1425) , and by the two "great mark-s teppers " ( 1 . 1347 -48) . I t i s , on the o ther hand, a grea t p r i v i l e g e f o r the Geats to be a l l o w e d entrance to behold the mighty Hrothgar w i t h h i s w a r r i o r s i n the h a l l ( 1 . 3 9 6 ) . I t i s another k i n d of p l e a s u r e f o r Grendel t o p e r c e i v e "many w a r r i o r s i n the h a l l " ( 1 . 728) l n " the hope of a f i l l of f e a s t i n g " ( 1 . 73*0 . The appearance of Beowulf i n arms i n s p i r e s the Danish c o a s t -guard w i t h v i s i o n s of g r e a t n e s s . When Beowulf l e a v e s , Hrothgar i s anxious because he might not see B e o w u l f - a g a i n ( 1 . I 8 7 5 ) . Beowul f " s p h y s i c a l presence i s assurance a g a i n s t any f o r e i g n o r dark powers. "The s p l e n d i d band of thanes r e j o i c e d t h a t they might behold the p r i n c e s a f e " ( 1 . 1627-28) because the appearance of t h e i r l e a d e r means t h a t he has come through a l i v e , c o n -40 s e q u e n t l y , order and s t a b i l i t y i n t h e i r comita tus are p r e s e r v e d . Hygelac thanks God t h a t he can p e r c e i v e Beowulf " s a f e " ( 1 . 1627-28) because, once a g a i n , t h i s means t h a t Beowulf i s a l i v e and v i c t o r i o u s . The good l i f e i s summed up by the l a s t s u r v i v o r who says t h a t h i s people "saw h a l l - J o y " ( 1 . 2252) which i m p l i e s , q u i t e l i t e r a l l y , t h a t joy i s something t h a t can be t a n g i b l y p e r c e i v e d , t h a t l i v i n g b o d i e s do t h i n g s t h a t cause joy so t h a t i t can , i n e f f e c t , be seen m a n i f e s t e d , as i n t h i s case , i n the h a l l . Much a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d by the Beowulf poet to the appearance of de fea t and of the process of d y i n g . There i s a k i n d of f a s c i n a t i o n a t the s i g h t of a b e i n g t h a t was a l i v e and now i s n o t , t h a t had power and now has mastery no more. I t i s a s i g h t t h a t can be seen one l a s t time be fore i t decays and d i sappears f o r e v e r . Both the poet and the c h a r a c t e r s i n t h i s e p i c l i n g e r on such a s i g h t i n a r u m i n a -t i v e f a s h i o n as l f i t somehow c o n t a i n s the mystery of what l i f e i s a l l about . E m o t i o n a l l y i m p r e s s i v e i s the scene i n which H r o t h g a r , a f t e r a decade of hav ing h i s h a l l r a i d e d by the f i e n d i s h G r e n d e l , stands on the s t a p o l e ' and makes a speech w h i l e l o o k i n g a t h i s " s teep r o o f s h i n i n g w i t h g o l d and G r e n d e l * s hand" ( 1 . 925-2? ) . G r e n d e l * s h a n d ; i s the o b j e c t of more verbs of s i g h t than j u s t geseon. H e r e 0 the s i n g l i n g out of Hrothgar as the one to see the hand i s dramat ic because, w h i l e i t i s an o b j e c t of wonder to many, i t cannot be more important to anyone than to the k i n g whose concern i s not o n l y f o r h i m s e l f but f o r the e n t i r e kingdom. We see Hrothgar l o o k i n g a t the hand, and the people l o o k i n g a t both the hand and H r o t h g a r . The hand i t s e l f i s s i g n i f i c a n t because i t i s through the use of t h i s ins trument t h a t G r e n d e l performed h i s s l a u g h t e r among the Danes. With the hand u s e l e s s , l i f e l e s s , the a c t i n g power of the monster i s exhausted. What a f e e l i n g of v i c t o r y and y e t a l s o of wonder to be a b l e to see and i d e n t i f y the source of so much t r o u b l e i The d y i n g Grende l i s t w i c e the o b j e c t of geseon. The poet says t h a t Beowulf " p a i d him h i s reward" when he saw "war-weary Grende l l y i n g " ( 1 . 1584-86) . A f t e r he t o r e out G r e n d e l * s arm Beowulf wishes t h a t Hrothgar h i m s e l f c o u l d have seen " the foe i n h i s t r a p p i n g s k i l l e d " ( 1 . 962) . T h i s i s i n t e r e s t i n g because i t i m p l i e s t h a t v a l o r o u s a c t i o n i s something to be p e r s o n a l l y w i t n e s s e d . I t i s even b e t t e r proof of courage than any t r e a s u r e a man might c a r r y . I t i s comparable i n p e r c e p t u a l o u t l o o k to t h a t e x h i b i t e d i n the l a t e t e n t h - c e n t u r y o u t l i n e drawing of the C r u c i f i x i o n i n the Ramsey Abbey (?) P s a l t e r i n which S t . John h o l d s a s c r o l l on which he has w r i t t e n : " T h i s i s the d i s c i p l e who bears w i t n e s s . " 2 * The i m p l i c a t i o n i s t h a t see ing i s b e -l i e v i n g . That the s i g h t of something i s taken to prove i t s t r u t h i s e v i d e n t when the wise men see " t h a t the 4 Margaret R i c k e r t , p . 30 . See P l a t e I . 42 t o s s i n g waves were a l l s t i r r e d up" ( 1 . 1593) and a c t a c c o r d i n g l y — t h e y l e a v e . The d y i n g dragon i s a l s o t w i c e t h e o b j e c t o f geseon. The G e a t s come upon t h e scene o f s l a u g h t e r and see a "s t r a n g e c r e a t u r e t h e r e , t h e worm on th e p l a i n o p p o s i t e '• . l y i n g l o a t h s o m e l y ; t h e f i r e - d r a g o n . . . " ( 1 . 3038-40). The t r i p l e v a r i a t i o n c a l l s a t t e n t i o n t o t h e dragon, as i f b o t h t h e poet and th e men a r e i n t r i g u e d by t h i s c r e a t u r e d y i n g on t h e p l a i n . There f o l l o w s a d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e dragon and of t h e a c t i v i t i e s he performed w h i l e h e ' l y f t w y n n e h e o l d ( 1 . 30^3) . The l a s t t i m e t h e men see t h e dragon p e r i s h i n g i t l e a d s them t o t h e a c t i o n o f s h o v i n g t h e dragon o v e r t h e c l i f f ( 1 . 3126-3133)• The s i g h t o f d y i n g l o v e d ones makes t h e g r i e f more p o i g n a n t . The poet f r e q u e n t l y p r e s e n t s a t a b l e a u o f t h e l i v i n g w a t c h i n g o v e r t h e dead o r d y i n g . 5 i n the morning H i l d e b u r h sees t h e " s l a u g h t e r o f h e r kinsmen" ( 1 . 1079) } w h i c h i s t h e v i s i b l e e v i d e n c e o f h e r t r a g i c f a m i l y p l i g h t . W i g l a f sees " h i s l o r d s u f f e r i n g t h e h e a t under h i s war-helm e t " ( 1 . 2064-65) and l a t e r , he l i v e s t o see "on e a r t h t h e one he l o v e d most o f a l l , a t t h e end o f h i s l i f e , f a r i n g w r e t c h e d l y " ( 1 . 2822-24). T h i s i s where human mastery ends, a t d e a t h . Even the l i v i n g a r e h e l p l e s s b e f o r e i t . The l a c k o f s i g h t , more p a r t i c u l a r l y o f l i g h t , means danger, a s when G r e n d e l i s d e s t i n e d t o come " a f t e r t h e y 5 Edward B. I r v i n g , J r . , A Reading o f Beowulf (New Haven and London: Y a l e U n i v . Press*, 1968) , p. 166 and 206. 43 c o u l d no l o n g e r see the l i g h t of the sun" ( 1 . 648) . The presence of a " f i r e - l i g h t " ( 1 . 1516) enables Beowulf to see and thus to cope w i t h G r e n d e l " s dam. Verbs a s s o c i a t e d w i t h geseon are seon. geondseon, and o f e r s e o n . Seon. " to see, to l o o k , * i s used 12 t i m e s . P o r the most p a r t the o b j e c t s are s i m i l a r t o those of geseon. Before e x p i r i n g the wounded Beowulf s i t s on a seat by the w a l l and l o o k s on "the work of giants^how the stone arches on f i r m p i l l a r s h e l d the e t e r n a l earth-house w i t h i n " ( 1 . 2715-1 9 ) . The d e s c r i p t i o n of the stone arches i s not j u s t o r n a -m e n t a l . The o l d man l o o k s once more upon the e a r t h , s p e c i -f i c a l l y , t h a t p l a c e where he was m o r t a l l y wounded, as though to take measure of whether t h i s p lace was worthy of the a c t i o n . That the arches "on f i r m p i l l a r s " may p r o v i d e a t r a n s i t i o n to the o t h e r w o r l d and suggest f i n a l i t y i s i m p l i e d by " e t e r n a l . " A g a i n there i s a n i c e touch i n the i m p l i c a t i o n t h a t the o l d man l o o k i n g toward t h i s " e t e r n a l ear th -house" w i l l soon be d e s t i n e d to be p a r t of a comparable one. G r e n d e l a l s o , " d e p r i v e d of j o y , " must go t o "see h i s d e a t h - p l a c e " ( 1 . 1275), as though the l a s t p l a c e where one e x i s t s has a s p e c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . As i tems of I n t e r e s t , the Geats go to "see and seek the heap of c u r i o u s ;gems" ( 1 . 3102) l e f t i n the b a r r o w . G r e n d e l ' s hand i s a g a i n a " c u r i o u s wonder" ( 1 . 920) f o r w a r r i o r s to see, as i s h i s head a "wondrous s p e c t a c l e " ( 1 . 1650) f o r men to l o o k upon. There seems t o be an almost morbid i n t e r e s t i n t h i n g s s t r a n g e , f o r e i g n , wondrous, o r h o r r i b l e . T h i s i s e v i d e n t i n the i m a g i n a t i v e a t t r a c t i o n 44 to the " f e a r f u l wonder" t h a t may be seen each n i g h t on the mere: " a f i r e on the f l o o d " ( 1 . 1 3 6 5 - 6 6 ) . There i s an obvious c h i l d l i k e , p r i m i t i v e f e a r and d e l i g h t a t s p e c t a c l e s w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l o v e r t o n e s . A s i m i l a r enthralment i s w i t h b l o o d shed by v i o l e n c e , as when the people l o o k on "hot g o r e " where "the f l o o d w e l l e d w i t h b l o o d " ( 1 . 1 4 2 2 - 2 3 ) , the b l o o d of the dismembered jEschere. The technique of v a r i a t i o n c e n t e r s a t t e n t i o n upon the o b j e c t of s i g h t and i n t e r e s t . The appearance of people i s an index o f i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l w e l l - b e i n g , as when Hrothgar commands t h a t the Geats be brought i n to see "the band of kinsmen assembled t o g e t h e r " ( 1 . 3 8 7 ) . L a t e r Beowulf t e l l s Hygelac t h a t he never saw "among h a l l - s i t t e r s g r e a t e r mead-joy" ( 1 . 2 0 1 ^ -1 6 ) • Wulfgar says of the Geats t h a t he never "saw f o r -e i g n e r s , so many men, b r a v e r " ( 1 . 3 3 6 - 3 3 7 ) ; thus s i n g l i n g out t h e i r main c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and d e s c r i b i n g i t as some-t h i n g to be seen and embodied. I n c o n t r a s t , shame i s a l s o v i s i b l e , as when W i g l a f l o o k s on the "unloved ones" ( 1 . 2 8 6 3 ) . The p o e t ' s cho ice of a verb of s i g h t i s extremely apt because the e n t i r e h u m i l i a t i o n and b e t r a y a l of t r u s t i s apparent i n the s imple statement : "he saw the unloved ones" ( 1 . 2 8 6 3 ) . T h i s i s f a r more e f f e c t i v e than i f he had j u s t s a i d : "he spoke to the unloved ones" and l e f t i t a t t h a t (see 1 . 2 8 6 1 -2 8 6 3 ) . As they stand there i n the armor Beowulf gave them, t h e i r g u i l t y presence and l a c k of a c t i o n are exposed f o r a l l to see, not o n l y i n t h e i r t ime but f o r a l l t ime as i t w i l l be 45 r e l a t e d l n t a l e s men t e l l ( 1 . 2888-90). Geondseon I s used l n the sense * to look o v e r V a s when W i g l a f goes w i t h i n the barrow and l o o k s over the t r e a s u r e ( 1 . 3087) . T h i s i s a f i t t i n g verb because, under the c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the most prominent sense s t i m u l a t e d would be s i g h t . Oferseon means s imply " to b e h o l d , to l o o k o n , t o see", as i n d i c a t e d when Beowulf says t h a t the Geats "them-s e l v e s saw when I came out of b a t t l e , s t a i n e d from f o e s , where I had bound f i v e " ( 1 . 419-420) . Here the v i c t o r i s a b l o o d - s t a i n e d embodiment of h e r o i s m . I t i s because the wise men had w i t n e s s e d the f i v e captured a q u a t i c foes as evidence of B e o w u l f ' s mastery and s t r e n g t h t h a t they c o u n -s e l l e d him to seek Hrothgar ( 1 . 415 f f . ) . A f u r t h e r s i g h t which encourages the wise men to suggest Beowulf seek Hrothgar i s t h a t of the "omen" ( 1 . 204) which i s the o b j e c t of the second most f requent verb of s i g h t , sceawlan, ' t o l o o k a t , v i e w , examine, see , b e h o l d 1 , used 19 t imes and a l s o d i s t r i b u t e d throughout the e n t i r e e p i c . A d d i t i o n a l proof of B e o w u l f ' s s t r e n g t h and s u i t a b i l i t y f o r the venture i s g i v e n t h i s t ime to the Danes a l s o by the s i g h t of the " t e r r i b l e s t r a n g e r " o r n i c k e r Beowulf k i l l s as a p r e l i m i n a r y a t the mere ( 1 . 1440) . A f t e r G r e n d e l ' s r a i d s the Danes "beheld the t r a c k of the f o e " ( 1 . 132) i n the sense t h a t they behe ld what he l e f t i n h i s wake as evidence of h i s presence . Subsequent t o B e o w u l f ' s encounter w i t h h i m , any one who behe ld " the t r a c k s of the i n g l o r i o u s one" ( 1 . 843) d i d not f e e l sorrow f o r G r e n d e l because the b l o o d -46 s t a i n s t h i s t ime are of Grende l h i m s e l f . In f a c t , people came from f a r and near to behold t h i s "wonder" ( 1 . 840) . Beowulf counse ls H r o t h g a r t h a t a l l should go "see the way" ( 1 . 1391) to G r e n d e l 1 s dam. That i t i s d e f i n i t e l y something to be seen i s i n d i c a t e d by the d e s c r i p t i o n of the p r e c a r i o u s r o u t e . A t the mere i t s e l f Beowulf "went b e f o r e w i t h a few wise men t o see the p l a c e " ( 1 . 1412-13) , i m p l y i n g t h a t not o n l y i s i t a s i g h t to be seen but a l s o one i n v o l v i n g danger . As u s u a l , G r e n d e l 1 s hand l i s the o b j e c t o f sceawlan a l s o , but t h i s t ime i t i s mentioned t h a t s i l e n c e p r e v a i l s . Beowulf i s s i l e n t and does not g i v e a " b o a s t i n g speech of war-works" ( 1 . 980-984) a f t e r the nobles see h i s s k i l l by the s i g h t of the hand . Here the s i g h t i s indeed worth a thousand w o r d s . To see the cause o f so much t r o u b l e , Beowulf l a t e r goes " t o behold the dragon" ( 1 . 2402) . When both Beowulf and the dragon p e r i s h , " the t r o o p a l l a r o s e " to "behold the wonder" of the two t o g e t h e r , the v i c t o r and the v a n q u i s h e d , bo th dead ( 1 . 3032) . The bes t and most f i t t i n g way to behold a dead k i n g i s on a pyre ( 1 . 3007-09) . Treasure i s 8 t imes the o b j e c t of sceawlan. When Hrothgar beholds " the h i l t " ( 1 . 1687) on which was w r i t t e n i n r u n i c l e t t e r s " the o r i g i n of the a n c i e n t s t r i f e " ( 1 . 1688-89) he h i m s e l f s t a r t s m o r a l i z i n g , a l l the w h i l e examining the h i l t which seems to have i n s p i r e d h i m . When the o r n a -mental cup i s g i v e n h i m ; " t h e p r i n c e behe ld the a n c i e n t work o f men f o r the f i r s t t i m e " ( 1 . 2285-86) . Thus the past communicates w i t h the p r e s e n t , but i n an u n f a v o u r a b l e way 47 s i n c e t h i s p e n e t r a t i o n i n t o t h e p a s t o n l y b r i n g s d e s t r u c t i o n t o a k i n g and h i s p e o p l e . But a t l e a s t t h e cause o f so much s u f f e r i n g can be s e e n — t h e r e i s n o t the o b j e c t l e s s "Angst" o f th e t w e n t i e t h c e n t u r y . The poet s t a t e s t h a t he who would p l u n d e r t h e hoa r d "would r a t h e r n o t have f o r m e r l y b e h e l d t h e owner's l e g a c y " ( 1 . 3074-75) because o f t h e c u r s e . B u t , th r o u g h o u t t h e l a s t p a r t o f th e e p i c , t h e sense t h a t i t i s t o o l a t e p r e v a i l s and i s upon W i g l a f when he s t a t e s ; "We h o l d t h e h i g h d e s t i n y ; t h e hoard i s •S-een" ( 1 . 3084) . There I s no r e v e r s i n g a c q u a i n t a n c e w i t h t h e h i d d e n t r e a s u r e . Almost as s t r o n g as t h e s p e l l i s t h e overwhelming d e s i r e o f Beowulf t o see t h e h o a r d . He t e l l s W i g l a f t o "go q u i c k l y t o b e h o l d t h e hoard under t h e ho a r y s t o n e " ( 1 . 2743-44) and t o "be now i n h a s t e " so t h a t Beowulf may "behold w e l l t h e b r i g h t gems o f a r t f u l work" oond.so "may t h e s o f t e r " r e s i g n h i s " l i f e and p e o p l e " ( 1 . 2747-5 1 ) . He e x p e c t s some compensation f o r h i s l i f e i n t h e p l e a s u r e o f b e i n g a b l e t o a p p r e c i a t e t h e i r b e a u t y and a r t -f u l n e s s . The o l d k i n g has a c q u i r e d something f o r h i s p e o p l e , t h e s e gems w h i c h a r e t h e h e i g h t o f human mastery o v e r i n t r a c t a b l e m a t t e r . H i s l a s t speech i s g i v e n w h i l e b e h o l d i n g the " g o l d " ( 1 . 2793) . I t i s t h e l a s t t h i n g he see s . A f t e r w a r d s W i g l a f g u i d e s t h e G e a t s t o where they can "gaze enough on r i n g s and b r o a d g o l d " ( 1 . 3104-05) . Behealdan . used once, means 'b e h o l d * . A f t e r G r e n d e l had a r r i v e d Beowulf "beheld...how t h e e v i l - d o e r would f a r e under sudden a t t a c k " ( 1 . 736-738) i n o r d e r t o be a b l e t o 4 8 determine^by the manner i n which G r e n d e l does away w i t h Hondsc io , what countermoves he h i m s e l f should make. An extended gaze or l o o k seems to be i m p l i e d by the verbs l o c l a n , used once, w l l t a n , used three t i m e s , and g i o n d w l i t a n . used once. Beowulf o f f e r s Hrothgar the s o u -v e n i r s of the mere "as a taken of g l o r y f o r you to look upon h e r e " ( l . 1654) . There are two aspec ts to t h i s . F i r s t , the " s e a - o f f e r i n g s " are meaningful not o n l y i n themselves but f o r what they represent to the s o c i e t y . F o r the Danes, f o r the k i n g , and f o r Beowulf they i n d i c a t e human mastery and v i c t o r y over s t r a n g e , a l i e n b e i n g s who t h r e a t e n from o u t s i d e the s o c i e t y . Secondly , they are the v i s i b l e evidence of t h i s and so are p l e a s u r a b l e and i n t e r e s t i n g to l o o k a t . W l l t a n i s used f o r B e o w u l f ' s gaze through the u n d e r -water d w e l l i n g , d u r i n g which he s p i e s G r e n d e l and c u t s o f f h i s head ( 1 . 1572 f f . ) . The wise men up above have been l o o k i n g i n t o the water a l l t h i s t ime ( 1 . 1592) and , see ing the b l o o d , conclude the w o r s t . Another i n s t a n c e i n which a t a b l e a u c a r r i e s the dramat ic impact i s when the Geats l o o k a t W i g l a f where he s i t s " w e a r i e d , the f o o t - c h a m p i o n , near the shoulder of h i s p r i n c e r o u s i n g him w i t h w a t e r ; he d i d not succeed a t a l l " ( 1 . 2852-54) . No words can convey the emot ional r e a c t i o n of g r i e f , shame, and l o s s as w e l l as t h i s s i l e n t p i c t u r e . E a r l i e r i n the cave the j ewels are the o b j e c t of g i o n d w l i t a n ( 1 . 27?1)» I n the l a s t p a r t of t h i s e p i c there i s a c u r i o u s j u x t a p o s i t i o n of s t i l l t h i n g s : the 4 Q j e w e l s , Beowulf , the dragon . The l i v i n g people can o n l y move h e l p l e s s l y around them and look a t them. S t a r l a n most ly r e f e r s to an i n t e n t and/or c o n t i n u e d •gaze* or ' l o o k * , such as t h a t of the " g u e s t s " who " s t a r e d a t the mere" ( 1 . 1603) , hoping to see t h e i r f r i e n d l y l o r d . An a p p r e c i a t i v e l o o k a t Thryth ( 1 . 1935) proves d e a d l y . A t the v i c t o r y f e a s t are g o l d ornamented "webs on the w a l l s " and o ther t h i n g s " f o r each of men to s t a r e a t such t h i n g s " ( 1 . 996) . Beowulf p o s t u l a t e s t h a t l f he d i e s , when Hygelac " s t a r e s a t the t r e a s u r e " ( 1 . 1485) the hero i s r e q u e s t i n g Hrothgar to send to h i m , h i s mind w i l l g i v e r i s e to thoughts of i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e and of the s o r t of l i f e Beowulf must have l i v e d toward the end. Hrothgar thanks God t h a t he "may gaze" a t " t h i s head c l o t t e d w i t h g o r e " ( 1 . l ? 8 0 - 8 l ) , and Beowulf thanks the " P r i n c e of A l l " t h a t he may "gaze" a t " these ornaments" ( 1 . 2794 -96) . These l a s t few examples r e i n f o r c e the i d e a t h a t the sum t o t a l of l i f e i s very much the sum t o t a l of momentous s i g h t s one has " l i v e d to s e e . " The nouns of v i s i o n are not n e a r l y as numerous as the v e r b s . The most f r e q u e n t i s a n s y n . 'appearance , f o r m , s i g h t ' • One of the most o u t s t a n d i n g f e a t u r e s about Beowulf.i which the coas t -guard Immediately n o t i c e s and judges b y , i s h i s " p e e r -l e s s appearance" ( 1 . 280-281) . Hrothgar thanks God f o r the " s i g h t " of G r e n d e l ' s hand ( 1 . 928 ) . Death means t h a t one i s no l o n g e r seen by anyone, as when the poet says t h a t the dragon was no l o n g e r a b l e to d i s p l a y " h i s countenance" ( 1 . 2834) . R e i n f o r c i n g the i d e a t h a t death removes a l l 50 v i s i b l e evidence and means, as f a r as man can p e r c e i v e , the end of t h i n g s , i s the mention t h a t there was no " s i g h t " of the dragon l n the barrow " f o r the sword had taken him o f f " ( 1 . 2772) . Wundorslon serves to sum up the d e c o r a t i o n s of Heorot prepared f o r the v i c t o r y f e a s t ( 1 . 995)• Here t h i n g s such as go lden t a p e s t r i e s are meant f o r pure v i s u a l d e l e c t a t i o n and f o r a p p r e c i a t i o n of the human a r t i s t r y which enabled the p r o d u c t i o n of these works , as w e l l as f o r the e x c i t e -ment of p r i d e i n the n a t i o n a l w e a l t h . The o n l y o ther nouns a s s o c i a t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y w i t h s i g h t are eyes , mentioned 4 t i m e s . One of the h o r r i f y i n g aspec ts about G r e n d e l i s t h a t " a h o r r i b l e l i g h t " sh ines " f rom h i s eyes" ( 1 . 726-727). H r o t h g a r i s g l a d to be a b l e to gaze w i t h h i s "eyes" on G r e n d e l * s "head c l o t t e d w i t h g o r e " ( 1 . I78O-8 1 ) . As a l r e a d y s t a t e d , one of the m i s f o r t u n e s of age i s t h a t " the b r i g h t n e s s of eyes" may "oppress and d a r k e n " ( 1 . 1766 7 7 ) . Death was the outcome of those who dared look a t Thryth " w i t h eyes by day" ( 1 . 1925) . A d j e c t i v e s of s i g h t are next to the v e r b s i n f r e q u e n c y . They serve t o i n d i c a t e t h a t the noun i s something to be seen. Most o f t e n employed l n t h i s c a p a c i t y i s gesyne, ' v i s i b l e , e v i d e n t ' . I t i s p a r t of the purpose of B e o w u l f ' s mound t h a t i t be " v i s i b l e f a r and wide to s e a f a r e r s " ( 1 . 3158). Gesyne i s used 5 t imes w i t h some i n d i c a t i o n of h o s t i l i t y or m i s -f o r t u n e b e i n g v i s i b l e or e v i d e n t . A f t e r jEschere's decease i t "was e v i d e n t , w i d e l y known to men, t h a t an avenger y e t l i v e d " 51 ( 1 . 1255-57)* The t r a c e s of the dam and of the l i f e l e s s , thane are " w i d e l y v i s i b l e a long the f o r e s t t r a c k " ( 1 . 1403) . By the s i g h t of the d e s t r u c t i o n " the war w i t h the dragon was w i d e l y v i s i b l e " ( 1 . 2316) . "The b loody t r a c e of the Swedes and Geats " was a l s o " w i d e l y seen" ( 1 . 2946-4?) . By the p e r c e p t i b l e r e s u l t s i t "was e v i d e n t t h a t the venture d i d not t h r i v e f o r those who had w r o n g f u l l y h idden there w i t h i n t r e a s u r e under the w a l l " ( 1 . 3058-60) . R e l a t e d to gesyne i s epgesyne or ' e a s i l y v i s i b l e ' . In b o t h i t s uses i t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h armor w h i c h , a l o n g w i t h o t h e r s h i n i n g t r e a s u r e s , predominates as a v i s u a l f e a t u r e i n Beowul f . On the f u n e r a l p i l e t h a t H i l d e b u r h must w i t n e s s i t "was easy to see the b l o o d - s t a i n e d s a r k , the swine a l l g o l d e n , the boar i r o n - h a r d , many a noble des t royed by wounds" ( 1 . 1110-13) . P a r t i c u l a r l y n o t i c e a b l e i s the v i s u a l prevalence of armor over men. J u s t as the Danish c o a s t - g u a r d saw animated armor moving towards him over the gangway, so here a l s o the man-made armor i s seen as an e x t e n s i o n of man, or r a t h e r , as the most important and e v i d e n t p a r t of h i m , showing him as p o w e r f u l and a s c r i b i n g t o him h i s i d e n t i t y , h i s s t a t u s , and h i s f u n c t i o n . On the f u n e r a l p i l e , however, the k i n e t i c energy i n h e r e n t i n men i n armor i s contravened by death and d e s t r u c t i o n . Entangled together on the pyre are f l e s h and m e t a l , bo th b l o o d - s t a i n e d . P a r t of the e f f e c t i s d e r i v e d from the m i n g l i n g of d i f f e r e n t t e x t u r e s , c o l o r s , and shapes .^ A l s o juxtaposed are k i n d r e d f r i e n d s and 6 See a l s o the next s e c t i o n on c o l o r mixturesvp-'->l^<y t^. 52 enemies. A l l the elements on the pyre upon which H i l d e -burh must be l o o k i n g A w i t h mixed f e e l i n g s are reduced to non-u s e , and w i l l soon be converted to ashes . D e s t r u c t i o n has n o t , l n another i n s t a n c e , reduced the c a p a b i l i t i e s of "the h i g h war helmet , the r i n g e d b y r n i e , the s t o u t war-wood" ( 1 . 12^5-46) which "were on the bench, above the n o b l e s , e a s i l y v i s i b l e " ( 1 . 12^3-44) because the nobles themselves , f u l l of p o t e n t i a l energy, are on ly s l e e p i n g . Here the v i s u a l a t t e n t i o n i s s imply drawn to those i tems w h i c h , on a moment's n o t i c e , the w a r r i o r s can r e a c h . ? , E v e r y t h i n g t h a t i s seen i n Beowulf i s meant to be a p p r e c i a t e d f o r i t s own v i s u a l q u a l i t i e s and f o r i t s impor-tance to the people concerned. The way i n which the c h a r a c -t e r s g i v e meaning to the t h i n g s seen forms an i n t e g r a t e d out look l n regard to the t a n g i b l e aspec ts of t h e i r w o r l d and g i v e s the e p i c i t s p a r t i c u l a r t o n e . * The p laces where the a c t i o n s occur are v i s u a l l y l o c a t e d , i n c l u d i n g the s i g h t i n g of the Danish and G e a t i s h l a n d s , H e o r o t , the mere, the d r a g o n ' s barrow, B e o w u l f ' s d e a t h -p l a c e , and the f u n e r a l p y r e s . By paying a t t e n t i o n to these p l a c e s i t i s p o s s i b l e f o r the audience to p i c t u r e the b a c k -ground s e t t i n g i n much the same way t h a t the main l o c a t i o n s are i n d i c a t e d on the Bayeux Tapestry (see P l a t e s I X , X) w h i c h , f o r example " ' s u g g e s t s ' b u i l d i n g s , but does not seek to show them as they were . I t suggests t h a t H a r o l d ' s r 7 See Appendix I f o r words which are i m p l i c i t l y , p o s s i b l y , o r sometimes used w i t h v i s u a l o v e r t o n e s . 53 house was b i g by g i v i n g i t a colonnade and a f l i g h t o f s t a i r s l e a d i n g t o the G r e a t H a l l . " 8 S i m i l a r l y , i n the b a t t l e scene, the E n g l i s h f o o t s o l d i e r s make a stand as a h i l l o c k suggested by a wavy brown l i n e . No h e r o o r monster s t a n d s o r a c t s g i n empty space. V i s u a l knowledge of p l a c e s g i v e s some degree o f c o n t r o l i n t h e s e a r e a s , whereas th e unknown dark p l a c e s a r e cause f o r f e a r . O f t e n the i d e n t i t y and r o l e of c h a r a c t e r s i s i n v o l v e d w i t h knowledge o f t h e i r environment. The background comes t o t h e f o r e g r o u n d when i t i s c o n t e m p l a t e d f o r I t s e l f , as i n t h e case o f H e o r o t i n i t s b u i l d i n g and d e f e n c e , and o f B e o w u l f ' s d e a t h - p l a c e when he l o o k s a t t h e stone a r c h e s on f i r m p i l l a r s w h i c h h o l d t h e e t e r n a l earth-house w i t h i n , and a s k s W i g l a f t o go v i e w t h e E o a r d and t o b r i n g some o f the a n c i e n t w e a l t h out so he can see i t too ( 1 . 2 7 1 5*ff.). V i s u a l a t t e n t i o n p a i d t o the c h a r a c t e r s c e n t e r s on d e s t r u c t i o n i n some a s p e c t . P e o p l e a r e admired i n armor and w i t h weapons wh i c h i n d i c a t e power and d e s t r u c t i v e p o s s i b i -l i t i e s . The p r esence of Beowulf, who c u t s a h e r o i c f i g u r e , i s v a l u e d by h i s c o n t e m p o r a r i e s c h i e f l y because o f h i s a b i l i t y t o d e s t r o y f o e s , which he does w i t h g r e a t z e s t . H i s mighty a s p e c t i m p r e s s e s the D a n i s h c o a s t guard and h i s c o n t i n u e d p r e sence a t H e o r o t would be d e s i r a b l e t o H r o t h g a r f o r s e c u r i t y ' s sake. That he t h i n k s o f h i m s e l f i n t h i s way i s e v i d e n t when, even i n o l d age, he r e s o l v e s t o d e s t r o y t h e dragon by h i m s e l f . Q u a l i t i e s such as v a l o r a r e e x h i b i t e d 8 Norman Denny and J o s e p h i n e F i l m e r — S a n k e y , The Bayeux  T a p e s t r y (London: C o l l i n s , 1966) , p. 9\tee V^J. 54 by the heroes* a c t i o n s , w h i l e hate and h o s t i l i t y are m a n i -f e s t e d through the d e v a s t a t i o n s of the monsters . V i s u a l a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d to v a r i o u s monsters s:eye,^cil" V . \ l -t i m e s , w i t h s p e c i a l exphasis on G r e n d e l 1 s dismembered hand and head, and on the p e r i s h i n g dragon as v i e w e d , a long w i t h dead Beowulf , by the G e a t s . Even scenes of happy f e a s t i n g , such as B e o w u l f ' s d e s c r i p t i o n of Hrothgar w i t h h i s w a r r i o r s d i s p l a y i n g "mead-j o y , " are undercut by r e f e r e n c e s to past s t r i f e and Impl ied f u t u r e t r o u b l e s . Happy t imes occur o n l y i n the memories of the l a s t s u r v i v o r who can view o n l y remnants of former g r e a t n e s s , and of the o l d man who sees o n l y h i s s o n ' s empty h a l l . So many v i s u a l r e f e r e n c e s to the p a s t , t o the hoary Hrothgar i n the f i r s t p a r t and t o Beowulf i n the second, to d y i n g monsters and heroes , foreshadow:the end of the n a r r a t i v e when Beowulf h i m s e l f w i l l be of the past and ,no l o n g e r d i s -c e r n i b l e to any except i m a g i n a t i v e l y i n t a l e s l i k e t h i s . I t i s not mentioned t h a t he went to heaven except i n s o f a r as the poet says "the sky swallowed up the smoke" (1. 3155). As f a r as the poet and h i s c h a r a c t e r s are concerned, l i f e b e g i n s , c o n s i s t s o f , and ends w i t h i t s s e n s i b l e m a n i f e s t -a t i o n s , as l e a s t as f a r as the p e r c e p t u a l vocabulary i n d i c a t e s Beyond l i f e , i t i s not known f o r c e r t a i n "who r e c e i v e d t h a t cargo" (1. 5 2), as i s s a i d of S c y l d S c e f i n g . Mystery surround a l l t h i n g s not c l e a r l y perce ived by the senses . Treasures , i n c l u d i n g j e w e l s , weapons, and armor are p o i n t e d out by words of seeing a l a r g e number of t i m e s . They a r e p o s i t i v e i n d i c a t i o n s o f a more l a s t i n g human achievement and s e r v e t o span and t o l i n k t o g e t h e r s e v e r a l t i me p e r i o d s , t h u s p r o v i d i n g a u n i f y i n g element t h r o u g h o u t t h e e p i c . T h i s backward and f o r w a r d r e f e r e n c e i n time and p l a c e i s e x e m p l i f i e d by Wealhtheow's g r a c i o u s g i f t s w h i c h a r e compared t o t h e t r e a s u r e c o n t a i n i n g the n e c k l a c e o f t h e B r o s i n g s t h a t was borne o f f by Hama and which l a t e r H y g e l a c had on h i s F r i s i a n e x p e d i t i o n . V a r i o u s o b j e c t s o f t r e a s u r e a r e used by the poet s i m u l t a n e o u s l y as v i s u a l d e t a i l s and as symbols o f a c u l t u r e I n w h i c h g r a c i o u s n e s s and genero-s i t y l e a d t o the g i v i n g o f such g i f t s as rewards f o r "manly v i r t u e " and as bonds between p e o p l e . T r e a s u r e s a l s o s e r v e t o u n d e r l i n e themes and t o s y m b o l i z e r e l a t i o n s h i p s , as t h e o l d s p e a r - w a r r i o r d o esn't h e s i t a t e t o remind t h e champion* I n t e g r a t e d a l s o i s d e s c r i p t i o n w i t h c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n when, f o r I n s t a n c e , t h e appearance o f Beowulf i n armor i s b o t h v i s u a l l y s t r i k i n g and i n d i c a t i v e o f h i s i d e n t i t y , s t a t u s , f u n c t i o n , and power. I n t h i s way what a c h a r a c t e r f e e l s about a scene o r p e r s o n m i n g l e s w i t h h i s v i s u a l i m p r e s s i o n s . O f t e n a person's s e n s i t i v i t y t o s u r f a c e appearances i s c o n v e r t e d i n t o an i n s t r u m e n t f o r t h e r e v e l a t i o n o f m o r a l meanings t h r o u g h t h e c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f the essence of the o b j e c t s b e f o r e him, as when H r o t h g a r b e h o l d s t h e h i l t and g i v e s h i s "sermon," o r when Beowulf v i e w s t h e hoard and r e f l e c t s upon the exchange of h i s " o l d a l l o t e d l i f e " ( 1 . 2800) f o r t h e g o l d . What was s a i d o f Henry James a p p l i e s t o t h e Beowulf poet whose a r t a l s o c o n s i s t s i n " h i s m a s t e r l y 56 •interfusion* of psychological nuances with descriptions of things, so that through the inanimate thing the essence of spiritual reality i s revealed."^ No discussion of seeing would be complete without some mention of the apprehension of color. The Anglo-Saxon* s perception of color proves totally different from our own. While modern color words indicate hue, determined by wave-lengths, with other qualities being indicated by adjectives preceding the hue word, such as "dark green," the Anglo-Saxon poets seem almost exclusively interested in words indicating degrees of brightness or darkness, deter-mined by the amount of light f a l l i n g on or emanating from an object. 1 0 As dramatically illustrated in the stark black and white movies by the Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, i t i s obvious that severe lighting effects are eminently suit-able for terror and grimness. By comparing this to the movie, Reflections in a Golden Eye. 1 1 in which, in addition to black and white, only yellows and pinks are faintly dis-cernible, i t i s possible to visualize the unfolding scenes in Beowulf as a pageantry of lowering shadows and bright 9 Viola Hopkins, "Visual Art Devices and Parallels in the Fiction of Henry James," PMLA, 76, No. 5 (Dec. 196l), P. 573. 10 L.D. Lerner, "Colour Words in Anglo-Saxon," MLR. 46 (195D t 246-247. 11 A Warner Bros, film directed by John Huston, produced by Ray Stark, and starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando. The screenplay by Chapman Mortimer and Gladys H i l l i s based on the book by Carson McCullers. 57 meta ls f l a s h i n g i n the s u n l i g h t , w i t h h i n t s of c o l o r added o n l y by b l o o d and o c c a s i o n a l nuances of y e l l o w s * The u l t i m a t e i n c o l o r s o p h i s t i c a t i o n i n t h i s poem i s seen l n terms of v a r i o u s m i x t u r e s of c o l o r s descr ibed , by i t s o v e r a l l i m p r e s s i o n as be ing f a h , " v a r i e g a t e d , s t a i n e d , s h i n i n g . " The s t r e e t to Heorot was s t a h f a h . perhaps meant by the poet , i n h i s enthusiasm t o d e s c r i b e Heorot as the h i g h e s t peak of human achievement comparable i n e f f e c t to the C r e a t i o n of the w o r l d , to be equated to the most Impressive s t r e e t s he and most Anglo-Saxons had seen— those v a r i e g a t e d s t r e e t s l e f t by the Romans. The e a r l y Germanic mind seems to have been impressed by any a r t i s t who c o u l d combine h i s m a t e r i a l s w e l l , whether i n the i n t r i -c a t e l y b e a u t i f u l i n t e r l a c e d des igns of the manuscr ipt i l l -u m i n a t i o n s , the d e l i c a t e l y f i l i g r e e d and s p a r k l i n g j e w e l l e d ornamentat ion of v a r i o u s brooches , b u c k l e s , and weapons, the woven t a p e s t r i e s , o r the s k i l f u l v a r i a t i o n of words i n a h e r o i c poem. I t i s not s u r p r i s i n g t h a t , i n t h i s gloomy n o r t h e r n w o r l d w i t h o u t e l e c t r i c l i g h t s o r c e n t r a l h e a t i n g , the sun p l a y s an extremely important r o l e i n p r o v i d i n g l i g h t , warmth, and l i f e i t s e l f , w h i l e i t s absence s i g n i f i e s the u n d i s t i n -g u i s h e d , c o l d chaos or H e l a l i e n t o human e x i s t e n c e . The sparrow passage i n Bede ' s s t o r y of the " C o n v e r s i o n of Edwin" admirab ly demonstrates not on ly the hopeless t r a n s i t o r i n e s s of l i f e , but a l s o i t s b leakness where the elements of s torm, snow, and r a i n h o l d sway, and man s h e l t e r s h i m s e l f i n a 58 mead-house l i t and warmed by a f i r e which i s the c l o s e s t approximat ion to the l i f e - g i v i n g p o t e n t i a l i t i e s of the s u n . Man i n such a c l i m a t e s u r v i v e s o n l y by master ing h i s e n v i r o n -ment and s e c u r i n g f o r h i m s e l f c e r t a i n areas where he i s safe from the encroachments of the f i e r c e non-human w o r l d . H e o r o t , w i t h i t s s h i n i n g d e c o r a t i o n s of gold , i l l u s t r a t e s the d u a l impulse of Nor thern man to p r o v i d e f o r h i m s e l f a p l a c e of happy refuge and to make i t a e s t h e t i c a l l y p l e a s i n g . The f a s h i o n i n g of hardy swords which a l s o f l a s h w i t h b e a u t i f u l adornments i s another e f f o r t i n the same d i r e c t i o n . The i d e a l of the hero as one who m a i n t a i n s human s e c u r i t y and opposes any f o r e i g n f o r c e s , and who behaves In a g r a c i o u s manner toward kinsmen and f r i e n d s , i s i n h e r e n t i n t h i s way of l i f e c o n d i t i o n e d by the c l i m a t e and n a t u r a l environment . In Beowulf there may be an u n d e r l y i n g t r a c e of the a r c h e t y p a l c o n f l i c t between the f o r c e s of l i g h t and d a r k n e s s , w i t h the hero as the human emissary of l i g h t b a t t l i n g the powers of darkness represented by G r e n d e l and the dragon who come out a t n i g h t to invade the human w o r l d . Beowulf , a v a i l i n g h i m -s e l f of arms and armor, extends human sway by i n v a d i n g the mere to k i l l the dam and by t r e s p a s s i n g on the d r a g o n ' s domain to k i l l h i m . I n Old E n g l i s h poetry there are a g r e a t number of terms i n d i c a t i n g l i g h t n e s s and b r i g h t n e s s . In the f o l l o w i n g c h a r t on the l e f t s i d e , i s , by no means e x h a u s t i v e , a l i s t of words of b r i g h t n e s s — e x c l u d i n g words of f lame and f i r e ! w i t h the number of t imes each i s used i n extant poetry , ih . : the? middle 59 column, as compiled by W.E. Mead, * and on the r i g h t i s the number of t imes I have found these words i n Beowulf' : Frequency of Words of L i g h t n e s s and B r i g h t n e s s O . E . Word No. of Times i n No. of Times O . E . P o e t r y i n Beowulf o n l y beorht 20k 15 b l i c a n 26 1 hSdor 13 1 l e o h t 193 10 leoma 33 5 l l x a n 25 3 s c i n a n 73 8 scima 9 1 s c i r •k5 k sunne 59 3 s u n - w l i t i g 1 -scyne 29 1 t o r h t 88 2 798 5 * An i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the uses of these words i n Beowulf shows t h a t the sun i s d i r e c t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h 19 of these words ; w h i l e weapons, armor, and o ther t r e a s u r e s which possess s h i n i n g q u a l i t i e s are i n d i c a t e d 22 t i m e s ; and o t h e r r e f e r e n t s so d e s c r i b e d Inc lude the f i r e - l i g h t i n the mere which enables Beowulf to see h i s f o e , des ignated by 7 of these words (not i n c l u d e d are the f r e q u e n t words of f i r e and b u r n i n g which are i m p l i c i t l y b r i g h t ) , and H e o r o t , the s h i n i n g 12 W.E. Mead, " C o l o u r i n O l d E n g l i s h P o e t r y , " PMLA. lk, p . 174. 60 r i n g - h a l l adorned w i t h g o l d , r e f e r r e d to 5 t i m e s . Ment ion of the coming of the sun a f t e r darkness i n d i c a t e s the passage of t ime and u s u a l l y a v i c t o r y , as a f t e r the Breca contes t " L i g h t came from the e a s t " ( 1 . 569) so t h a t Beowulf c o u l d see the headlands , a t which t ime o r d e r and calm are s i m u l -taneous ly r e s t o r e d as " the seas s u b s i d e d " ( 1 . 570) . The s u n ' s pr imary f u n c t i o n i n Beowulf i s to p r o v i d e l i g h t f o r " l a n d - d w e l l e r s " ( 1 . 95) so t h a t , by see ing t h e i r e n v i r o n -ment, they can a t t a i n the knowledge and conf idence necessary t o d e a l w i t h i t . B a t t l e s w i t h c r e a t u r e s who prowl i n the darkness are " d e s t i n e d " a t t imes when people " c o u l d no l o n g e r see the l i g h t of the sun" ( 1 . 6^7-648). Even i n the darkness human a c t i v i t y i s o n l y s u c c e s s f u l l y accomplished when there i s some l i g h t such as t h a t p r o v i d e d by the f i r e -l i g h t or the t o r c h s h i n i n g on the g i l d e d banner i n the barrow. <% I n Beowulf t h e r e i s an average of one b r i g h t n e s s word to every 59 l i n e s , as compared to the whole of extant poetry where such a word occurs on an average of once i n every 37 l i n e s . T h i s must be q u a l i f i e d by o b s e r v i n g t h a t they appear i n c l u s t e r s w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t they are predomin-a n t l y n o t i c e a b l e i n and set the tone f o r v a r i o u s passages . The v a r i e t y and extent of the Beowulf p o e t ' s vocabulary i s a t t e s t e d by the f a c t t h a t a l l but one of the words of b r i g h t -ness l i s t e d by W.E. Mead are employed by h i m , i n d i c a t i n g h i s range of s e n s i t i v i t y to l i g h t and b r i g h t n e s s . 13 W.E. Mead, p . 175. 6 1 Much o f O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y can be d e s c r i b e d as a s e r i e s of s t u d i e s i n d a r k n e s s and l i g h t l n wh i c h " b l a c k n e s s and d a r k n e s s meant t o t h e p r i m i t i v e Germanic mind something f e a r f u l and t e r r i b l e . L i g h t , on t h e o t h e r hand, was Ik s y m b o l i c o f Joy and b l i s s . " W h i l e i n most O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y words i n d i c a t i n g b r i g h t n e s s and l i g h t a r e a p p r o x i m a t e l y t w i c e as numerous as words o f d a r k n e s s , i n Beowulf t h e y a r e al m o s t e q u a l , as t h e f o l l o w i n g c h a r t showsi^^ Frequency o f Words S u g g e s t i n g Darkness O.E. Word No. o f Times i n No. of Times O.E. P o e t r y i n Beowulf o n l y blsec 13 1 d e o r c 43 4 dim 15 -d r y s m i a n 1 1 h e o l s t o r 16 -m i r e (myrce) 7 1 n i h t 131 25 n i p a n 6 2 sceadu 11 3 scuwa 9 -sweorcan 12 3 sweart 84 2 b e o s t r e 53 1 wonn 37 5 TO 14 W.E. Mead, p. 175. 15 W.E. Mead, p. 174, f o r t h e l e f t column. 62 T h i s e x t r a o r d i n a r i l y l a r g e number o f w o r d s o f d a r k n e s s i s i n d i c a t i v e o f t h e h e a v y sombre t o n e o f many p a s s a g e s and s p r e a d s o v e r a l l a b r o o d i n g t r a g i c g l o o m w h i c h makes t h e b r i g h t t h i n g s s t a n d o u t t h a t much more. L.D. L e r n e r s u g g e s t s t h a t wonn h a s l i t t l e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h hue b u t , i n s o f a r a s i t h a s , i n d i c a t e s s o m e t h i n g c l o s e r t o g r e y , w i t h no i n t e n s i t y e x c e p t v e r y p a l e . 1 ^ I n B e o w u l f i t i s u s e d i n t h e f o l l o w i n g c o n t e x t s : " t h e s h a p e s o f d a r k n e s s came s t a l k i n g , w a n u n d e r t h e c l o u d s " ( 1 . 650-651) , and " I n t h e wan n i g h t came a s t r i d i n g s h a d o w - w a l k e r " ( 1 . 702-703) . I t a l s o r e f e r s t o t h e t o s s i n g waves w h i c h a s c e n d u p "wan t o t h e c l o u d s " ( 1 . 137*0, t o t h e "wan r a v e n " ( 1 . 3024), and t o t h e "wan f l a m e " w h i c h " s h a l l i n c r e a s e " ( 1 . 3115) on B e o w u l f ' s p y r e . B r u n seems t o b e a n o t h e r w o r d i n d i c a t i n g b r i l l i a n c e r a t h e r t h a n h u e . I t s h a d e s " t h r o u g h v a r i o u s d e g r e e s o f d u s k i n e s s t o b l a c k o r r e d " a n d when a p p l i e d t o h e l m e t s ( 1 . 2615) and s w o r d - e d g e s ( 1 . 2578-and 1546) , " p o s s i b l y means b r i g h t , g l i t t e r i n g o r f l a s h i n g , w i t h a s u g g e s t i o n o f r e d n e s s . " 1 7 I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o a s s e s s w h e t h e r t h e r e I s some s u g g e s t i o n o f b r o w n r u s t o r d r i e d b l o o d o n t h e s e i t e m s , w h e t h e r t h e y j u s t l e a v e a g e n e r a l i m p r e s s i o n o f s h i n l n e s s , o r p e r h a p s w h e t h e r a c o m b i n a t i o n o f b o t h a p p l i e s . L.D. L e r n e r o b s e r v e s t h a t t h e hue r a n g e o f T f e a l u i s f r o m g r e e n t h r o u g h t o y e l l o w a n d r e d d i s h brown.^® I n 16 L.D. L e r n e r , p. 2 4 8 . 17 W.E. Mead, p. 194-195* 18 L.D. L e r n e r , p. 2 4 ? . 6 3 Beowulf i t i s used of the sea ( 1 . 1950) , horses ( 1 . 865) (and i n asppelfealu, 1 . 2165) , and s t r e e t s ( 1 . 916) . G o l d , w i t h i t s d e r i v a t i v e s and compounds, suggest ive of both a s h i n i n g q u a l i t y and of a c o l o r e f f e c t , f l a s h e s f o r t h i t s beauty over 42 t imes i n Beowulf and so i s the s i n g l e most predominant c o l o r word i n the e p i c . The abundance of g o l d i s p o s s i b l y i n d i c a t i v e of e a r l y t r a d e . I t s s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h i s s o c i e t y cannot be o v e r e s t i m a t e d . The h i g h e s t of compliments to a l o r d ate the des ignat ions " g o l d - g i v e r " (go ldgyfa) mad " g o l d - f r i e n d " (goldwlne) which suggest not o n l y t h a t the l e a d e r g i v e s g o l d t o h i s c o m i t a t u s , but t h a t he h i m s e l f i s comparable i n q u a l i t y to the bes t of t r e a s u r e s . Heorot i s d e s c r i b e d as a g o l d - h a l l , perhaps because of i t s d e c o r a t i o n s , o r p o s s i b l y because i t i s the b u i l d i n g i n which g o l d i s d i s t r i b u t e d . 0 N e a r l y a l l the passages i n which w h i t e and i t s synonyms are used i m p l y , as W.E. Mead p o i n t s o u t , "something b r i g h t or s h i n i n g . " ^ B lanc i s used once to d e s c r i b e the w h i t e , wel l -groomed horses t h a t g l i s t e n i n the sun ( 1 . 8 5 f c ) . B l a c I n d i c a t e s s h i n i n g o r b r i l l i a n c e , as when i t i s used to d e s c r i b e the f i r e - l i g h t ( 1 . 1517), and perhaps paleness o r g h a s t l i n e s s when a p p l i e d to the o l d S c y l f i n g who f e l l " [ b a t t l e ^ p a l e " ( 1 . 2488) . Hwit i n Beowulf emphasizes the s h i n i n g of l i g h t on a helmet ( 1 . 1448) . Words of b l a c k n e s s shade i n t o those t h a t imply absence of l i g h t . Bleeo d e s c r i b e s a raven ( 1 . 1801) . Sweart d e s c r i b e s the smoky ascent of B e o w u l f ' s pyre ( 1 . 31^5), 19 W.E. Mead, p . 1?6 , The f o l l o w i n g study of hue words i s d e r i v e d m a i n l y from t h i s a r t i c l e . 64 and the dark n i g h t s d u r i n g which Grende l occupied H e o r o t . Gesweorca i n d i c a t e s the l o w e r i n g darkness of approaching n i g h t ( 1 . I 7 8 9 ) and forswearcan the darkening of eyes due to age ( 1 . 1767) . "Remarkable i n O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y , " says W.E . Mead, " i s the fondness f o r mixed o r n e u t r a l c o l o r s , " p a r t i c u l a r l y of the grey g r o u p . 2 0 Grssgmsel i s used l i t e r a l l y as a hue word to d e s c r i b e Nsegling, B e o w u l f ' s sword ( 1 . 2682), and graeg to d e s c r i b e the "ash-wood grey a t the t i p " ( 1 . 330) and "grey «>«• s a r k s " ( 1 . 3 3 4 ) . A l s o grey o r hoary c o l o r e d i s h a r , a p p l i e d 4 t imes to hoary grey stones ( 1 . 8 8 7 , 1 4 1 5 , 2553, 2 ? 4 4 ) , an accurate d e s c r i p t i o n s ince stone i s not pure grey but r a t h e r a mix ture of g r e y , w h i t e , and b l a c k m i n e r a l s . Har r e f e r s once t o grey b y r n i e s ( 1 . 2153), and 4 t imes t o Hrothgar ( 1 . 3 5 7 , 1 3 0 6 , 1 6 7 7 . 2 9 8 8 ) , as w e l l as once to the o l d Beowulf ( 1 . 3135) . B londenfeax . i n d i c a t i n g greyed h a i r , i s 4 t imes a p p l i e d to o l d w a r r i o r s ( 1 . 1 5 9 4 , 1 7 9 1 , I 8 7 3 t 2 9 6 2 ) . Red occurs 16 t imes i n r e l i g i o u s poems and 4 t imes i n the r i d d l e s , but not once i n any of the h e r o i c poems. B lood s u b s t i t u t e s as a c o l o r f o r red i n Beowulf , as e v i d e n t l n many passages such as the scene of the mere where the water " w e l l e d w i t h b a t t l e - b l o o d " because "the death-doomed dyed i t " ( 1 . 8 4 9 - 8 5 0 ) . Extremely v i v i d are the numerous passages gruesomely d e s c r i b i n g scenes of b lood and gore which not o n l y s p l o t c h the canvas of the e p i c w i t h s t r o n g c o l o r , but which a l s o r e v e a l the b a s i c savagery u n d e r l y i n g the 2 0 W.E. Mead, p . I 8 7 . 65 s o p h i s t i c a t i o n and grac iousness of t h i s hoble h e r o i c s o c i e t y . A t a s t e f o r and f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h b r u t a l f e r o c i t y i s e v i d e n t i n the unsavory d e s c r i p t i o n s i n which the r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l s are p o w e r f u l l y t h r u s t upon the sensuous i m a g i n a t i o n . There i s g r e a t gusto and r e l i s h i n the d e s c r i p t i o n of the f u n e r a l f i r e where " i t r o a r e d ; heads m e l t e d , wound-gates b u r s t , w h i l e b l o o d sprang out from the c o r p s e s ' h o s t i l e b i t e s " ( 1 . 1120-22) . Beowulf g r i m l y Jokes about the f a c t t h a t i f the " b l o o d -t o o t h e d " ( 1 . 2082) Grende l wins the f i g h t , Hrothgar won ' t have to go to any t r o u b l e to bury him because "he w i l l have me, s t a i n e d w i t h d r i p p i n g b l o o d , i f death take me; he w i l l bear o f f my bloody c o r p s e , he w i l l t h i n k to t a s t e i t , the s o l i t a r y one w i l l eat i t w i t h o u t mourning, mark the moor r e t r e a t " ( 1 . 446-450) . There i s indeed a l a t e n t c a n n i b a l i s m i n t h i s thought of a descendant of C a i n , who i s almost human, f e a s t i n g upon the hero who once before i n the Breca episode was the a n t i c i p a t e d main course of the water -monsters . A s i m i l a r r e l i s h i n g of a c a n n i b a l f e a s t occurs when Grendel s e i z e d H o n d s c i o , " t o r e him g r e e d i l y , b i t h i s b o n e - l o c k e r , drank the b lood from h i s v e i n s , swallowed huge m o r s e l s . . . " ( 1 . ? 4 l - 7 4 3 ) . A l s o e f f e c t i v e i n a h o r r i f y i n g way i s the o c c a s i o n when Beowulf carves o f f the head of G r e n d e l ' s corpse ( 1 . 1590) . There are over 38 i n s t a n c e s of the mention of b lood and gore by such v a r i e d terms as b l o d , b l o d l g , b l o d f a g . b l o d f a h , b l o d ( e ) g l a n , blodlgtofr» d r e o r l g , d r e o f a h . d r e o r , h e o r o d r e o r . sawuldreor . wseldreor, waelfag, h e o l f o r , swat, s w a t l g . heaboswat, swat fah . and swatswabu. These words c a l l a t t e n t i o n t o b l o o d - s t a i n e d humans 14 t i m e s (Beowulf h i m s e l f d r i p s w i t h b l o o d 7 t i m e s ) , t o G r e n d e l and h i s mother 7 t i m e s , t o the mere w e l l i n g w i t h b l o o d 7 t i m e s , t o t h e h a l l s t a i n e d w i t h gore 4 t i m e s , and v a r i o u s swords 5 t i m e s , and t o b l o o d y b a t t l e - s a r k s once. That l e a v e s o n l y y e l l o w w h i c h , i n c i d e n t a l l y , i s the o n l y r e a l c o l o r hue word o t h e r t h a n b l a c k , w h i t e , o r g r e y w h i c h 21 r e c e i v e s n o t i c e i n B eowulf. I t r e f e r s t w i c e t o s h i e l d s . Beowulf s c o r n s t o "bear a sword o r broad s h i e l d , a y e l l o w s h i e l d , t o b a t t l e " ( 1 . 437-438) . L a t e r , t o h e l p h i s l o r d , W i g l a f g r a s p s h i s ' s h i e l d , t h e y e l l o w l i n d e n wood" ( 1 . 2609-10) and t h e n draws h i s sword. Next t o s i g h t , t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f sound i s most p r o -minent sensuous e x p e r i e n c e i n B eowulf. The o b j e c t s and ev e n t s of l i f e a r e n o t o n l y something t o be seen, bu t a l s o t o be h e a r d . J u s t as man d e r i v e s p l e a s u r e f r o m b e a u t i f u l s i g h t s such as "webs on the w a l l s , " so he e x p r e s s e s h i s h a p p i n e s s t h r o u g h speech, l a u g h t e r , song, and mu s i c . I n t h e f i r s t p a r t o f t h e e p i c t h e r e a r e s e v e r a l i n s t a n c e s where t h e h a p p i n e s s o f th e p e o p l e i s e x p r e s s e d t h r o u g h t h e i r sounds, as when a t the welcome f e a s t the poet s a y s : "There was l a u g h t e r o f men, t h e d i n made a c h e e r f u l sound, words were winsome" ( 1 . 611-612) . I t i s f u r t h e r e x e m p l i f i e d by "the sounds o f t h e v i c t o r - p e o p l e , " and by t h e i r "noble words" ( 1 . 643-644), and l a t e r by "the bench-sounds" which "rang 21 Green i s n o t mentioned i n any h e r o i c poem w h i l e b l u e i s used o n l y once i n e x t a n t p o e t r y . 67 c l e a r " ( 1 . 1161) . The I m p r e s s i o n i s g i v e n t h a t , s i n c e i t served t o emphasize h i s own m i s e r y by c o n t r a s t , G r e n d e l s t a r t e d h i s r a v a g e s on th e h a l l because he c o u l d n o t endure the c o n t i n u a l sounds o f " l o u d " merriment w h i c h he "heard each day" ( 1 . 86 f f . ) . I t i s n o t e w o r t h y t h a t t h e sense o f l o s s and th e heavy tone o f the second p a r t o f the e p i c seem t o be f u r t h e r e d by the l a c k o f happy h a r p sounds. The l a s t s u r v i v o r g r i e v e s t h a t " t h e r e i s no j o y o f t h e h a r p , no m i r t h of t h e g l e e -beam" ( 1 . 2262-63) , t h e o l d man whose son hangs on t h e g a l l o w s has no song o f t h e h a r p i n h i s c o u r t s ( 1 . 2^58) , and t h e messenger who announces t h e d e a t h o f t h e i r k i n g p r e d i c t s t o the G e a t s t h a t "no sound o f h a r p s h a l l r o u s e t h e w a r r i o r s , b u t t h e dark r a v e n , eager above t h e f a l l e n , s h a l l t e l l much" ( 1 . 3023-26) , t h e r e b y s u b s t i t u t i n g t h e rauc o u s c r i e s o f t h e r a v e n f o r t h e sounds o f men. Speeches form a l a r g e p a r t o f t h e d r a m a t i c and a u d i a l c o n t e n t o f t h e e p i c . Not o h l y r a r e Joy and power e x p r e s s e d b u t a l s o , i n a d i f f e r e n t t o n e , p a i n , as i n t h e e l e g a l c l a m e n t s o f t h e o l d man whose son hangs from t h e g a l l o w s , o f H i l d e b u r h whose son and b r o t h e r were b o t h k i l l e d , and o f the o l d woman whose k i n g has p e r i s h e d i n t h e dragon f i g h t . A f t e r G r e n d e l *s d e v a s t a t i o n , t h e Danes " r a i s e d up a lamentarr t i o n , a l o u d m o r n i n g - c r y " ( 1 . 128 - 1 2 9 ) . The p a s s i n g o f G r e n d e l i s n o t q u i e t b u t n o i s y ; he l e t s out a " c r y from t h e w a l l " ( 1 . 785) and s i n g s a " t e r r i b l e song, a v l c t o r y l e s s song, b e w a i l i n g h i s sorrow" ( 1 . 786-787) . He c r i e s out i n p a i n 68 a g a i n s t h i s f a t e which he does not take s i l e n t l y . When h i s dam comes " there was o u t c r y i n H e o r o t " ( 1 . 1300) a t her b loody a c t i o n . Before the dragon f i g h t Beowulf r o a r s out a v e r b a l c h a l l e n g e which i s answered by the r o a r i n g s of the dragon ( 1 . 2550 f f « ) . When the dragon answers the c h a l l e n g e "the e a r t h resounded" ( 1 . 2258), and l a t e r " the worm came r a g i n g " ( 1 . 2669) . I t i s s e v e r a l t imes mentioned t h a t Beowulf makes boas t s and then l a t e r i t i s s t a t e d t h a t he s u c c e s s f u l l y c a r r i e d them o u t . The boast prepares the hero f o r a c t i o n as when Beowulf goes " r a g i n g w i t h anger" ( 1 . 2401) . A t the t ime of the dragon f i g h t Beowulf u t t e r s "words of b o a s t i n g f o r the l a s t t i m e " ( 1 . 2501-11) . I t i s almost as i f l i f e i s regarded as the sum t o t a l of boas t s made and c a r r i e d o u t . Words c a n , i n themselves , a s s i s t i n keeping up a p e r s o n ' s s p i r i t and i n o f f e r i n g encouragement as when W i g l a f came to " h i s l o r d ' s a i d " and "spoke a few words" ( 1 . 2662) d u r i n g the dragon f i g h t . To the modern reader i t i s l i k e l y to cause d i s t r e s s when the f l o w of a c t i o n i s u n n e c e s s a r i l y i n t e r r u p t e d by speeches, but i t i s necessary t o r e a l i z e t h a t Beowulf i s not s imply a t a l e of w i l d adven-t u r e s , r a t h e r , i t i s a t a l e i n which the poet l i k e s to l i n g e r , as do h i s c h a r a c t e r s , on the human meaning of some s p e c t a c l e or a c t i o n . I t i s not out of k e e p i n g , d r a m a t i c a l l y , t h a t W i g l a f r e c a l l s to B e o w u l f ' s mind h i s past e x p l o i t s and encourages him to "perform a l l t h i n g s w e l l " ( 1 . 2663) i n the present by k e e p i n g to the same p a t t e r n of a c t i o n as had made 69 him d i s t i n g u i s h e d . L a t e r , W i g l a f * s words a c t as a scourge to the r e s t of the Geats when he "spoke many f i t t i n g words" ( 1 . 2631) to rebuke t h e i r manhood. The poet a l s o uses the d e v i c e of s i l e n c e f o r a u d i t o r y and dramat ic e f f e c t s . U n f e r t h , who f o r m e r l y h u r l e d a c h a l l e n g i n g i n s u l t a t Beowulf , i s e l o q u e n t l y s i l e n t a f t e r Beowulf d e f e a t s Grende l ( 1 . 980) . As the wise o l d K i n g Hrothgar beholds the go lden h i l t on which a n c i e n t t h i n g s are w r i t t e n i n r u n i c l e t t e r s , he i s so w e l l at tended t h a t " a l l were s i l e n t " ( 1 . 1698) when he chooses to speak about l i f e on e a r t h . Intense moments are accompanied by sound, as when the Grende l f i g h t i s g i v e n r e a l i s m by mention of i t s e f f e c t on the h a l l which " d i n n e d " ( 1 . 76?) and "resounded" ( 1 . 770) so t h a t " o n l y the r o o f s u r v i v e d a l l t h a t sound" ( 1 . 990-1000) . The Danes cannot see what i s going on but they are t e r r i f i e d by the s t a r t l i n g sound ( 1 . 782-783) . Sounds of conf idence and w e l l - b e i n g occur when the Geats a r r i v e i n t h e i r armor which i m p r e s s i v e l y Jangles as they w a l k : " the r i n g e d i r o n sang i n the war -gear " ( 1 . 322-323) and "the b y r n i e s r a n g " ( 1 . 327) . Wi th the advance of the v i c t o r i o u s Beowulf and h i s men " the h a l l d i n n e d " ( 1 . 1317) . When they l e a v e the sundwudu bunede ( 1 . 1906) . At the mere the horn s a n g ' " i t s eager death-song" ( 1 . 1424) w h i c h , when heard by the " serpents and w i l d beasts," causes them to r u s h away " b i t t e r and enraged" ( 1 . 1430-31) . In another i n s t a n c e , the sound of "horn and trumpet" ( 1 . 2943) b r i n g s comfort when the Geats are rescued by Hygelac i n the Swedish w a r s . A t the de fea t of the dam B e o w u l f ' s newly 70 d i s c o v e r e d " r i n g - m a r k e d s w o r d s a n g o n h e r h e a d a g r e e d y w a r - c h a n t " ( 1 . 1521-22) . To t h e v i c t o r t h e s o u n d s o f t h e d e f e a t e d g e n e r a l l y a d d z e s t a n d p l e a s u r e t o t h e f i g h t . E v e n t h e a n t i c i p a t i o n o f s u c h d e l i g h t ? c a u s e s G r e n d e l * s " s p i r i t " t o l a u g h ( 1 . 730) . E x c e p t f o r m o n s t e r s , o n l y r a v e n s m a k e s o u n d s i n t h e a n i m a l k i n g d o m . T h e r a v e n p e r f o r m s t w o q u i t e d i f f e r e n t f u n c t i o n s . O n t h e o n e h a n d t h i s b i r d " b l i t h e - h e a r t e d l y " a n n o u n c e s " h e a v e n ' s j o y " ( 1 . 1 8 0 1 - 0 2 ) , a f t e r w h i c h " b r i g h t n e s s " c o m e s " h a s t e n i n g " ( 1 . 1 8 0 2 ) . O n t h e o t h e r , t h e s o u n d s o f t h e r a v e n w h e n c o n n e c t e d w i t h b a t t l e i n d i c a t e t h e d e f e a t a n d t h e d e a t h o f men ( 1 . 3025) . O t h e r s o u n d s o f n a t u r e a r e a c t u a l i z e d b y s u c h d e s c r i p t i o n s a s : " t h e o c e a n w e l l e d w i t h s t o r m , c o n t e n d e d a g a i n s t t h e w i n d " (1 .1131-32) , " t h e s u r g e o f t h e s e a " ( 1 . 1^94), " i t r o a r e d b e f o r e t h e m o u n d " ( 1 . 1120) . C h i e f l y , s o u n d s a r e e x p r e s s i v e o f t h e m o o d s o f t h e p e o p l e w h e t h e r t h e y a r e o f j o y , a s i n l a u g h t e r , s p e e c h e s , s o n g s , h a r p m u s i c ; o r o f s o r r o w , a s i n l a m e n t s a n d c r i e s o f p a i n o r o u t r a g e . S p e e c h e s s e r v e d r a m a t i c a l l y f o r p u r p o s e s o f v e r b a l c h a l l e n g e s , b o a s t s , e n c o u r a g e m e n t , o r r e b u k e . E v e n s i l e n c e i s u s e d w i t h t e l l i n g e f f e c t a t t w o m o m e n t s w h i c h a r e t h e m o r e m e a n i n g f u l b e d a u s e t h e p o e t d o e s n o t i n d i s c r i -m i n a t e l y o v e r u s e t h i s d e v i c e . I n t e n s e m o m e n t s a r e h e i g h t e n e d a n d g i v e n r e a l i s m b y a c c o m p a n y i n g s o u n d s , b e t h e y o f t h e s u r r o u n d i n g s o r o f v a r i o u s o b j e c t s . T h e s o u n d o f t h e h o r n t e r r i f i e s t h e m e r e c r e a t u r e s b u t b r i n g s c o m f o r t t o t h e G e a t s w h e n H y g e l a c c o m e s t o t h e r e s c u e . B o t h t h e s w o r d a n d t h e 71 raven are p e r s o n i f i e d by g i v i n g them human u t t e r a n c e s a t f i e r c e moments. The poet shows h i m s e l f h i g h l y s k i l l e d a t e x p l o i t i n g the dramat ic p o s s i b i l i t i e s of sound e f f e c t s . Of the o ther senses , t a s t e i s , as a l r e a d y mentioned, not r e f e r r e d to a t a l l i n Beowul f . Except f o r the t a s t e i n h e r e n t i n the a l c o h o l i c beverages , t h e r e i s n o t h i n g even remotely a p p e a l i n g to t a s t e , u n l e s s the human v i c t i m s of Grende l may be counted . I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t the poet cons idered the t a s t e of food beneath h i s n o t i c e or t h a t t a s t e was s imply not cons idered as an important sense. The same may be s a i d of the sense of s m e l l which i s o n l y a l l u d e d t o once d e f i n i t e l y i n r e g a r d ; t o ' t h e " d e a d l y " reek" ( 1 . 2661) through which Wig la f wades, and once p o s s i b l y i n r e f e r e n c e to the t h i e f ' s f o o t p r i n t s which the dragon onfand ( 1 . 2288) . I t I s r a t h e r strange t h a t the poet d i d not mention some miasmic s m e l l emanating from the mere s ince he e x p l o i t s the h o r r i f i c p o s s i b i l i t i e s of the senses of s i g h t , sound, and touch i n t h i s e p i s o d e . That l e a v e s o n l y the t a c t i l e responses to the e n v i r o n -ment to be c o n s i d e r e d . Hardness i s most predominant t a c t u a l l y , i n accordance w i t h the g e n e r a l harshness of l i f e p r o j e c t e d i n the poem. Heard and i t s compounds f y r h e a r d , i r e n h e a r d . regnheard« and scurheard denote ' h a r d ' 18 t i m e s . I t i s n o t a b l e t h a t 16 of these r e f e r e n c e s r e f e r to weapons and armor: 3 to b y r n i e s , 8 to swords, 3 to h e l m e t s , 1 to an arrow, and 1 to a s h i e l d . The remain ing two d e s c r i b e B e o w u l f ' s 72 handgr ip as a "hard clamp" which I s i t s e l f a k i n d of weapon. The o t h e r uses of h e a r d . not i n c l u d e d i n the above a n a l y s i s , r e f e r to people and u s u a l l y mean ' s t r o n g , b r a v e , h a r d y ' but may a l s o c a r r y d i m i n i s h e d connota t ions of ' h a r d * when used of toughened w a r r i o r s i n armor. Much of the tone and t e x -t u r e of Beowulf i s d e r i v e d from the f requent mentions of weapons, whether of g o l d , i r o n , o r o t h e r m e t a l s , w h i c h , even when not a c t u a l l y preceded by * h a r d * , s t i l l impart a h a r d , m e t a l l i c q u a l i t y . The c l i m a t e p r o v i d e s the most common t a c t i l e exper -i e n c e s , e s p e c i a l l y the temperature extremes of c o l d and h o t . The dam must i n h a b i t " c o l d streams" ( 1 . 1261) , Beowulf must endure the " c o l d e s t weather" ( 1 . 5^6) i n the Breca e p i s o d e , " c o l d journeys of c a r e " were exper ienced i n the Swedish wars ( 1 . 2396) , and the e x p e r i e n c i n g of "many a c o l d morning" when spears w i l l be grasped by hands i s p r e d i c t e d f o r the Geats ( 1 . 3022) . The m e l t i n g of the sword "most l i k e to i c e " ( 1 . 1608) shows the poet drawing on exper iences w i t h which h i s audience were f a m i l i a r . S c y l d * s f u n e r a l s h i p i s " i c y and eager to d e p a r t " ( 1 . 33 ) , i n d i c a t i n g both the mood and the t ime of year f o r t h i s e v e n t . H e n g e s t ' s f a t e was to d w e l l w i t h F i n n through the " s l a u g h t e r - s t a i n e d w i n t e r " ( 1 . 1128) when " w i n t e r l o c k e d the waves w i t h i c y bonds" ( 1 . 1132-33) , u n t i l " w i n t e r was d e p a r t e d " ( 1 . 1136) . The c h i l l of these passages i s not r e l i e v e d by warmth, except i n c i d e n t a l l y when the sun i s mentioned, but o n l y p r o v i d e s a c o n t r a s t to the o ther extreme of h e a t . " H o t " 73 d e s c r i b e s the d r a g o n ' s b r e a t h of f lame 6 t i m e s , the gore of Grende l and h i s dam 3 t i m e s , the b l o o d of /Eschere once, and Beowulf 3 t imes when he i s sub jec ted to the heat of the dragon and l a t e r to the p y r e . The heat of f lames i s f u r t h e r conveyed by numerous uses of words such as b y m a n , b r o n d , f y r . and so f o r t h . Heat i n Beowulf i n d i c a t e s o n l y some form of d e s t r u c t i o n , whether i t be the a n t i c i p a t e d b u r n i n g of H e o r o t , the apprehension of hot b l o o d from fragmented b o d i e s , the cremat ion of bodies on a f u n e r a l p y r e , o r the s c o r c h i n g of the hero by the d r a g o n ' s b r e a t h . The o n l y p o s i t i v e use of f i r e i s i n the f o r g i n g of m e t a l s . The temperature extremes of c o l d and hot are the v i s u a l extremes of dark and b r i g h t — t h e r e are very few g r a d a t i o n s of s c a l e i n between, which r e i n f o r c e s the severe s tarkness of the poem which i s a study of c o n t r a s t s . Thus the main words a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the t a c t i l e sense are h a r d , h o t , and c o l d . In the narrow and l i m i t e d response to l i f e i n the Beowulf w o r l d there i s a grea t appeal to v i s i o n and sound, and some to t o u c h , p r i m a r i l y the c o l d and hard t a c t i l e ex-p e r i e n c e s . T h i s out look i s o b v i o u s l y r e s t r i c t e d Iby. the c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e i n a b i t t e r l y severe c l i m a t e . There are not the opulent hot c o l o r s nor the heavy sweet, s o u r , o r s p i c y smel l s of a mediterranean o r t r o p i c a l c l i m a t e . L i t and warmed o n l y seldom by the sun, steeped by dampness, tormented by w i n t r y s torms, f r o z e n by the g r e a t c o l d , the r o u g h -hewn f i g u r e s of the e p i c r i s e monumentally from such a s ta rk background to perform t h e i r h e r o i c a c t i o n s , ^ a p p r e c i a t e the - t o r a r e g l i t t e r of b e a u t i f u l t h i n g s , „ r e f l e c t on the meaning of i t a l l , and^disappear back i n t o the unknown d a r k n e s s . Not o n l y i s the c l i m a t e a major f a c t o r l n such an o u t l o o k , but a l s o the g e o g r a p h i c a l f e a t u r e s of the a r e a , which w i l l be d i s c u s s e d , among o ther t h i n g s concerned w i t h s e t t i n g , i n the next c h a p t e r . 75 CHAPTER IV SENSUOUS APPREHENSION IN THE DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PHYSICAL SETTINGS IN BEOWULF AND THE IMPORTANCE OF PLACE IN THE POET'S PRESENTATION OF L I F E IN THIS TEMPORAL WORLD A l l t h e a c t i o n s o f t h e main p l o t o f Beowulf a r e s i t u a t e d i n s p e c i f i c s p a t i a l s e t t i n g s which a r e s k e t c h i l y p r e s e n t e d o r c a r e f u l l y e l a b o r a t e d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e needs of the p a r t i c u l a r scenes concerned, s e t t i n g s w hich g i v e t h e a u d i e n c e a c o n s t a n t sense o f l o c u s f o r t h e somewhat f a b u l o u s a c t i o n s i m p a r t t o them b o t h v e r i s i m i l i t u d e and s u b s t a n t i a l i t y . A t t i m e s t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s of t h e s e t t i n g s a r e r e a l i s t i c and c l o s e t o l i f e — a s a r e the j o u r n e y s on t h e sea between G e a t l a n d and Denmark o r t h e h o r s e - r a c e s on t h e f a i r e arth-ways. The a u d i e n c e ' s a c c e p t a n c e of t h e s e scenes would n a t u r a l l y t e n d t o be extended t o i n c l u d e t h e more u n u s u a l e n v i r o n m e n t a l c o n d i t i o n s such as o c c u r i n and around t h e mere. The s e t t i n g o f t h e barrow, w h i c h must have been a common enough s i g h t a t t h e t i m e , l e n d s - a f e e l i n g o f a c t u a l i t y t o the accompanying e v e n t s . D e t a i l e d d e s c r i p t i o n s of t h e mere, t h e barrow, and H e o r o t c o l o r the i m p r e s s i o n s t h e a u d i e n c e r e c e i v e s o f t h e e v e n t s by p r o v i d i n g a s u i t a b l e s e t t i n g , w h i c h f u r t h e r f u n c t i o n s t o add i n t e r e s t t o t h e s i t u a t i o n s . T h i s i n t e r e s t i s k e p t a l i v e by e s t a b l i s h i n g t h e s e t t i n g as sometimes a p p r o p r i a t e f o r the o c c a s i o n , as when H e o r o t i s p r e s e n t e d as t h e i d e a l p l a c e f o r an i d e a l f e a s t , and sometimes as i n c o n g r o u s , as when Heorot i s o c c u p i e d by t h e monstrous G r e n d e l w h i l e i t s p r o p e r i n h a b i t a n t s s l e e p e l s e w h e r e . 76 The c o n t r a s t of two such s e t t i n g s as H e o r o t and the mere a l s o v i v i d l y sharpen th e a u d i e n c e ' s awareness of scene. The importance of p l a c e i n t h e p o e t ' s scheme i s e v i d e n t by i t s i n t i m a t e c o n n e c t i o n w i t h l i f e ' s a c t i v i t i e s . H r o t h g a r ' s purpose f o r b u i l d i n g H eorot i s t o " d i s t r i b u t e a l l t h e r e i n " ( 1 . 71)• H e o r o t i s t o be h i s sphere of a c t i o n where he can f u l f i l h i s r o l e as r i n g - g i v e r . J u s t as t h e dragon i s I d e n t i f i e d by h i s f u n c t i o n as se b_e on hea(um)  h(eeb)e h o r d beweotode ( 1 . 2212) and G r e n d e l as "he who h e l d t h e moors" ( 1 . 1 0 3 ) , so H r o t h g a r i s d e s c r i b e d as "the g u a r d i a n o f t h e l a n d " ( 1 . 6 5 4 ) . Each i s i d e n t i f i e d i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h a p l a c e . Good management of p r o p e r t y h e l p s c h a r a c t e r i z e a k i n g , as when i t i s s a i d o f O f f a t h a t he " h e l d h i s n a t i v e l a n d w i t h wisdom" ( 1 . 1959-60) . I n t h e l a s t p a r t , t h e c o n t r o l o f l a n d g i v e s more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , w e i g h t , and d i g n i t y t o Beowulf, a f o r m e r a d v e n t u r e r and s e a f a r e r . H r o t h g a r ' s p e r s o n a l t r a g e d y i s t h a t he i s no l o n g e r a b l e t o " h o l d " h i s h o l d i n g s . The d e p r i v a t i o n of a sphere o f a c t i o n f r u s t r a t e s and a b r o g a t e s H r o t h g a r * s o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n . The d i s p o s s e s s e d have no r e a l f u n c t i o n i n g i d e n t i t y o r power. The w o r s t f e a r o f t h e G e a t s a t t h e end o f t h e e p i c i s t h a t t h e y w i l l no l o n g e r have any independent r i g h t s when t h e y w i l l be b u f f e t e d about by f o r e i g n p e o p l e s . The theme of e x i l e w hich dominates many Anglo-Saxon works i s p o i g n a n t l y p o r t r a y e d i n Beowulf i n s e v e r a l i n s t a n c e s . Both Heremod and Hengest s u f f e r on a c c o u n t of b e i n g f o r c e d 77 t o stay i n s t r a n g e r s ' l a n d s . Freawaru 's t r o u b l e s w i l l b e g i n when h e r Danish r e t a i n e r s p o r t s h i s Heathobard weapons among I n g e l d ' s p e o p l e . H i l d e b u r h a l s o comes t o g r i e f because she m a r r i e d w i t h o u t to a f o r e i g n l e a d e r . Because he was the s l a y e r of H e a t h o l a f , Ecgtheow had t o seek p r o t e c t i o n i n a f o r e i g n l a n d from the young k i n g H r o t h g a r ( 1 . 457-469)» thereby probably s e t t i n g up an o b l i g a t i o n f o r a r e t u r n f a v o r on the p a r t of Ecgtheow's son Beowul f . A l l the joys and comforts of the good l i f e are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the n a t i v e seat which the G e a t s , w a i t i n g a t n i g h t f o r G r e n d e l i n H e o r o t , f e a r they w i l l never "seek" a g a i n ( 1 . 691-693) . Even G r e n d e l ' s m i s e r y a r i s e s because he was "banished" f a r "from mankind" ( 1 . 109-110) f o r C a i n ' s c r i m e . I n Beowulf the d e p r i v a t i o n of a p l a c e i s connected w i t h some form of v i o l a t i o n . H e o r o t , the mere, and the d r a g o n ' s barrow are a l l v i o l a t e d . The background becomes f o r e g r o u n d , the frame the c e n t r e , when the p o s s e s s i o n of each of these p l a c e s becomes t h a t which i s fought f o r by the r e s p e c t i v e a n t a g o n i s t s . H e o r o t , which was the o b j e c t of the e f f o r t s of b u i l d i n g , becomes the c e n t e r of f u r t h e r a t t e n t i o n not only i n passages d e s c r i b i n g i t s appearance and d e c o r a t i o n s , but a l s o when i t i s the o b j e c t of the f u r t h e r e f f o r t s of defending i t and purg ing i t of i t s i n t r u d e r . Heorot i s mentioned so o f t e n t h a t i t i s o b v i o u s l y intended as a symbol. H e o r o t ' s importance as c e n t e r of the stage as w e l l as background becomes e v i d e n t when the f i g h t i s d e s c r i b e d i n terms of the p l a c e s i n the h a l l where the 78 v a r i o u s stages occur and the e f f e c t of the f i g h t on the b u i l d i n g i t s e l f . The p lace of the f i g h t i s kept uppermost i n the o t h e r two f i g h t s which occur i n the mere and near the d r a g o n ' s h o a r d . Beowulf a s s e r t s h i s mastery over any environment when he se ts out to d e s t r o y the dam: Ic h i t pe gehate : no he on helm l o s a p ne on f o l d a n fasbm, ne on f y r g e n h o l t , ne" on gyfenes grund , ga peer he w i l l e ! (1. 1392-94) B e o w u l f ' s e x h i b i t i o n s of power i n a l l environments e s t a -b l i s h him as master of sea and l a n d . The dragon f i g h t i s c l e a r l y seen as a f i g h t to h o l d ground when Beowulf r e s -o l v e s t h a t he " w i l l not f l e e the space of a f o o t " (1. 2525). The r e t a i n e r s who do f l e e to a p l a c e of ignominy are r a t e d not o n l y as cowards but appear a l s o i n the r o l e of d i s l o y a l t r a i t o r s of the c o m i t a t u s . W i g l a f , however r e c a l l s the o b l i g a t i o n i n i t i a t e d when Beowulf "gave" him " l a n d , d w e l l i n g and a n c e s t r a l sea t " (1. 2492-93)* The owners of d w e l l i n g s are the ones asked to b r i n g wood to B e o w u l f ' s pyre (1. 3112 f f . ) . J u s t as the g i f t of l a n d i s cons idered as a motive f o r f i g h t i n g , so i t becomes a reward f o r worthy a c t i o n s , as when i t i s s a i d of the young Beowulf t h a t there was not "any b e t t e r s h i e l d b e a r e r , w o r -t h i e r of a r e a l m " (1. 8 6 0 - 8 6 1 ) . The waste land theme which makes i t s appearance i n s e v e r a l p l a c e s i n Beowulf i s presented as the t h w a r t i n g of proper f u n c t i o n . Grendel and h i s a n c e s t o r s , who have made monstrous the human image, were condemned to i n h a b i t waste p l a c e s . Grende l ravages Heorot u n t i l i t stands " i d l e " ( 1 . 145). I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s has to do with a myth of s o v e r e i g n t y . The dragon l a y s waste Geat-l a n d and Beowulf's h a l l w i t h h i s s c o r c h i n g flames. The wasteland theme i s r e i n f o r c e d by the u b l sunt analogy of the o l d man: Gesyhb s o r h c e a r i g on h i s suna bure winsele westne, windge r e s t e r e o t e berofene, — r i d e n d swefab, heelej) i n hobman; n i s ba>r hearpan sweg, gomen i n geardum, swylce par i u wairon. (1. 2455-62) The "wasted w i n e - h a l l " i s an u n n a t u r a l t u r n i n g a s i d e from i t s f u n c t i o n . The t e n s i o n r e s i d e s i n the i d e a t h a t where "wine" should flow, the "wind" blows, j u s t as i n regard t o Heorot, where the Danes should l i v e , Grendel a b i d e s . A c t i o n and independence are impossible without a r i g h t f u l p l a c e ; but here i s a spacious p l a c e where there i s no a c t i o n . Here death i s the u l t i m a t e v i o l a t o r . The C h r i s t i a n poet of Beowulf says, a f t e r mentioning God's r u l e of mankind: "much s h a l l abide,dear and h a t e f u l , who l o n g here l n these days of s t r i f e makes use of the world" (1. 1060-62). I t i s t h i s s t r e s s on the l i f e of t h i s world which the poet shares with h i s Germanic f o r e -b e a r s . The poet c o n s t a n t l y emphasizes the world as the sphere f o r l i f e ' s a c t i o n s and as the p l a c e to be over-come and made use of a c c o r d i n g t o each man's needs and a b i l i t i e s . By mentioning not only the s p e c i f i c s e t t i n g s , but a l s o by p l a c i n g the a c t i o n i n a l a r g e r context, the poet tends to u n i v e r s a l i z e the matter of h i s e p i c by such 80 f r e q u e n t l y repeated tags as "under the heavens" and " i n t h i s m i d d l e - e a r t h . " By connect ing l i f e i n - t h e w o r l d t o the passage of t i m e , the poet touches the h e a r t of what T o l k i e n c a l l s "the temporal t ragedy" of B e o w u l f . 1 "Each of us has to l i v e u n t i l the end of h i s l i f e i n 2 t h i s w o r l d " says Beowulf i n the speech to H r o t h g a r i n which he expresses h i s r e s o l v e to d e s t r o y the dam no matter where she goes, emphasizing a t once the need f o r a c t i o n and a l s o the n e c e s s i t y of coping w i t h the e x i g e n c i e s of a l l e n v i r o n -ments. Beowulf c o n t i n u e s , " a c q u i r e who can fame before d e a t h , t h a t i s to a w a r r i o r , when l i f e l e s s , a f terwards b e s t " ( 1 . 1387-89) , s t r e s s i n g by t h i s the Germanic h e r o i c out look which sees the a f t e r l i f e as u n c e r t a i n ( c f . "men cannot say f o r c e r t a i n . . . who r e c e i v e d t h a t cargo" | l . 50-52 j ) and t h i s l i f e as one e n t a i l i n g courageous a c t i o n i n p r e s s i n g s i t u a t i o n s . To Beowulf , the s u r e s t s o r t of imm-o r t a l i t y i s the fame which r e s u l t s from such endeavors. Growing up i s an expanding of mastery over g r e a t e r and more extended p l a c e s , as When S c y l d "grew up under the c l o u d s " ( 1 . 8) and i n c r e a s e d h i s power " u n t i l everyone of the a r o u n d - s i t t e r s over the whale-road had t o l i s t e n to h im" ( 1 . 9 -10) , o r when the Danish Beowulf grew up "young i n the d w e l l i n g " ( 1 . 13) u n t i l l a t e r h i s i n f l u e n c e "sprang wide . . . i n the S c a n d i n a v i a n l a n d s " ( 1 . 17-18) , and l i k e w i s e 1 J . R . R . T o l k i e n , "Beowulf: The Monsters and the C r i t i c s , " An Anthology of Beowulf C r i t i c i s m , e d . Lewis E . N i c h o l s o n T T o r o n t o : B a x t e r P u b l i s h i n g , 1965), P* 73* 2 I r v i n g ' s t r a n s l a t i o n , p . 81. 81 when H r o t h g a r a n d h i s w a r r i o r s "grew t o b e a m i g h t y b a n d " ( 1 . 66-67) u n t i l H r o t h g a r was a b l e t o command "many a t r i b e " ( 1 . 75) t o b u i l d t h e m i g h t i e s t o f h a l l s . B e o w u l f e x p r e s s e s t h e same o u t l o o k i n h i s a s s e r t i o n t h a t " f a r c o u n t r i e s a r e b e t t e r s o u g h t b y h i m who a v a i l s h i m s e l f " ( 1 . 1838-39) . The b r i e f n e s s o f man's s t a y l i m i t s a n d c u t s o f f h i s m a s t e r y o f t h e w o r l d . I n c o n t r a s t t o b i r t h w h i c h i s d e s c r i b e d a s a s p r i n g i n g i n t o t h i s w o r l d , d e a t h i s d e s -c r i b e d a s a t u r n i n g " e l s e w h e r e " f r o m o n e ' s ' d w e l l i n g . " I t i s p o s s i b l e f o r a man t o h o l d h i s p l a c e f o r o n l y so l o n g , no m a t t e r how p o w e r f u l h e i s o r h a s b e e n . P e r h a p s due t o t h e a c u t e a w a r e n e s s o f t h e f l e e t i n g n e s s c o n n e c t e d w i t h l i f e i n t h i s w o r l d , t h e r e i s e x p r e s s e d a f e e l i n g o f m y s t e r y a n d w o n d e r a t t h e phenomenon o f p l a c e : Wundur h w a r bonne e o r l e l l e n r o f ende g e f e r e l i f g e s c e a f t a , bonne l e n g ne mseg mon m i d (ma)gum m e d u s e l d b u a n . ( 1 . 3062-65) The g o o d l i f e i s synonymous w i t h t h e p l a c e o f e n j o y m e n t , " t h e mead-bench." Man's b r i e f a w a r e n e s s o f i t s s u b s t a n -t i a l l y i s d i s s o l v e d b y d e a t h . The p o e t , b e i n g c o n c e r n e d w i t h t h e s u b j e c t o f B e o w u l f ' s h e r o i c a c t i o n i n ' t h i s w o r l d , , i s c a r e f u l t o l o c a t e e v e r y s c e n e i n h i s s t o r y i n t h e s u g g e s t i v e manner o f t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y ( s e e P l a t e s I X , X, X I ) , a nd t o p r o v i d e t r a n s i t i o n s s u c h a s g a n g w a y s , d o o r s , p a t h s , e t c . , i n o r d e r t h a t none o f t h e 82 a c t i o n ever occurs In a s p a t i a l v o i d . 3 The numerous r e f e r e n c e s to l o c a t i o n s w i t h i n every few l i n e s t e s t i f y to the p o e t ' s attempt to p r o v i d e a c a r e f u l l y d e l i n e a t e d space f o r every scene(see Appendix I I f o r a d e t a i l e d o u t l i n e of the p l a c e s mentioned i n B e o w u l f ) . He uses s e t t i n g to g i v e the events v e r s i m i l i t u d e , s u b s t a n t i a l i t y , atmosphere and i n t e r e s t . P l a c e s a l s o g i v e i d e n t i t y to v a r i o u s c h a r a c t e r s and a n t a g o n i s t s . The major s e t t i n g s are major causes of v a r i o u s s t r u g g l e s and are important i n the t o t a l concept ion of l i f e as a t r a n s i t o r y s tay i n t h i s w o r l d . Most of the events i n Beowulf occur i n a h a l l of some s o r t , the mere, the area of a b u r i a l mound, on the sea or on a path l e a d i n g to one of these p l a c e s . T h i s chapter w i l l d e a l w i t h the p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n and h a n d l i n g of each of these p l a c e s . The f i r s t s i g n i f i c a n t p l a c e of i n t e r e s t and the l o c a t i o n of the major a c t i o n of the f i r s t s e c t i o n i s H e o r o t . T h i s h a l l s t i m u l a t e d the p o e t ' s i m a g i n a t i o n to the extent t h a t he used 32 terms meaning " h a l l " t o s i g n i f y Heorot a l o n e . The extent and v a r i e t y of these add r i c h n e s s and splendor to the o n l y h a l l d i s t i n g u i s h e d by be ing g i v e n a name. I t i s I n t e r e s t i n g t h a t these d e s i g n a t i o n s are spread out over the e n t i r e e p i c , many of them r e f e r r i n g not o n l y 3 See, f o r example, H a r o l d ' s depar ture i n w h i c h , i n one scene, he i s f i n i s h i n g h i s d r i n k i n h i s house, and i n the n e x t , he i s b o a r d i n g h i s s h i p . The two are connected by a servant on the s teps of the h a l l f a c i n g H a r o l d but p o i n t i n g , w i t h h i s l e f t hand, to the sea . Whi le t h i s i s not a l t o g e t h e r r e a l i s t i c w i t h r e s p e c t to space and t i m e , i t does suggest the c h i e f stages of each event , j o i n e d by a l i n k - ' V\oXe \%). 83 t o H e o r o t , but to o t h e r h a l l s , to the m e r e - h a l l , and to the d r a g o n ' s barrow, showing t h a t one mind was a t work i n the t o t a l c o n c e p t i o n of the e p i c , and t h a t t h i s mind intended the three major l o c a t i o n s to be compared and c o n t r a s t e d by h i s use of s i m i l a r t e r m i n o l o g y . Another o b s e r v a t i o n t h a t can be made from a study of the p o e t ' s use o f the terms r e f e r r i n g t o Heorot i s t h a t , presumably t o prevent monotony, he uses the v a r i o u s d e s i g -n a t i o n s i n a l t e r n a t i o n s . Any random s e l e c t i o n of l i n e s w i l l show t h i s ^ a s f o r example, 285 htrs. 307 s a l . 310 r e c e d , 312 r o f , 323 s e l e . 326 r e c e d . 411 s e l e , 412 r e c e d . 443 g u b s e l e . 482 b e o r s e l e . 4 8 4 medusele, 485 d r y h t s e l e . 487 h e a l l . 492 b e o r s e l e , 6 l 4 h e a l l . and so f o r t h . Many of these are p a r -t i c u l a r l y a p p r o p r i a t e to the c o n t e x t , showing the p o e t ' s c o n t r o l and s k i l l . The f o l l o w i n g l i s t 2 * i s a study of terms a p p l i e d to H e o r o t . I n the l e f t - h a n d column i s the word i t s e l f , f o l l o w e d by the number of t imes i t appears i n Beowulf , next by the number of t imes i t a p p l i e s s p e c i f i c a l l y t o H e o r o t , then by the l i n e s where i t i s found r e f e r r i n g t o H e o r o t , and l a s t l y , by the m o d i f i e r s which are sometimes used t o enhance o r e l a b o r a t e i t . Not i n c l u d e d are renweard. •house-guardian ' ( 1 . 770) and f l e t r t e s t . ' h a l l - r e s t ' ( 1 . 1 2 4 l ) , a l though they each c o n t a i n one element i n d i c a t i n g h a l l . 4 I am indebted to S t j e r n a ' s c o m p i l a t i o n of terms a p p l y i n g t o house i n h i s u s e f u l "Index of T h i n g s , " p . 245 f f . 84 D e s c r i p t i v e Terms f o r Heorot Term Wic  hof ham eodor  b o l d  f o l d b o l d  hus healsern medoeern brybeern wlnsern reced h e a l r e c e d  h o m r e c e d  wfnreced s e e l sseldt s e l d  h e a l l T o t a l i n Beowulf ? 6 15 1 4 1 7 1 1 1 1 11 1 1 2 2 12 Heorot 1 1 4 1 1 1 5 1 l 1 1 9 1 1 2 1 9 L i n e s 1304 312 717 1248 1407 1601 103? 997 773 116 146 285 658 935 78 69 657 654 310 326 412 720 724 728 770 1237 1799 68 704 714 993 167 307 2075 1280 89 487 614 642 663 925 1009 1214 1288 Accompanying M o d i f i e r s t o r h t beorht  f Sger  heah s e l e s t h e o r o d r e o r l g masst f oremserost . • • under roderunu *• l l x t e se leoma o f e r l a n d a f e l s s e l e s t h l i u a d e s l n c f a g _ t l m b r e d / g e a t o l l c  ond g o l d f a h heorudreon 85 Term g i f h e a l l meduheall sele beahsele  beorsele dryhtsele gestsele  goldsele gubsele  heahsele  hrIngsele  wlnsele f l e t bur Total i n Beowulf 1 1 11 1 4 1 4 2 1 3 3 11 Heorot 1 1 9 1 2 1 4 1 1 1 2 Lines 838 484 81 323 411 713 826 919 1016 1640 2352 1177 482 492 485 767 0994 715 1253 1639 2083 443 647 2010 695 771 1025 IO36 1647 1310 Accompanying Modifiers hltfade/heah  ond horngeap heah heah  heah beorht dreorfah f aettum f ahne Some of the descriptive terms and modifiers show the ways i n which Heorot was s p e c i f i c a l l y conceived. I t s distinguishing height i s indicated by 7 of these modifiers and by one term f o r h a l l . Connected with t h i s are such terms as horngeap. 'wide-gabled, horn-wide, horn-curved, horn-gabled', and hornreced, 'horn-house, gabled house'. These two terms could r e f e r to Heorot»s gable tops or t h e i r gable end projections. An interesting comparison might be to the stave churches of Norway. The forked gables of high roofs are s t i l l i n evidence i n some of the swampy 86 a n d r e m o t e p l a c e s o f G e r m a n y . I t i s a l s o p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e h a l l i s h e r e b e i n g d i s t i n g u i s h e d b y some m a n n e r o f a n t l e r d e c o r a t i o n o n i t s r o o f . No o t h e r h a l l l n t h i s e p i c i s s o d e s c r i b e d . F u r t h e r e v i d e n c e i s p r o v i d e d b y b a n f a g , • b o n e -a d o r n e d ' ( 1 . 780) ( n o t i n c l u d e d i n t h e p r e c e d i n g l i s t b e c a u s e i t s s u b j e c t i s s i m p l e h i t , ' i t ' ) . W e n t w o r t h H u y s h e m e n t i o n s f i n d i n g i n t h e B r i t i s h M u s e u m a n i n t e r e s t i n g " e l e v e n t h c e n t u r y d r a w i n g o f a H a l l o r p a l a c e , t h e r o o f o f w h i c h i s a c t u a l l y a d o r n e d w i t h t h e h e a d a n d a n t l e r s O f a s t a g . " 5 H e o r o t * s b r i g h t n e s s a n d l i g h t a r e d e s c r i b e d b y 4 o f t h e s e m o d i f i e r s . I t p r o b a b l y s h i n e s b e c a u s e o f i t s g o l d d e c o r a t i o n s , s i g n i f i e d b y 3 m o d i f i e r s . T h e d e s c r i p t i v e s c o n t a i n i n g f a h . s u c h a s s l n c f a g , g o l d f a h , a n d f a t t u r n f a h n e , a r e v e r y l i k e t h e w a v y l i n e s , c r o s s e d s q u a r e s , t w i s t s , e t c . , o n t h e d e c o r a t i o n s o f t h e h a l l s i n t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y i n t h e i r g e n e r a l i z a t i o n ( s e e P l a t e s I X , X, X I ) . T h e y s u g g e s t b e a u t i f u l d e c o r a t i v e e f f e c t s r a t h e r t h a n r e n d e r p h o t o g r a -p h i c a l l y t h e i r e x a c t d e t a i l s . I t i s n o t e w o r t h y t h a t a l l k r e f e r e n c e s t o " g o l d - h a l l " i n B e o w u l f a p p l y t o H e o r o t . I t w o u l d s e e m t h a t t h e p o e t m e a n t h i s i d e a l H e o r o t t o b e d i s -t i n g u i s h e d a b o v e o t h e r h a l l s b y v i r t u e o f i t s w e a l t h y a n d I m p r e s s i v e d e c o r a t i o n s . T h e m o s t f r e q u e n t d e s i g n a t i o n f o r H e o r o t i s i n t e r m s o f t h e f u n c t i o n o f a l l s u c h h a l l s w h e r e m e a d , w i n e , b e e r , a n d a l e f l o w f r e e l y . T h u s , " w i n e - h a l l , m e a d - h a l l , b e e r - h a l l " d e s c r i b e I t 12 t i m e s . F o r t h e p r e c e d i n g r e a s o n s , 5 W e n t w o r t h H u y s h e , ''Beowulf': A n O l d E n g l i s h E p i c ( L o n d o n : G e o r g e R o u t l e d g e a n d S o n s , L t d . , 1908) , p . 52 . 8? i t i s understandable t h a t the poet should c a l l Heorot the "bes t " of h a l l s , the " g r e a t e s t , " the "most i l l u s t r i o u s " and " s p l e n d i d " h a l l 5 t imes and term i t brybssrn. ' a mighty or s p l e n d i d house* , and d r y h t s e l e . *a s p l e n d i d or l o r d l y h a l l ' , 4 t i m e s . Heorot i s a l s o a p p r o p r i a t e l y d e s c r i b e d i n terms of another s i t u a t i o n which has u n f o r t u n a t e l y come to pass l n i t s c o n f i n e s , t h a t I s , as a " b a t t l e - h a l l " (used t w i c e ) . P a r t i c u l a r l y shocking t o the v i s u a l eye i s when t h i s g o l d -adorned h a l l becomes s t a i n e d w i t h b l o o d and i s m o d i f i e d as " g o r e - s t a i n e d " three t i m e s . The s o r t of e f f e c t i v e v i s u a l t e n s i o n sometimes c rea ted by the poet i s shown i n the l i n e s : "Then i n the morning was t h i s m e a d - h a l l , t h i s s p l e n d i d h a l l , s t a i n e d w i t h g o r e " ( 1 . 484-485), emphasizing i n t h i s c o n -c e n t r a t e d d e s c r i p t i o n t h a t the m a g n i f i c e n t h a l l where "mead" should f l o w has been the p l a c e where " b l o o d " f lowed i n s t e a d . The r e a l i s t i c s t r u c t u r a l d e t a i l s of Heorot which the poet has chosen to f e a t u r e a t a p p r o p r i a t e occas ions g i v e some i d e a of what the h a l l must have been l i k e . S ince the poet o b v i o u s l y f e l t t h a t h i s audience would be f a m i l i a r w i t h the c o n s t r u c t i o n of m e a d - h a l l s , he o n l y mentions v a r i o u s r e l e v a n t d e t a i l s when they are necessary to the a c t i o n . J u s t o u t s i d e the w a l l of the b u i l d i n g i s a bench where Beowulf and h i s Geats s i t to w a i t f o r p e r m i s s i o n to enter ( 1 . 327) , and where a few remain behind to guard the weapons ( 1 . 400 ) . The door to Heorot i s s p e c i f i c a l l y mentioned t w i c e . The poet e x p l o i t s the dramat ic p o s s i b i l i t i e s of B e o w u l f ' s 88 a r r i v a l a t H e o r o t b y f o l l o w i n g a l l t h e c o r r e c t f o r m a l p r o c e d u r e s o f e n t r y i n t o t h e c o u r t o f a p o w e r f u l k i n g . W u l f g a r g o e s " t o t h e d o o r " a n d a n n o u n c e s " f r o m w i t h i n " (1. 389-390) H r o t h g a r ' s w e l c o m e . T h i s same s e n s e o f o c c a s i o n i s a g a i n e x h i b i t e d w h e n t h e p o e t c r e a t e s h o r r o r a t t h e a r r i v a l o f G r e n d e l , c u l m i n a t i n g a s e r i e s o f m o v e m e n t s c a l c u l a t e d t o i n s p i r e t e r r o r i n t h e a u d i e n c e : D u r u s o n a o n a r n f y r b e n d u m f s s s t , sybbanjhe" h i r e f u l m u m ( s e t h r ) a n ; o n b r s d p a b e a l o h y d i g , p a ( h e g e ) b o l g e n wess, r e c e d e s m u b a n . (1. 721-724) T h e m e t a p h o r i c d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e d o o r a s a " m o u t h " i s i n p o e t i c k e e p i n g w i t h t h e c a n n i b a l i s t i c a c t i v i t i e s a b o u t t o c o m m e n c e , w h i l e t h e r e a l i s t i c d e t a i l o f t h e d o o r ' s c o n -s t r u c t i o n w h i c h i s f i r m " w i t h f i r e - f o r g e d b o n d s " a d d s t o t h e t e r r o r o f t h e s i t u a t i o n b e c a u s e i t i n c r e a s e s t h e a c t u a l i t y o f t h i s m o n s t r o u s i n t r u s i o n i n t o a b u i l d i n g w h i c h i s t h e r e s u l t o f m a n ' s g r e a t e s t e f f o r t s a n d s k i l l o f : c r a f t s m a n s h i p . T h e d e t a i l s w h i c h t h e p o e t g i v e s o f t h e I n s i d e o f H e o r o t c o r r e s p o n d t o J o h n R. C l a r k H a l l ' s d i a g r a m s o f a S c a n d i n a v i a n r o y a l h a l l . ^ U p o n h i s f i r s t e n t r a n c e B e o w u l f p r o c e e d s u n t i l h e s t a n d s " b y t h e h e a r t h " (1. 404). A l w a y s a l i v e t o t h e p o t e n t i a l i t i e s o f a s c e n e , t h e p o e t f o l l o w s t h i s b y m e n t i o n i n g t h a t B e o w u l f ' s " b y r n i e s h o n e o n h i m " (1. 405), t h e f i r e d o u b t l e s s c a s t i n g i t s l i g h t o n t h e 6 J o h n R. C l a r k H a l l , " I n d e x o f T h i n g s , " B e o w u l f a n d  t h e F i g h t a t F l n n s b u r g ( L o n d o n : S w a n S o n n e s c h e i n a n d C o m p a n y , L t d . , 1901), p . 175* S e e P l a t e X I I . 89 b r i g h t m e t a l . The s e a t i n g arrangements w i t h i n Heorot correspond to CI<uK ( Pi ode JUO H a l l ' s diagrams .which show two t i e r s of s e a t s , one h i g h e r than the o t h e r , on each s ide of the h a l l . In the poem i t i s twice s t a t e d t h a t U n f e r t h sat a t H r o t h g a r ' s f e e t ( 1 . 4 9 9 f f . and l l 6 6 f f . ) . That Beowulf and H r e t h r l c and Hrothmund p r o -b a b l y sat i n the p l a c e of honor across the h e a r t h from Hrothgar seems to be i n d i c a t e d i n the poem when Wealhtheow, a f t e r having spoken to Hrothgar and H r o t h u l f , " turned to the bench" ( 1 . 1188) where her sons and Beowulf s a t . Hrothgar sat on a " g i f t s t o o l " ( 1 . 168) , a " h i g h seat" ( 1 . 1815) . Everyone e l s e sat on benches which are c a l l e d s imply "benches , " o r " a l e " benches and "mead" benches. The poet says of the f i g h t t h a t : b*a W83S wundor m i c e l , bat s e w i n s e l e wibhssfde heapodeorum^ baet he on hrusan ne f e o l , fffiger f o l d b o l d ; _ a c he bees fseste wass innan ond u t a n irenbendum searoboncum besmlbod. baa? fram s y l l e abeag medubenc monig mine gefrage golde geregnad, bar pa graman wunnon. ( 1 . 771-777) From the d e s c r i p t i o n i t would seem t h a t the benches them-s e l v e s were ornamented o r prepared w i t h g o l d d e c o r a t i n g (the verb i s r e g n l a n ) . as were many o t h e r p a r t s of t h i s weal thy h a l l . A l though H e o r o t ' s c o n s t r u c t i o n i s f i r m w i t h " i r o n bands f o r g e d w i t h s k i l l " ( 1 . 773-77*0, i t s h i g h r o o f i s the o n l y p a r t t h a t seems to have s u r v i v e d the b a t t l e undamaged ( 1 . 997-1000). The main b u i l d i n g w a l l s and roof are " t i m b e r e d " ( 1 . 307) . The f l o o r of Heorot i s of wood which "dinned" ( 1 . 131?) when the v i c t o r i o u s Beowulf walked w i t h h i s men t o ad d r e s s H r o t h g a r . E a r l i e r , G r e n d e l t r o d on fagne f l o r ( 1 . 725) . I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o d e c i d e what i s meant by t h i s . Does f a g mean 'paved* o r ' v a r i e -g a t e d , d e c o r a t e d , s h i n i n g * as K l a e b e r t a k e s i t t o mean i n h i s " G l o s s a r y , " o r does t i t mean " b l o o d - s t a i n e d " a c c o r d i n g t o h i s second d e f i n i t i o n w hich he does n o t a p p l y t o t h e s e l i n e s ? The l a t t e r d e f i n i t i o n i s e a s i e s t t o adhere t o because H r o t h g a r , a t one p o i n t , says i t was n o t l o n g ago t h a t he d i d n o t e x p e c t any remedy "when the b e s t o f houses, s t a i n e d w i t h b l o o d , s t o o d b a t t l e - g o r y " ( 1 . 934-935) . I f t h i s i s t h e c a s e , t h e n G r e n d e l * s e n t r a n c e on t h e " s t a i n e d f l o o r " s i m p l y r e c a l l s h i s p a s t misdeeds. I f , however, t h e f o r m e r i s t h e c a s e , t h e n t h e r e a r e v a r i o u s p o s s i b i l i t i e s . F i r s t , i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e wood was " d e c o r a t e d " i n some f a s h i o n , a l t h o u g h t h i s would n o t have been v e r y p r a c t i c a l . S e c o n d l y , i t c o u l d r e f e r t o " t r a c e s o f Roman t e s s e l l a t e d p a v i n g which may have remained i n e a r l y t i m e s a f t e r Anglo-Saxon h a l l s had been b u i l t on th e s i t e s o f R o m a n - B r i t i s h v i l l a s . " ? There i s a t h i r d p o s s i b i l i t y , w h i c h i s pure c o n j e c t u r e on my p a r t s i n c e I know no a r c h i t e c t u r a l remains o f t h i s n a t u r e , t h a t ils, t h a t t h e main f l o o r was indeed o f wood b u t around the h e a r t h , t o p r e v e n t the f i r e from s p r e a d i n g , was a r e i n f o r c e d a r e a of stone which may have been p a t t e r n e d i n some f a s h i o n . When the p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n i s g i v e n i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t 7 C L . Wrenn, "Commentary," Beowulf w i t h t h e F l n n s b u r g  Fragment (London: George G. H a r r a y s and Co. L t d . , 1953) , p. 198. 91 G r e n d e l Is somewhere near the h e a r t h s ince h i s eyes , u n l e s s they are m a g i c a l l y l i t , p i c k up the l i g h t of the f i r e , and he l o o k s around a t the s l e e p i n g w a r r i o r s ( 1 . 7 2 6 f f . ) . In the a r e a surrounding Heorot are o t h e r b u i l d i n g s where Wealhtheow's b r y d b u r , 'woman's chamber' ( 1 . 921) would have been l o c a t e d . L i k e H y g e l a c ' s h a l l , Heorot i s not f a r from the s e a * c l l f f s', ( 1 . 2 2 1 f f . , 1 9 1 1 f f . , 1 9 2 1 f f . ) . The o ther r o y a l h a l l s mentioned i n Beowulf are d e s c r i b e d i n s i m i l a r terms except t h a t they are not d e a l t w i t h as e x t e n s i v e l y . Heorot stands out as b e i n g on a l a r g e r and grander s c a l e than o ther m e a d - h a l l s . T h i s i s i n keeping w i t h H r o t h g a r ' s o r i g i n a l concept ion of h i s h a l l as the m i g h t i e s t of mead-houses ( 1 . ? 0 ) . H y g e l a c ' s h a l l , f o r i n s t a n c e , i s f r e q u e n t l y seen as p a r t of the t o t a l complex of b u i l d i n g s : b u r h l o c a . ' c a s t l e e n c l o s u r e ' ( 1 . 1928) , burfry. ' f o r t i f i e d p l a c e , c a s t l e , town' ( 1 . 1968) , and w o r b l g . ' e n c l o s e d homestead* ( 1 . 1972) . H e o r o t , the w i n e -h a l l , i s by i t s e l f s e l e c t e d as the c e n t e r of a t t e n t i o n , u n l i k e any of the unnamed h a l l s , such as i n P innsburg whert-the l e a d e r ' s name i s a p p l i e d t o the e n t i r e group of b u i l d i n g s w i t h i n the e n c l o s u r e . The Beowulf poet enhances Heorot h i s i d e a l i s t i c d e s -c r i p t l o n s of t h i s m a g n i f i c e n t h a l l : I t v i r t u a l l y comparable i n splendor and magnitude to the C r e a t i o n i t s e l f . The s i m i l a r i t y i s i m p l i c i t i n the juxtaposed d e s c r i p t i o n s of the b u i l d i n g of Heorot and the making of the e a r t h . Both c r e a t i o n s are d e s c r i b e d i n terms of p i c t u r e s q u e beauty . 92 B o t h a r e a r t i s t i c a l l y c o m p o s e d a n d p u r p o s e f u l l y c a r r i e d o u t . I n b o t h t h e r e i s t h e a c t u a l i z a t i o n o f a m e n t a l p i c t u r e , a m a k i n g o f t h e p l a c e c o n c e i v e d . A s G o d " a d o r n e d t h e e a r t h ' s r e g i o n s " ( 1 . 96) s o H r o t h g a r o r d e r e d m a n y t r i b e s " t o a d o r n a f o l k - s t e a d " ( 1 . 7 6 ) . L a t e r , f o r t h e v i c t o r y f e a s t , H e o r o t w a s o r d e r e d t o b e " a d o r n e d " ( 1 . 992) b y h a n d s w i t h T a p e s t r i e s o f i n t e r w o v e n g o l d t h r e a d s , j u s t a s t h e e a r t h i s h e r e a d o r n e d " w i t h b r a n c h e s a n d l e a v e s " ( 1 . 9 7 ) , c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y ' s t r e e s w h o s e b r a n c h e s a r e s t y l i z e d i n t o d e c o r a t i v e i n t e r l a c e d e s i g n s ( S e e P l a t e s I X , X, X I ) . J u s t a s G o d " s e t t r i u m p h a n t t h e s u n a n d m o o n " ( 1 . 9*0 a s l i g h t s f o r l a n d - d w e l l e r s , s o H e o r o t ' s " l i g h t s h o n e o v e r m a n y l a n d s " ( 1 . 309-311), 8 a l t h o u g h t h i s l a t t e r I s l a r g e l y s y m b o l i c . T h e e a r t h i s a p l a c e o f a c t i v i t y f o r " a l l k i n d s o f t h o s e t h a t l i v i n g m o v e a b o u t " a n d H e o r o t i s a p l a c e f o r H r o t h g a r " t o d i s t r i b u t e a l l " ( 1 . 71)• H e o r o t ' s s u r p a s s i n g s p l e n d o r i s f u r t h e r e l e v a t e d b y t h e n a t u r e o f i t s g l o r i o u s o c c u p a n t s a n d v i s i t o r s , a s w e l l a s b y i t s j o y o u s f e a s t s I n w h i c h c o u r t e s y a n d g e n e r o s i t y 8 T h e name o f H e o r o t i s s i g n i f i c a n t b e c a u s e o f i t s a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h t h e h a r t , a s y m b o l o f r o y a l t y . F u r t h e r " i t s s y m b o l i c m e a n i n g , " s a y s J . E . C i r l o t , " i s l i n k e d w i t h t h a t o f t h e T r e e o f L i f e , b e c a u s e o f t h e r e s e m b l a n c e o f i t s a n t l e r s t o b r a n c h e s . . . . CitJ came t o b e t h o u g h t o f a s a s y m b o l o f r e g e n e r a t i o n b e c a u s e o f t h e w a y i t s a n t l e r s a r e r e n e w e d . . . . I t i s t h e s e c u l a r e n e m y o f t h e s e r p e n t , w h i c h s h o w s t h a t , s y m b o l i c a l l y , i t w a s v i e w e d f a v o u r a b l y ; i t i s c l o s e l y r e l a t e d t o h e a v e n a n d l i g h t , w h e r e a s t h e s e r p e n t i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h n i g h t a n d s u b t e r r a n e a n l i f e " ( A D i c t i o n a r y  o f S y m b o l s , t r a n s l . b y J a c k S a g e p few Y o r k : P h i l o s o p h i c a l L i b r a r y , 19623 , p . 294) . 93 prevail. This is reciprocal in that just as the a c t i v i -ties and heroes within Heorot exalt the h a l l , so the hall i t s e l f increases the stature of i t s distinguished inhabi-tants. Heorot becomes an image of heroic l i f e . When tainted by violation, Heorot i s indeed worth purifying. And when, as mentioned in the f i r s t part, Heorot i s even-tually to be destroyed by "battle surges" and "hateful f i r e " (1. 82-83), i t i s a disaster of the f i r s t order. Something precious and irreplaceable w i l l have been lost to man, who w i l l be the more mlsfortunate for being deprived of his crowning achievement. The malevolent counterpart of Heorot i s the mere-h a l l . That i t i s intended to be such a parallel i s evident in the descriptive terminology for the mere-hall: wlc (1.125, 821, 1612), deabwlc (1. 1275). hof (1. 1507), ham (1. 124), hus (1. 1666), reced (1.1572), gubsele (1. 2139). and nlbsele (1. 1513). Constructional aspects are contained in hrofsele. 'roofed h a l l ' (1. 1515) and f l e t , 'floor' (1. 1540, 1568). The eerie likeness to Heorot's hearth is the fyrleoht (1. 1516). Grendel in Heorot i s ironically called a heal b_egn, 'hall-thane' (1. 142) and Beowulf in the mere-hall a sele-gyst. 'hall-guest' (1. 1545). Having bri e f l y seen the parallel between Heorot and the mere-hall, l e t us consider the significance of this. F i r s t of a l l , the setting of Heorot, as Brodeur has rightly pointed out, i s "at once dramatic and symbolic," revealing a present splendor and intimating i t s imminent ruin .9 W.M. Hart 9 Brodeur, p. 110. 94 s t a t e s t h a t Heorot "was regarded as the crowning achievement of n a t i o n a l l i f e ; i n s i z e and splendor i t was u n p a r a l l e l e d ; i t s joys and i t s g i f t - g i v i n g had never been e q u a l l e d . . . . I t was f o r the c l e a n s i n g of Heorot t h a t Beowulf came to the Danes; and Heorot i s thus the c e n t e r of the f i r s t p a r t of the poem, the t h i n g fought f o r , the e x c i t i n g cause of a l l the a c t i o n . " 1 0 Heorot becomes a k i n d of a r c h e t y p a l h a l l — the m i g h t i e s t ever known to men ( 1 . 69-70) , the "most i l l u s -t r i o u s b u i l d i n g under the s k i e s to e a r t h d w e l l e r s " ( 1 . 309-310) . Heorot i s , however, Invaded by the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the f o r c e s of chaos and d e a t h . The center of the a l i e n environment i s g i v e n a t a n g i b l e l o c u s i n the mere w h i c h , u n l i k e Heorot which i s humanly comprehensib le , i s uncanny and fearsome. I t i s an e x t e r n a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the o p p o s i t e of those q u a l i t i e s represented by H e o r o t . The mere, t h e n , would seem to be the center of a r c h e t y p a l e v i l . The mere i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h d a r k n e s s , I t s i n h a b i t a n t , G r e n d e l , i s d e s c r i b e d as "he who dwelt In darkness" ( 1 . 8 7 ) . The surrounding area i s m i s t y o r murky.;as w e l l as d a r k : " i n p e r p e t u a l n i g h t \Grendel\ h e l d the m i s t y moors" ( 1 . 161-162) , " the moor under the m i s t y c l i f f s " ( 1 . 710) , " the murky moor" ( 1 . 1405) . In her a r t i c l e n o t i n g the Anglo-Saxon i n c l i n a t i o n f o r and a d m i r a t i o n of the s t e r n and rough m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of nature i n O l d E n g l i s h p o e t r y , E l i z a b e t h Deer ing Hanscom observes t h a t " to the m i s t g r e a t a t t e n t i o n i s p a i d , almost as 10 W.M. H a r t , " B a l l a d and E p i c , " Harvard S t u d i e s and  Notes i n P h i l o l o g y and L i t e r a t u r e . XI (1907), P» 152. 95 i f i t were of s u p e r n a t u r a l c h a r a c t e r , and remembering the c l i m a t e of the i s l a n d , b e g i r t w i t h fogs and r e e k i n g ^ s l c ] w i t h v a p o r , one does not wonder t h a t these m i s t y depths were peopled w i t h s trange shapes and uncanny m o n s t e r s . " 1 1 Remembering t o o , the p o e t ' s s u s c e p t i b i l i t y f o r suggest ing v i v i d d e t a i l s t h a t t a n t a l i z e the audience beyond the g i v e n I n f o r m a t i o n , i t i s no wonder t h a t he has a n a t u r a l a f f i n i t y f o r the m i s t and enshrouds the whole mere episode w i t h i t s myster ious v e i l . The o p p r e s s i v e darkness of the mere i t s e l f i s brought out i n H r o t h g a r * s account of i t : "where the mountain stream f l o w s downward under the h e a d l a n d s ' m i s t s ( d a r k n e s s ) , " " the f a s t - r o o t e d wood overshadows the w a t e r , " " there the t o s s i n g waves ascend u p , dark t o the c l o u d s , " " the a i r becomes gloomy, the s k i e s weep" ( 1 . 1359-75) . I n is a d d i t i o n to the darkness of t h i s a r e a 3 ^ t h e " w i n d " i n the "windy headlands" ( 1 . 1358) which " s t i r s h o s t i l e storms" ( 1 . 1374-75) . The mere i s a l s o c o l d w i t h " f r o s t - c o v e r e d woods" ( 1 . 1363) and " c o l d streams" ( 1 . 1262) . The d a r k n e s s , the heavy h u m i d i t y , the w i n d , and the c o l d a l l c o n t r i b u t e to the d r e a r i n e s s of the atmosphere which i s t o t a l l y u n l i k e the b r i g h t warmth of H e o r o t . To t h i s p h y s i c a l l y r e p e l l e n t atmosphere the poet adds the element of f e a r , which a r i s e s l a r g e l y because ,,the na ture of the p l a c e and I t s i n h a -b i t a n t s are not understood and t h e r e f o r e not under the c o n t r o l of man. T h i s mystery and l a c k of knowledge i s s t r e s s e d 11 E l i z a b e t h D e e r i n g Hanscom, "The F e e l i n g f o r Nature i n Old E n g l i s h P o e t r y , " JEGP. V (1905), P» 453. 96 s e v e r a l t i m e s : "men know not where hal l -demons wander a t t i m e s " ( 1 . 162-163) , " I d o n ' t know where . . * s h e v e n t u r e d " ( 1 . 1331-32) , "You do not know the l a n d " ( 1 . 1377)• D u r i n g the f i g h t , G r e n d e l i s eager to f l e e to h i s " h i d i n g p l a c e " (1« 755) w h i c h , by b e i n g s e c r e t , i s safe f o r h i m . "No one so wise l i v e s , " says Hrothgar of the mere, "who knows the bottom" ( 1 . 1366-67) . More than n a t u r a l f o r c e s p l a y t h e i r p a r t i n the mere a r e a . The poet i s ab le to make t h i s c o n v i n c i n g l a r g e l y because he has c rea ted such a f o r b i d d i n g p h y s i c a l atmosphere i n a r e g i o n l a r g e l y unknown to man. An "uncanny way" ( 1 . 1410) l e a d s to t h i s "myster ious l a n d " ( 1 . 1357) where "s t range sea-dragons" ( 1 . 1426) swim about . The approach i s out of the ordinary , and p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y prepares the men (and the audience) f o r a n y t h i n g of an unusua l na ture which might subsequently occur i n a rea lm which has u n f a m i -l i a r laws of i t s own. I t i s a p l a c e where "a f e a r f u l wonder may be seen each n i g h t , a f i r e on the f l o o d " ( 1 . 1365-67) . A t a n g i b l e example of i t s unnatura lness i s the i n s t a n c e of the h a r t who would r a t h e r be a t t a c k e d by hounds a f t e r a long chase than " p r o t e c t h i s head t h e r e , " i . e . , jump i n ( 1 . 1372) . T h i s i s an e x c e l l e n t i l l u s t r a t i o n of i t s e e r i n e s s s ince not o n l y man but a n a t u r a l f o r e s t animal i s i n s t i n c -t i v e l y r e p e l l e d by t h i s p a r t i c u l a r wood. The choice of the h a r t a l s o b r i n g s Heorot and the mere together to i n v i t e comparison and c o n t r a s t . H r o t h g a r ' s Danes are p a r t l y excused from b e i n g accused of / s cowards s i n c e t h i s dangerous p lace r e a l l y i s beyond the mastery of o r d i n a r y humans. 97 T h e m e r e i s g i v e n f u r t h e r s i n i s t e r a s s o c i a t i o n s . G r e n d e l i s t w i c e a s s o c i a t e d s y m b o l i c a l l y w i t h " h e l l " a s h i s p l a c e o f r e s i d e n c e a n d c a p t i v i t y : f e o n d o n h e l l e ( 1 . 101) a n d h e l l e h e a f t o n ( 1 . 787) . A f t e r h i s m a i m i n g G r e n d e l e s c a p e s t o h i s f e n - r e f u g e : " t h e r e h e l l r e c e i v e d h i m " ( 1 . 852) . I n h i s " N o t e s " K l a e b e r p o i n t s o u t t h e c o n n e c t i o n , i n p o p u l a r i m a g i n a t i o n , " b e t w e e n h e l l a n d m o r a s s e s . " 1 2 G.V. S m i t h e r s n o t e s t h a t a t r o l l w a s o f t e n c o n c e i v e d o f a s a d e a d m a n, a " d e n i z e n " o f t h e G e r m a n i c " H e i , w h i c h m e a n s g r a v e ( e t y -m o l o g i c a l l y ' c o v e r i n g ' ) , " a n d f u r t h e r , t h a t a s a g h o s t o f s u p e r n a t u r a l p o w e r s , h e " c a n b e d i s p o s e d o f o n l y i f b e h e a d e d o r b u r n t , t h e r e b y p o s s i b l y a c c o u n t i n g f o r B e o w u l f ' s a c t i o n i n c a r v i n g o f f G r e n d e l * s h e a d ( 1 . 1587-90) . I n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e p h y s i c a l a n d u n n a t u r a l o r s u p e r n a t u r a l a t m o s p h e r e o f t h e m e r e , t h e s u b j e c t i v e a t m o s -p h e r e b e c o m e s a l m o s t t a n g i b l e . T h e dam h a d t o i n h a b i t t h e w e e t e r e g e s a ( 1 . 1260) . T h e r e g i o n o f G r e n d e l a n d t h e dam i s f r e c n e . ' t e r r i b l e , f e a r f u l , d a n g e r o u s ' ( 1 . 1359r 1378) . I t i s "no p l e a s a n t p l a c e " ( 1 . 1372) . " H o s t i l e " s t o r m s ( 1 . 1375) o c c u r t h e r e . S u r r o u n d i n g t h e m e r e i s a " j o y l e s s " w o o d ( 1 . 1415) . T h e " s t r a n g e " c r e a t u r e s ( 1 . 1426) s w i m m i n g t h e r e r u s h e d , a b o u t " b i t t e r a n d e n r a g e d " ( 1 . 1431) . T h e h a l l u n d e r t h e m e r e i s a " h o s t i l e " p l a c e ( 1 . 1511) . T h e e n v i r o n m e n t a l , s p i r i t u a l , a n d p s y c h o l o g i c a l a t m o s p h e r e w h i c h t h e p o e t h a s c r e a t e d f o r t h e m e r e makes i t a p l a c e t e r r i f y i n g a n d f o r e i g n 12 K l a e b e r , p . 132. 13 G.V. S m i t h e r s , T h e M a k i n g o f ' B e o w u l f ( U n i v e r s i t y o f D u r h a m , 1961) , p . 9« 98 but f a s c i n a t i n g and a e s t h e t i c a l l y e x c i t i n g f o r the a u d i e n c e . Any c o n f u s i o n over the landscape of the mere, t h a t i s , whether i t i s l o c a t e d l n the moors o r i n the mountains , can be c l e a r e d up by a c l o s e recourse to the t e x t of the poem. Grende l and h i s k i n l i v e " f a r . . . f r o m mankind" ( 1 . 109-110) i n "'the waste" ( 1 . 1265) t r e a d i n g the " e x i l e - t r a c k " ( 1 . 1352) . The main c o n s i d e r a t i o n to keep i n mind i s t h a t Grendel and h i s dam l i v e beyond the human b o u n d a r i e s , t h a t i s , beyond the a r e a ordered and c o n t r o l l e d by man. What are the waste p l a c e s beyond Heorot but the moors and then the mountains? Both are the domain of such monsters as G r e n d e l s ince n e i t h e r are c o n g e n i a l to human a c t i v i t y . There are not two p o e t i c concept ions a t work h e r e , o n l y one. P a r t of the confus ion 1 2 * ' has r e s u l t e d because Grende l i s more f r e q u e n t l y s a i d to h o l d the f e n and the moors ( e . g . , 1 . 103, 1348) . T h i s i s t r u e , as f a r as i t goes . The p r o -blem a r i s e s because of a misunders tanding of the p o e t ' s method of d e s c r i p t i o n which i s f r e q u e n t l y to f e a t u r e one concrete aspect of h i s sub jec t a t one t i m e , as po in ted out i n Chapter I I . I t i s i n a c c u r a t e to assume t h a t Grendel dominated the moors o n l y . As s h a l l soon be c l e a r , the moors are c l o s e r to Heorot than the mountains , and are t h e r e f o r e more l i k e l y t o be t y p i f i e d as G r e n d e l ' s domain. T h i s i s not con jec ture o n l y but i s s p e c i f i c a l l y s t a t e d i n two passages . In the f i r s t , Grende l i s s a i d to come " from 14 See f o r example, the o p i n i o n s c i t e d l n W.W. Lawrence, "The Haunted Mere i n B e o w u l f . " MLA, XXVII (1912), p . 2 0 8 -2 4 5 . 9 9 t h e m o o r u n d e r t h e m i s t y c l i f f s " ( 1 . 7 1 0 ) . I f t h e r e a r e t w o s e p a r a t e v e r s i o n s o f G r e n d e l ' s d o m i c i l e , t h e p o e t w o u l d n o t c a r e l e s s l y p u t t h e m i n t h e same l i n e . T h e s e c o n d p a s s a g e s h o w s t h e r i c h p i c t u r e s q u e n e s s o f t h e e n t i r e m e r e e p i s o d e a n d i s w o r t h q u o t i n g a t l e n g t h . I t d e s c r i b e s t h e a p p r o a c h t o t h e m e r e a f t e r B e o w u l f h a s r e s o l v e d t o d e s t r o y t h e dam. T h e d e t a i l e d s t a g e s o f t h e a p p r o a c h c o u l d n o t b e m ade m o r e s p e c i f i c a l l y c l e a r : p a waes H r o p g a r e h o r s g e b s e t e d , w i c g wundenfeax. W i s a f e n g e l g e a t o l i c g e n d e ; g u m f § b a s t o p l i n d h a e b b e n d r a . L a s t a s waeron s e f t e r w aldswaebum w i d e g e s y n e , g a n g o f e r g r u n d a s , t s w a l g e g n u m f o r  o f e r m y r o a n m o r , m a g b p e g n a beer p o n e s e l e s t a n s a w o l l e a s n e p a r a b e mid_ H r o b g a r e ham e a h t o d e . O f e r e o d e b a s e b e l i n g a b e a m s t e a p s t a n h l i b o , s t l g e n e a r w e . e n g e a n p a p a s , u n c u b g e l a d , n e o w l e n s a s s a s . n l o o r h u s a f e l a ; h e f e a r a sum b e f o r a n g e n g d e w i s r a m o n n a _ w o n g s c e a w i a n , o b beat h e f s e r i n g a f y r g e n b e a m a s o f e r _ h a r n e s t a n h l e o n i a n f u n d e j w y n l e a s n e w u d u ; w e s t e r u n d e r s t o d d r e o r i g o n d g e d r e f e d . ( u n d e r l i n i n g m i n e ) ( 1 . 1 3 9 9 - 1 4 1 7 ) T h i s i s t h e s i n g l e a n d s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d a p p r o a c h t o t h e m e r e f r o m H e o r o t . I t i s c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e s u g g e s t i v e t e c h -n i q u e u s e d t o i n d i c a t e t h e N o r m a n w a y w h i c h l e a d s t h r o u g h m a r s h y l a n d t o a s t e e p s l o p e r o u g h w i t h g o r s e a n d b r a m b l e r s i n t h e B a y e u x t a p e s t r y ( P l a t e X I ) . H r o t h g a r * s d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e m e r e i t s e l f i s t h e m o s t c o m p l e t e a n d creates„, w h a t K e r c a l l s " t h e b e a u t y o f t h e G o r g o n " 1 5 W.P. K e r , ' " B e o w u l f * , " E p i c a n d R o m a n c e : E s s a y s  o n M e d i e v a l L i t . (New Y o r k : D o v e r P u b l i c , I n c . , 1 9 5 7 ) , p . 1 7 4 . 100 H i e d y g e l l o n d -warigeap w u l f h l e o b u , windige neessas, f r e c n e f e n g e l a d , peer fyrgens iream under neessa genipu n i p e r gewi teb , f l o d under f o l d a n . N i s beet f e o r heonon milgemearces, pset se mere standep; o f e r pan hongiab h r i n d e bearwas, wudu wyrtum feest water oferhelmab. bair inesg n i h t a gehwsan nifcwundor seon, f y r on f l o d e . No bees f r o d l e o f a p ( 1 . 1357-66) _ n i s peet heoru stow! ponon ypgeblond up a s t i g e b won t o wolcnum, bonne wind s t y r e p l a 5 gewidru , op pset l y f t drysmab, roderas reotap* ( 1 . 1372-76) The poet seems to have i n s t i n c t i v e l y used the most e f f e c t i v e t e r r o r p a r a p h e n a l i a : steep narrow a sc ents and d e s c e n t s , i n t i m i d a t i n g and ominous masses t h a t l e a n f o r -ward, tumultuous mountain streams and t o r r e n t s , cavernous and h i d d e n p l a c e s , boundary s i t u a t i o n s , p r o x i m i t y to the sea , c l o u d s , s o l i t u d e , and a g e n e r a l w i l d n e s s and i r r e g u -l a r i t y of l a n d s c a p e . He i s e s p e c i a l l y s e n s i t i v e to l i g h t i n g and atmospheric e f f e c t s . U s i n g p i c t u r e - e v o k i n g d e t a i l s which t a n t a l i z e the i m a g i n a t i o n f u r t h e r , he has a sense of the a p p e a l i n g and the suggest ive which produces a s t r o n g e x c i t i n g impact . The whole landscape i s p o s s i b l y an i m a g i n a t i v e and p o e t i c one which i s not n e c e s s a r i l y to be found i n any p a r t i c u l a r p l a c e i n S c a n d i n a v i a . The p o e t ' s p a i n t i n g of the mere i s l i k e a water c o l o r i n which o n l y c e r t a i n d e t a i l s are more o r l e s s brought s u g g e s t i v e l y forward from the vague background washes. I t i s an a r t i s t i c not a photographic r e n d e r i n g of the mere. Attempts t o r e c o n -101 s t r u c t the e n t i r e scene and g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n are i n t e r e s t i n g but m i s l e a d i n g i f meant t o be taken s e r i o u s l y r a t h e r than as g u i d e s o r p a r a l l e l s . 1 ^ Where would a Beowulf o r a Grendel be found? What we do know about the mere i s t h a t i t i s not too many m i l e s from Heorot ( 1 . 1361-62).* 9:1 the day o f the dam f i g h t everyone l e a v e s on f o o t , except f o r H r o t h g a r who r l d e s , \ i n the morning) The p o e t ' s n a r r a t i o n of the sub-sequent f i g h t i s i n t e r r u p t e d by h i s s h i f t of a t t e n t i o n t o the w a i t i n g Danish nobles who l e a v e a t "noon" ( 1 . 1600) . I n these journey n a r r a t i o n s the p o e t ' s h i g h a r t i s e x h i b i t e d a s , on the v i c t o r i o u s o c c a s i o n a f t e r the G r e n d e l f i g h t , he f e a t u r e s the joyous aspects of r e l e a s e d , exuberant energy i n the s e c t i o n ment ioning the r a c e s , the t a l e s , and the l o v e l i n e s s of the l a n d s c a p e . A f t e r the dam f i g h t , the weary but happy Geats r e t u r n " g l a d i n s p i r i t , measuring the earth-way" ( 1 . 1 6 3 0 ) , " u n t i l p r e s e n t l y " ( 1 . 1640) they a r r i v e a t the h a l l . I n b o t h these cases , the more f l a t and unham-pered aspects of the way are emphasized. On the tense journey t o the mere to k i l l the dam, however, the i r r e g u -l a r i t i e s and d i f f i c u l t i e s of the landscape are f e a t u r e d : "s teep r o c k y c l i f f s , a narrow p a t h " ( 1 . 1409) , as w e l l as the "murky" ( 1 . 1405) atmospheric e f f e c t s . As i n the v i s u a l a r t s h o r i z o n t a l l i n e s tend to produce f e e l i n g s of harmony and peace, and z i g - z a g v e r t i c a l l i n e s 16 P o r some such attempts see those mentioned l n W.W. Lawrence's Beowulf and E p i c T r a d i t i o n (Cambridge: Harvard U . P r e s s , 1 9 3 0 ) , p . 2 1 8 f f . , and a l s o • h i s a r t i c l e on the "The Haunted 'Mereofw B e o w u l f , " Mtfl, a 7 0 m ) , f>- avr-102 p r o d u c e n e r v o u s n e s s a n d u n e a s i n e s s , s o h e r e t h e p o e t v e r b a l l y p r o d u c e s t h e s e ' s t a t e s b y h i s p h y s i c a l l a n d s c a p e . T h e t i g h t n e s s a n d t e n s i o n o f t h e G r e n d e l f i g h t , w h i c h o c c u r s a t n i g h t w h e n e v e r y o n e s h o u l d b e r e c l i n i n g , i s r e l e a s e d i n t h e v i c t o r i o u s j o u r n e y t o t h e m e r e w h e r e t h e f a i r e a r t h - w a y s a r e s t r e s s e d . T h e s e c o n d J o u r n e y t o t h e m e r e f e a t u r e s t h e m o u n t a i n o u s t e r r a i n . T h e t e n s e dam f i g h t o c c u r s i n t h e m e r e , a f t e r w h i c h t h e G e a t s r e t u r n a l o n g " t h e w e l l - k n o w n r o a d " ( 1 . 1634) . T h e p o e t u s e s s e v e r a l d e s c r i p t i v e t e r m s w h i c h g i v e a n i n d i c a t i o n o f t h e n a t u r e o f t h e m e r e a s a b o d y o f w a t e r . M e r e , n o t i n c l u d i n g i t s c o m p o u n d s , i s u s e d o f G r e n d e l * s a b o d e 4 t i m e s w i t h t h e m e a n i n g ' m e r e , l a k e , p o o l , s e a . ' T h e 0.E.D. a d d s t o t h e s e d e f i n i t i o n s : ' a n a r m o f t h e ^ s e a ' ( w h i c h i s now o b s o l e t e ) , a n d ' a m a r s h , a f e n * ( w h i c h i s d i a l e c t ) . B o t h w a t e r , u s e d 7 t i m e s n o t i n c l u d i n g c o m p o u n d s , a n d s u n d , u s e d 3 t i m e s n o t i n c l u d i n g c o m p o u n d s } i n d i c a t e r ; ; s i m p l y t h e w a t e r o f t h e m e r e . " ' T h e r e s t o f t h e t e r m s f o r t h e m e r e r e f e r t o i t s m o v e -m e n t s , w h i c h i s o n e o f t h e o u t s t a n d i n g f e a t u r e s o f t h i s b o d y (7 o f w a t e r . T h e w o r d y b a , a c c o r d i n g t o C a r o l i n e B r a d y , r e f e r s t o w a v e s . I n e a c h o f t h e f i r s t 4 c o m b i n a t i o n s a n d p h r a s e s i n w h i c h i t i s u s e d o f t h e m e r e a t o l y b a g e s w i n g ( 1 . 8 4 8 ) , y b a g e b l o n d u p a s t l g e b ( 1 . 1373) , u n d e r y b a g e w l n ( 1 . 1469) , wees y b g e b l o n d e a l g e m e n g e d ( 1 . 1593), i t i s c o n n e c t e d w i t h 17 C a r o l i n e B r a d y , " T h e S y n o n y m s f o r ' S e a ' i n B e o w u l f . " U n i v . o f K a n s a s . H u m a n i s t i c S t u d i e s . X X I X (1952-5371 [ A l t h o u g h s h e e x c l u d e s t h e m e r e f r o m h e r s t u d y , h e r f i n d i n g s a r e i n t e r e s t i n g a n d r e l e v a n t i n t h i s r e s p e c t . S u b s e q u e n t d e f i n i t i o n s a n d a s s o c i a t i o n s o f t e r m s f o r " s e a " w i l l b e f r o m h e r a r t i c l e p . 22-115 i n w h i c h s h e c a r e f u l l y s t u d i e s t h e w o r d s i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r c o n t e x t s . ] 103 t h e v i o l e n t swing and s t r i f e o f the s u r g i n g waves. When ybgewlnn ( 1 . 2411) I s used o f the c o a s t a l w a t e r around the dragon's barrow I t " r e f e r s t o the b r e a k i n g o f the waves -I o a g a i n s t the r o c k y h e a d l a n d . " I n the case of the mere, t h i s c o u l d be the m o t i o n of the waves a g a i n s t the h o l m c l i f ( 1 . 1421, and l 6 3 5 ) i t h e h a r r e stone ( 1 . 1415), t h e nses ( 1 . l 6 0 0 , e t c ) . The f i f t h use o f yba. however, s u g g e s t s s u p e r n a t u r a l o v e r t o n e s b e c a u s e , a f t e r B e o w u l f ' s d e s t r u c t i o n o f the dam, waeron ybegbland e a l g e f sal sod, 'the t o s s i n g waves were a l l purged' ( 1 . 1620) and the l a g u d r usade . ( 1 . 1630) , as i f t h e f o r m e r s t r i f e o f the waves were an e x t e r n a l , v i s i b l e s i g n of the monstrous and v i o l e n t s t a t e o f i t s i n h a b i t a n t s . Weelm (wylm) ( 1 . 2135) a l s o i n d i c a t e s the s u r g i n g , w e l l i n g m o t i o n o f the mere. B r i m , when a p p l i e d t o the s e a , c h a r a c t e r -i z e s i t "by foamy waves, the w h ite-capped b i l l o w s and r o l l e r s o f t h e open sea, the b r e a k e r s c r a s h i n g a g a i n s t the r o c k s of the h e a d l a n d , the s u r f a t the s h o r e . B r i m once d e s c r i b e s th e mere ( 1 . 1594) and so presumably r e f e r s t o i t s b i l l o w s I . e . , the a c t i v e l y s w e l l i n g waves. The dam i s t w i c e c a l l e d b r l m w y l f ( 1 . 1506 and 1599)* Holm, l n r e l a t i o n t o the s e a , i n d i c a t e s i t s " s w e l l " . The i d e a o f th e s w e l l i n g i s borne out l n i t s a p p l i c a t i o n t o the mere: holma g e b r i n g ( 1 . 2132) and holm h e o l f r e w e o l l ( 1 . 1592), I m p l y i n g the t u m u l t and w e l l i n g o f t h e w a t e r s . 18 C a r o l i n e B r a d y , p. 27-28. 19 C a r o l i n e Brady, p. 34. 104 The fyrgenstream 'mountain stream' (1. 1359 and 2128) which "flows downward under the headlands' mists" (1. 1360) and under which the dam bore j_schere's corpse (1. 2128), doubtless contributes to the natural activity of the waves. The cealde streamas (1. 1261) which the dam had to inhabit refers, i f i t is used in a similar sense as in i t s appli-cation to the sea,2c^ to the currents which are perhaps caused by the cold water of the fyrgenstream or the flod. Caroline Brady comments on the use of this fl5d: "Shift there is in the application of flod (and sund?) to the sea, but i t is not intentional transfer. Flod seems to be on i t s way to a change of meaning, but, so far as Beowulf would indicate, 21 -has not yet passed through It." Flod i s used 5 times of the mere. It i s located "under the earth" (1. 1361) , there i s sometimes a " f i r e " on i t (1. 1366), and to those sitting on the bluff i t welled with blood (1. 1422), presumably Beowulf's. Because of his entrance into the roofed h a l l , •fr/te wctter-'s" -it,-,:: "sudden grip" (1. 1516) could no longer harm Beowulf. A Finally, the dam i s said to have held "the flood's course" (1. 1497) for a hundred years. We must keep In mind that the poet was, above a l l , trying to create an eerie, terrifying environment for the dam fight, not trying to give any precise geographical location. The only reference to the water i t s e l f i s that, in i t s turbulent states, i t is frequently mixed with blood (e.g., 1. 84?ff., 1417, l420ff., 1593, 2138) . 20 Caroline Brady, p. 29* 21 Caroline Brady, p. 33 . 105 T h e f r i g h t f u l a s p e c t s o f t h e m e r e a n d o f t h e m e r e -h a l l g i v e t h e dam m u c h o f h e r c h a r a c t e r . L i k e t h e d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w w i t h i t s h o a r d , t h e m e r e i s i m a g i n a t i v e l y s t i m u l a t i n g b e c a u s e o f t h e i m p l i c a t i o n s o f s t r a n g e n e s s a n d m y s t e r y . M o r e t h a n t h i s , t h e a l i e n a n d m a l e v o l e n t a s p e c t s o f t h e m e r e a s s o c i a t e i t w i t h s o m e t h i n g e l s e , w i t h t h o s e u n i v e r s a l f o r c e s t h a t b o d e h a r m t o m a n , e x p o s e a n d d e s t r o y h i m , a n d b e f o r e w h i c h h e c a n n o t s t a n d f i r m a n d c o n f i d e n t . I t a c c o r d s w i t h a l l t h a t i s e v i l , d a r k , i r r a t i o n a l , c h a o t i c , a n d c r u e l ; w i t h , i n J o s e p h C o n r a d ' s c h o i c e p h r a s e , " t h e h e a r t o f d a r k -n e s s . " No o n e b u t s u c h a s u p e r m a n a s B e o w u l f c o u l d p r o v e h i s m a s t e r y o v e r i t , a n d c a l m i t b y d e s t r o y i n g i t s h a u n t i n g d e m o n s . T h e s e t t i n g f o r t h e l a s t p a r t o f B e o w u l f , i s e s s e n t i a l l y b a r r e n a n d e x p o s e d . A f t e r l i n e 2 3 2 4 t h e r e i s n o m o r e s h e l t e r s i n c e t h e d r a g o n h a s l i t e r a l l y l a i d w a s t e G e a t l a n d . I r o n i c a l l y , t h e o n l y c o v e r i n g s m e n t i o n e d i n t h e l a s t p a r t a r e h o u s e s o f t h e d e a d — t h e l a s t s u r v i v o r ' s b a r r o w , t h e w a s t e d w i n e - h a l l o f t h e o l d m a n ' s s o n , a n d f i n a l l y B e o w u l f ' s m o u n d . T h e v i s u a l e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n o f m a n ' s c o n d i t i o n " o n e a r t h , " a p h r a s e s e v e r a l t i m e s r e i t e r a t e d i n t h i s p a r t , c o u l d n o t b e m o r e p o i g n a n t l y p r e s e n t e d . L i k e L e a r , m i g h t y a n d t r a g i c i n t h e l a s t a d v e r s i t y , B e o w u l f t o o m u s t l e a r n w h a t " p o o r n a k e d 2 2 w r e t c h e s " f e e l a n d w h a t " u n a c c o m o d a t e d man" i s . F o r t h e f i r s t t i m e t o o , B e o w u l f h a s b e c o m e v u l n e r a b l e b e f o r e " t h e 2 2 W i l l i a m S h a k e s p e a r e , K i n g L e a r , e d . K e n n e t h M u i r ( C a m b r i d g e , M a s s a c h u s e t t s : H a r v a r d U n i v . P r e s s , 1959) , I I I , i v , 1 . 2 8 a n d 109 r e s p e c t i v e l y . 106 23 conqueror worm." Unlike the f i r s t two fights in which Beowulf made Heorot once more f i t for human occupancy and then extended the circumference of human control to include the mere, the last fight, as Irving remarks, i s a "warding off, a holding of ground rather than the capture of new ground." Beowulf re-solves "not to flee the space of a foot" (1. 2525) but, as i t turns out, the mighty hero who promised that he would destroy the dam "go where she w i l l " (1. 1394) now can no longer "for any time endure the deep near the' hoard because of the dragon's flame" (1. 2547-49) . Mortally wounded, Beowulf says simply and with dignity, "no longer may I be here" (1. 2801). Unlike the brisk movements of most of the f i r s t two fights, this last encounter i s presented in slow motion. Before and after the fights Beowulf sits and contemplatively articulates his awareness of his situation. Frozen also i s the scene in which Wiglaf sits holding the dead Beowulf. Irving comments on the immobility of this last section with i t s dominant images of dead weight, inertia, and heaviness, counterbalanced by kinesthetic images of rising, l i f t i n g , and laying down which suggest "the sheer weight of death, the 23 Compare the s p i r i t and particularly the last lines of Edgar Allan's Poe's poem, "The Conqueror Worm," Poe, ed. Richard Wilbur, (New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., I 9 6 0 ) , p. 90 : "The play i s the tragedy, 'Man,' And i t s hero, the Conqueror Worm." Wilbur suggests that this poem of the casualties of the cosmic process "represents man's condition in the Bi b l i c a l 'latter years'. The universe has reached i t s maximum diffusion and incoherence, the earth i s physically and spiritually at i t s remotest from God (hence 'lonesome'), and i t s purgation by cataclysm i s at hand." 107 war i n wh i c h t h e e a r t h p u l l s e v e r y t h i n g down toward i t and 24 h o l d s a l l t h i n g s i n the end." A f t e r l i n e 2200 eorbe. • e a r t h ' , and i t s compounds o c c u r 19 t i m e s , a d d i n g t o t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f h e a v i n e s s c r e a t e d by the stone a r c h e s . The v i s u a l images h e r e r e i n f o r c e t h e heavy p h i l o s o p h i z i n g . W i t h the s t i l l i n g o f h e r o i c a c t i o n , and t h e l e a v i n g of p l a c e , t i me a l s o r u n s o u t , b o t h f o r Beowulf and f o r the G e a t s as a n a t i o n . L e t u s t u r n i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l t o t h i s " l a s t of meeting p l a c e s . " 2 5 The dragon's " s t e e p stone-barrow" ( l . 2213) i s "on a h i g h h e a t h " (1. 2212) "near t o the waves o f t h e sea" (1. 2242), a " w a s t e s p l a c e " (1. 2298). B e f o r e and a f t e r t he f i g h t Beowulf s i t s on t h i s "headland" (1. 2417) n e a r t h e " w a l l " o f t h e barrow (1. 2716). T h i s f l a t h e i g h t i s c o v e r e d w i t h " s t o n e s " (1. 2288) and "sand" (1. 3033) . The edge o f th e a r e a forms a " w a l l - c l i f f " (1. 3132) a g a i n s t which break t h e " s u r g i n g " w a t e r s and s t r i v i n g waves (1. 2411-12). The barrow i s a "mound under t h e e a r t h " (1. 2410), t h a t i s , ob-v i o u s l y c o v e r e d by a l a y e r of e a r t h . " I n t h e barrow" i s o f t e n v a r i e d a t i n t e r v a l s w i t h " i n t h e e a r t h , " as when t h e poet s t a t e s t h a t "the p e o p l e ' s f o e h e l d a t r e a s u r e h o a r d i n t h e e a r t h f o r t h r e e hundred w i n t e r s " (1. 2278-79). S i n c e by B e o w u l f ' s t i m e i t i s no l o n g e r "newly r a i s e d , " (1. 2243) t h e "hoary s t o n e " (1. 2553) has p r o b a b l y become so 24 I r v i n g , p. 237« 25 Note t h a t T.S. E l i o t , i n "The H o l l o w Men," The Complete  Poems and P l a y s : 1909-1950 (New Y o r k : H a r c o u r t , B r a c e and Co., I n c . , 19&2-), P* 58, a l s o equates d e a t h , a l t h o u g h i n h i s case a l i v i n g d e a t h , t o the n e g a t i v e i m m o b i l i t y o f n o n - h e r o i c a c t i o n . 1 0 8 s i m i l a r t o t h e r e s t o f t h e a r e a d u e t o t h e a c t i o n o f t h e e l e m e n t s a n d t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e t h a t i t i s " s e c r e t " ( 1 . 2320) a n d " u n k n o w n t o m a n " ( 1 . 2 2 1 4 ) , u n t i l t h e t h i e f a c c i d e n t a l l y i n v a d e s i t a n d i n s t i g a t e s a l l t h e t r o u b l e . H e e n t e r s b y " a p a t h " w h i c h " l a y b e n e a t h " ( 1 . 2213) t h e b a r r o w , a c l u e w h i c h s u g g e s t s t h a t i t i s p r o b a b l y a t y p e o f p a s s a g e -g r a v e s u c h a s m e n t i o n e d a n d i l l u s t r a t e d b y H u y s h e . 2 6 s u c h g r a v e s a n d t h e i r p a s s a g e s a r e l i n e d b y s t o n e s l a b s a n d r o o f e d b y h u g e b l o c k s . I t i s p r o b a b l y t h i s s t o n e p a s s a g e w h i c h t h e d r a g o n f o u n d " s t a n d i n g o p e n " ( 1 . 2271) a n d w h i c h t h e t h i e f a l s o f o u n d i n t h i s c o n d i t i o n . T h e e x p o s e d e n t r a n c e o f t h e " s t o n e a r c h e s o n f i r m p i l l a r s " ( 1 . 2 7 1 8 ) i s a l s o w h a t s t i -m u l a t e s B e o w u l f ' s r e f l e c t i o n s . F r o m t h e " a r c h o f s t o n e " a " s t r e a m f l o w e d o u t f r o m u n d e r t h e b a r r o w " ( 1 . 2 5 4 5-46). D u r i n g t h e f i r s t s t a g e s o f t h e f i g h t B e o w u l f i s s u e s h i s c h a l l e n g e a n d r e c e i v e s h i s f i e r y r e p l y " u n d e r t h e h o a r y s t o n e " ( 1 . 2 5 5 3 f f . ) . T h e f i g h t o c c u r s u n d e r b e o r g e ( 1 . 2559) . F u r t h e r b a c k f r o m t h e h i l l o f t h e b a r r o w u p o n w h i c h t h e r e t a i n e r s a r e s u p p o s e d t o w a i t ( 1 . 2 5 2 9 ) a r e some w o o d s ( 1 . 2 5 9 8 ) t o w h i c h t h e y i n s t e a d r e t r e a t . When t h e y l a t e r r e t u r n f r o m t h e w o o d s W i g l a f c o m m a n d s t h a t a m e s s e n g e r r i d e u p t o t h e " t r o o p o f e a r l s " who a r e s i t t i n g w a i t i n g f o r n e w s a t t h e h a g a , ' e n c l o s u r e , e n t r e n c h m e n t ' , w h i c h i s " u p o v e r t h e s t e e p s e a - c l i f f " ( 1 . 2 8 9 2 - 9 3 ) o n a " h e a d l a n d " ( 1 . 2 8 9 8 ) . T h i s t h e n , i s w h e r e B e o w u l f m a k e s h i s l o s t s t a n d , b y a g r a v e m o u n d n e a r t h e s e a . I t i s a n a r e a w h i c h p r o v i d e s 2 6 H u y s h e , p . I 8 5 f f . 109 Beowulf no shelter or comfort. While not as h o s t i l e or f e a r f u l a place as the mere, i t s very s t e r i l i t y i s somehow more emotionally c h i l l i n g and oppressive. The impression l e f t i s of an old warrior, nakedly alone, facing death i n the form of a dragon spewing flames from out of h i s mound which r i s e s from the high f i e l d by the sea. The earth resounds on t h i s momentous occasion. The hero's sword f a i l s , and too l a t e he i s aided by a retainer who i s unable to save h i s king. A e s t h e t i c a l l y , i t i s a f i t t i n g end f o r the greatest of monster-slayers to b e ; f i n a l l y overcome by t h i s l a s t of i n -human agents which likewise meets i t s doom. Reflecting the pagan sense of doom and medieval pessimism, l i f e i s seen as a f i g h t i n which nobody wins at the close. This i s the way i t i s i n t h i s world. It i s better not to "mourn much" ( 1 . 1385) but instead, l i k e Beowulf, to exhibit courage and thereby to acquire fame ( 1 . 1387-89) . This i s Beowulf's positive achievement i n the negative cosmic process i n which man i s a casualty of time and place. Beowulf's concern f o r fame i s evident i n h i s instructions f o r the building of h i s mound: set brimes nosan; se seel_to gemyndum minum leodum heah h l i f i a n on Hronesnassse, beet h i t seelibend sybban hatan Biowulfes biorh, bgj be brentingas ofer f l o d a genipu feorran d r i f a b . ' ( 1 . 2803-08) Like the dragon's barrow, i t i s raised on a height by the sea. A b r i e f study of the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i s s i m i l a r i t i e s of the two barrows should prove informative i n regard to t h e i r nature and construction. The dragon's barrow i n which the 110 l a s t s u r v i v o r s tored the t r e a s u r e s was probably intended as a mass grave f o r the departed w a r r i o r s , (see my d i s c u s s i o n of t h i s i n the next c h a p t e r ) , whereas B e o w u l f ' s i s f o r o n l y one man. There i s no mention of cremat ion i n the f i r s t . The d r a g o n ' s barrow, l i k e S u t t o n Hoo, i s f a i r l y spacious i n s i d e s i n c e i t has room f o r a f i f t y f o o t dragon and f o r the e i g h t men who go i n s i d e to b r i n g out i t s t r e a s u r e s . The d r a g o n ' s barrow i s t w i c e des ignated by h__ew, 'mound, barrow, c a v e * , w h i l e B e o w u l f ' s barrow i s c a l l e d t h i s 3 t i m e s . The term beorh , b e o r g , 'mound, barrow, cave ' d e s c r i b e s the d r a g o n ' s barrow 11 t imes and B e o w u l f ' s barrow 3 t i m e s . U n i t i n g the d r a g o n ' s mound w i t h Heorot and the m e r e - h a l l as a major scene of a c t i o n are v a r i o u s terms d e s c r i b i n g the d r a g o n ' s d w e l l i n g as a s p e c i a l k i n d of " h a l l " : Wlc ( 1 . 3083), hus ( 1 . 2232), §ern ( 1 . 2225), hordtern ( 1 . 2279, 2831), reced ( 1 . 3088), eorbreced ( 1 . 2719), s e l e ( 1 . 3138), d r y h t s e l e ( 1 . 2320), h r i n g s e l e ( 1 . 2840, 3053)* I f Heorot can be seen as the bes t of houses f o r men and the m e r e - h a l l as demonic h a l l , then the d r a g o n ' s barrow becomes a r e p r e s e n t a t i v e house of the dead. In t h i s sense, the d r a g o n ' s barrow i s made more of an a c t i v e s e t t i n g than B e o w u l f ' s barrow which i s never termed " h a l l " and i s not g i v e n any e x t r a c o n n o t a t i o n s . Another term used o n l y f o r the d r a g o n ' s barrow i s s tanbearh, ' s tone barrow' ( 1 . 2213) . I t s stone arches are mentioned s e v e r a l t i m e s . L .Whl tbread c a l l s a t t e n t i o n to the verb bet imbran ( 1 . 3159) used i n regard to B e o w u l f ' s mound, and suggests t h a t "an a c t u a l t imber s t r u c t u r e " l a t e r covered by e a r t h and stones may have been meant, w h i c h , " i n the l i g h t I l l o f a r c h a e o l o g y " i s " d i s t i n c t l y p r o b a b l e . " 2 7 The' d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w w o u l d s e e m t o h a v e b e e n s o m e w h a t f i r m e r a n d s t u r d i e r i n c o n s t r u c t i o n t h a n B e o w u l f ' s b a r r o w , p o s s i b l y r e f l e c t i n g a c h a n g e i n b u r i a l c u s t o m s . A t a n y r a t e , w i t h t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f B e o w u l f ' s b a r r o w , a c u l m i n a t i o n i s b r o u g h t t o t h e l i n e o f " l a s t s u r v i v o r s " a t t h e c o n c l u s i o n o f t h e e p i c . T h e c y c l e b e g i n n i n g w i t h S c y l d ' s f u n e r a l i s c o m p l e t e d . T h e o n l y d i f f e r e n c e i s t h a t t h e r e i s n o f u r t h e r s a v i o r I n s i g h t . A s w i t h S c y l d , t h e s e a a l s o r e c e i v e s t h e d r a g o n ' s c o r p s e ( 1 . 3131) . W h i l e t h e s e a i s n o t a s c e n e o f a n y o f t h e m a j o r a c t i o n o f t h e e p i c , i t s p e r m e a t i n g i n f l u e n c e i s n e v e r t h e l e s s s t r o n g l y f e l t . T h e G e a t s a n d D a n e s a r e s e a f a r -i n g n a t i o n s a n d t h e s e a ' s p r e s e n c e a c c o u n t s f o r t h e s e t t i n g o f m a n y o f t h e i r t a l e s . T h e f r e e z i n g o f t h e s e a , f o r e x a m p l e , i s t h e r e a s o n H e n g e s t c a n n o t g o home. S i n c e l a n d c o m m u n i c a t i o n w a s r e s t r i c t e d b y f i o r d s , m o u n t a i n s , a n d w i l d f o r e s t s , %he s e a s e r v e d a s t h e m a j o r m e a n s o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . B e o w u l f t r a v e l s t o D e n m a r k a c r o s s t h e s e a . F o r t h e A n g l o - S a x o n , a s E d m u n d D a l e r e m a r k s , t h e r e w a s s o m e t h i n g i n t h e n a t u r e o f t h e s e a , " i n i t s r e s t l e s s , h e a v i n g m o t i o n , a k i n t o h i s own c h a r a c t e r , w h i c h a t f i r s t t e r r i f i e d a n d a f t e r w a r d s i r r e s i s -t i b l y a t t r a c t e d h i m . " 2 * * B e o w u l f ' s m a s t e r y o v e r t h e s e a i s s t r e s s e d i n t h e B r e c a e p i s o d e a n d i n t h e F r a n k i s h e x p e d i t i o n 27 L . W h i t b r e a d , " B e o w u l f a n d A r c h a e o l o g y : Two F o o t n o t e s , " N e u p h l l o g l s c h e M i t t e i l u n g e n . L X V I I I (1968), p . 33 . 28 E d m u n d D a l e , N a t i o n a l L i f e a n d C h a r a c t e r i n t h e M i r r o r  o f E a r l y E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e ( C a m b r i d g e : U n i v . P r e s s , 1907) , p . 12 . 112 f r o m w h i c h h e r e t u r n e d s w i m m i n g a l l t h e w a y w i t h t h i r t y s u i t s o f a r m o r . C o n t r o l o v e r t h i s v a s t e l e m e n t i s e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t w i t h c o n t r o l o v e r l a n d . T h e A n g l o - S a x o n s ' l o v e , a d m i r a t i o n , a n d f e a r o f t h e s e a i s e v i d e n t b y t h e l a r g e v o c a b u l a r y d e s c r i b i n g t h e s e a a n d i t s m a n y a s p e c t s . T h i s i s a s t r u e o f B e o w u l f a s o f m a n y o t h e r O l d E n g l i s h p o e m s . I n h e r e x c e l l e n t a r t i c l e o n t h e s y n o n y m s f o r " s e a " i n B e o w u l f C a r o l i n e B r a d y r e m a r k s t h a t t h e w e a l t h o f t h e p o e t ' s v o c a b u l a r y c o n s i s t s " i n t h e v a r i e t y o f t e r m s a n d t h e i r a p p r o p r i a t e n e s s t o t h e v a r i e d a s p e c t s a n d c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e s e a i t s e l f . " 2 ^ S h e n o t e s t h a t o f t h e 4 0 w o r d s a n d p h r a s e s f o r s e a , 5 o f a l l t h e n o u n s a c c o u n t f o r 59% o f t h e t o t a l r e f e r e n c e s t o s e a i n t h e po e m : _b_ o c c u r s 15 t i m e s ; see, 10 t i m e s ; h o l m , 10 t i m e s ; f l o d , 9 t i m e s ; a n d w e s t e r , 6 t i m e s . 3 ® I n h i s s t u d y f o l l o w i n g M i s s B r a d y ' s , A d r i e n B o n j o u r a d d s t o h e r c o m m e n t s o n f o u r o f t h e s e a i m a g e s , s h o w i n g t h e p o e t ' s d i s c r i m i n a t i n g u s e o f t h e m . - ^ H r o n r a d , ' w h a l e - r o a d ' , i n d i c a t e s t h e e x p a n s e o f t h e d o m a i n s u b j e c t t o p a y t r i b u t e t o S c y l d . T h e w h a l e i s s u g g e s t i v e o f b o t h s i z e a n d s t r e n g t h . S w a n r a d . ' s w a n - r o a d ' , d e s c r i b e s t h e s e a b e t w e e n t h e G e a t s a n d D a n e s w h i c h i s t o b e c r o s s e d b y t h e " f o a m y - n e c k e d f l o a t e r m o s t l i k e a b i r d " (1. 218). T h e s w a n c o n n o t e s e a s y g r a c e , s w i f t n e s s , a n d s m o o t h e f f i c i e n c y . A f t e r H r o t h g a r * s g i v i n g o f 29 C a r o l i n e B r a d y , p . 36, 30 C a r o l i n e B r a d y , p . 31-32. 31 T h e f o l l o w i n g i s s u m m a r i z e d f r o m A d r i e n B o n j o u r ' s a r t i c l e s "On S e a I m a g e s i n B e o w u l f , " J E G P . L I V (1955), p . 111-114. 113 t r e a s u r e s , t h e same b o d y o f w a t e r i s r e f e r r e d t o a s t h e g a n o t e s bseb. * g a n n e t * s b a t h * , f e a t u r i n g t h e p e a c e f u l s u r -f a c e a c r o s s w h i c h t h e g i f t s a r e t o b e e x c h a n g e d . Y j D g j w i n n , • w a v e - s t r i f e * , o n t h e o t h e r h a n d , i s u s e d n o t o n l y f o r t h e h o s t i l e s e t t i n g o f t h e m e r e b u t a l s o f o r t h e s e a s u r r o u n d i n g t h e d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w w h e r e t h e w a v e s b e a t a g a i n s t t h e h e a d -l a n d . S t r i f e i n t h e k e y n o t e * T h i s b r i e f s a m p l i n g o f s e a - i m a g e s g i v e s some i d e a o f t h e m a n n e r i n w h i c h t h e p o e t c a r e f u l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s b e t w e e n t h e v a r i o u s t e r m s i n h i s u s e o f t h e m , s o a s t o m a k e h i s s e t t i n g a c c o r d w i t h t h e t o n e o f e a c h p a s s a g e . T h i s f i n e s s o f p e r c e p -t i o n i n t h e f e a t u r i n g o f t h o s e a s p e c t s o f t h e s e a w h i c h h e w i s h e s t o s t r e s s m a k e l e n g t h y d e s c r i p t i o n s u n n e c e s s a r y . B y e m p l o y i n g h i s s t o c k o f A n g l o - S a x o n p o e t i c v o c a b u l a r y i n t h i s p r e c i s e m a n n e r , t h e ; p o e t c a p t u r e s t h e p i c t o r i a l a n d e m o t i o n a l e s s e n c e o f t h e s c e n e b e f o r e h i m . T h e i m p o r t a n c e o f t h e s e a i s e v i d e n t i n t h e s c e n e a t H r o t h g a r * s c o u r t w h e n B e o w u l f p r o v e s h i s a b i l i t y t o c o p e w i t h G r e n d e l b y h i s a c c o u n t o f t h e s w i m m i n g m a t c h w i t h B r e c a , H e r e t h e h e r o i c t e m p e r o f B e o w u l f i s s h o w n m o s t c l e a r l y . N o t o n l y d o e s h e f i g h t w h e n h e m u s t , b u t h e s h o w s f r o m t h i s c h i l d h o o d e x p l o i t t h a t h e r e l i s h e s p i t t i n g h i m s e l f a g a i n s t a f o r e i g n a n d h o s t i l e e l e m e n t . T h i s e x u b e r a n t g u s t o i s e v e r y -w h e r e m a n i f e s t t h r o u g h o u t t h e f i r s t p a r t . L i f e may b e a f i g h t , b u t t h e c h a l l e n g e i s o n e w h i c h t h e h e r o s e e k s r a t h e r t h a n s h i r k s . T h e f i e r c e n a t u r e o f t h e s e a o n t h i s o c c a s i o n i s f o r c e -f u l l y d e s c r i b e d b y a p i l i n g u p o f I m a g e s f e a t u r i n g t h e m a i n 114 c o m p o n e n t s o f t h e s c e n e : p a w i t setsomne o n siee weeron f i f n i h t a f y r s t , op p&t u n c f l o d t o d r a f , wado w e a l l e n d e , w e d e r a c e a l d o s t , n i p e n d e n i h t , ond n o r p a n w i n d h e a p o g r i m o n d h w e a r f ; h r e o wseron y p a . ( 1 . 5^4-548) A s a l w a y s , t h e p o e t u s e s t h e n a t u r a l s e t t i n g t o c o r r e s p o n d t o t h e human s i t u a t i o n , i n t h i s c a s e , B e o w u l f ' s " b a t t l e -r u s h " ( 1 . 557) a g a i n s t t h e s e a - m o n s t e r s . A f t e r K he b r i s k l y d o e s away w i t h t h e s e g r i m f o e s whose h u n g r y a n t i c i p a t i o n s a r e t h w a r t e d , so t h a t i n s t e a d o f t h e f e a s t o n t h e s e a -g r o u n d t h e y be y b l a f e uppe leegon ( 1 . 566) . N e x t m o r n i n g , t h e s e a s s u b s i d e ( 1 . 570) , j u s t a s t h e mere d o e s when t h e s t r u g g l e i s o v e r . A s w i l l now b e c l e a r , t h e p o e t ' s c h o i c e o f v o c a b u l a r y a n d manner o f p r e s e n t a t i o n show t h e N o r d i c e m p h a s i s o n t h e human c a p a c i t y f o r a c c u r a t e l y p e r c e i v i n g t h e e s s e n c e o f t h e t a n g i b l e w o r l d a n d c o n s e q u e n t l y f o r b e i n g a b l e t o r e a c t i n a h e r o i c manner t o i t . L i f e i s v e r y much a s t a t e o f t h i s w o r l d . T h r o u g h h i s a w a r e n e s s and k n o w l e d g e man c a n a r t f u l l y o r d e r and f a s h i o n t h e m a t e r i a l s a n d p l a c e s o f t h e e a r t h t o s u i t h i s n e e d s . Man c a n d e r i v e h i s i d e n t i t y b y m a k i n g t h i n g s and b y m e e t i n g t h e c h a l l e n g e o f f e r e d b y t h e non-human w o r l d w h i c h i s c o n s t a n t l y i n t h e p r o c e s s o f e n c r o a c h i n g o n t h e o r d e r e d a r e a , I n t e n t o n r e g a i n i n g i t s own i f man i s n o t s t r o n g enough t o w i t h s t a n d i t s t h r u s t s . Human c o n t r o l o v e r t h e f o r e i g n a n d h o s t i l e f o r c e s o f t h e w o r l d i s o f p r i m e i m p o r t a n c e . The l i m i t i n g f a c t o r i n man's s t r u g g l e i s t i m e , a s B e o w u l f becomes p o i g n a n t l y aware i n the l a s t s e c t i o n when he r e f l e c t s on how he spent h i s a l l o t m e n t of t ime i n t h i s w o r l d by c o u r a -geous a c t s e x h i b i t i n g mastery over the h o s t i l e f o r c e s of v a r i o u s environments , and on how t h a t t ime i s soon to be ended w i t h h i s l e a v i n g of the w o r l d , a p lace which i s now f e a t u r e d as a waste land near the b e a t i n g waves of the sea . The b u r i a l mound i s a memorial both of the conquest of time and of man's concrete answer to i t . 116 C H A P T E R V THE P E R C E P T I O N OF T I M E I N BEOWULF To t h e m o d e r n r e a d e r t h e d u r a t i o n a n d l a p s e s o f t i m e i n B e o w u l f s e e m s o m e w h a t c o n f u s i n g s i n c e t i m e i s n o t c o n -v e n i e n t l y d e s i g n a t e d i n t e r m s o f s o m a n y y e a r s A.D. I t m u s t b e r e m e m b e r e d t h a t , e x c e p t f o r t h e o c c a s i o n a l r u n e s s u c h a s a r e f o u n d o n t h e h i l t , t h e r e I s n c ; m e n t i o n o f a n y m a n n e r o f w r i t i n g b y w h i c h t h e p a s s a g e o f o b j e c t i v e t i m e c o u l d b e a c c u r a t e l y r e c o r d e d . T h e p e r i o d a t w h i c h B e o w u l f w a s f i r s t w r i t t e n i s l i k e l y t o h a v e b e e n some g e n e r a t i o n s a f t e r t h e e v e n t s r e c o r d e d s i n c e t h e p o e t b e g i n s b y m e n t i o n -i n g t h a t h e i s t a l k i n g a b o u t t h e g l o r y o f f o r m e r h e r o e s o f " y o r e - d a y s , " a l m o s t a s i f h e w e r e a t t e m p t i n g a n a t i o n a l r e v i v a l b y r e c a l l i n g a n e x a l t e d h e r i t a g e w h i c h h e s a l t s w i t h e n o u g h m o r a l i z i n g t o i n d i c a t e t h a t t h e b a s i c p a t t e r n s o f n o b l e a n d h e r o i c b e h a v i o r a r e s t i l l a p p l i c a b l e t o h i s own t i m e . T h e i d e a l i s t i c a n d f a b u l o u s e l e m e n t s f u r t h e r s u g g e s t e n o u g h o f a l a p s e o f t i m e f o r t h e s e t o a c c r u e . T h e p o e t s t a t e s t h a t h e h e a r d t h e s e t h i n g s , j u s t a s t h e s c o p s h e a r d t h i n g s , a n d l e a v e s o f f r e l a t i n g h i s t a l e w i t h t h e b e g i n n i n g s o f t h e G e a t s ' d o w n f a l l , w h i c h m u s t h a v e b e e n a n a c c o m p l i s h e d f a c t b y t h e p o e t ' s g e n e r a t i o n . A s t u d y o f t h e p e r c e p t i o n o f t i m e w i l l s e r v e n o t o n l y t o c l a r i f y t h e m e t h o d s b y w h i c h t h e p o e t p r e s e n t s t h e s u c c e s s i o n o f e v e n t s b u t a l s o t o s h o w how a s o c i e t y w h i c h w a s n o t g o v e r n e d b y c o n t i n u a l r e c o u r s e t o w a t c h e s o r c a l e n d a r s 117 p e r c e i v e d the passage of t i m e . A l l l i f e i s t ime-bound. Without time there i s no movement, no change, and no oppor-t u n i t y t o exper ience the d i f f e r e n c e of one sense p e r c e p t i o n from a n o t h e r . F o r humans the proof of t ime i s b i r t h , g r o w t h , change,and d e a t h . T h i s i s p r e c i s e l y how time i s measured i n Beowulf . l a r g e l y by re ference to r e g u l a r l y r e c u r r e n t e v e n t s . The s m a l l e s t u n i t of time i n the e p i c i s the d u r a t i o n which i t takes f o r some a c t i o n s to be ;performed between the coming of darkness and t h a t of the sun, o r v i c e v e r s a , as i n the case of the l e n g t h of t ime r e q u i r e d f o r Beowulf to f i n a l l y p e r c e i v e the g r o u n d - p l a i n ( 1 . 1495-96); next by the t ime between two n i g h t s , as when the Geats a r r i v e i n Denmark " i n due time on the next day" ( 1 . 219) ; then by the passage of s e v e r a l n i g h t s as when, of the t o t a l of 7 n i g h t s , Breca and Beowulf were together f o r 5 b e f o r e the f l o o d par ted them ( 1 . 545) , o r by the passage of days such as the 10 days r e q u i r e d f o r the c o n s t r u c t i o n of B e o w u l f ' s mound ( 1 . 3159); and then by the passage of a w i n t e r such as t h a t spent by the m i s e r a b l e company of Hengest i n F i n n ' s homeland ( 1 . 1 1 2 7 f f « ) ; and a f t e r t h a t by the passage of s e v e r a l w i n t e r s such as the 7 w i n t e r s r e f e r r i n g to B e o w u l f ' s age when he came to l i v e a t c o u r t , o r the 12 w i n t e r s ( 1 . 147) d u r i n g which the Danes s u f f e r e d from the p e r s e c u t i o n of G r e n d e l . A p e r i o d of f i f t y years or of h a l f a hundred years i s a s a t i s f a c t o r i l y round f i g u r e u s e f u l i n d e s c r i b i n g the l o n g p e r i o d of a s u c c e s s f u l r e i g n as i n the case of Hrothgar ( 1 . 1769) and of Beowulf ( 1 . 2209) . A p e r i o d of f i f t y years p l u s c h i l d h o o d s imply i n d i c a t e s a l o n g l i f e . An a l t e r n a t i v e 118 measurement i s "many winters" ( 1 . 264^ which designates the l i f e span of Ecgtheow. The quantity of f i f t y i s not so s i g n i f i c a n t as the idea that a m u l t i p l i c a t i o n of a number of years has passed (see Appendix III f o r the use of various numbers by the Beowulf poet)• Just as the accurate comprehension of the amount of, say, a b i l l i o n d o l l a r s i s beyond the average worker of our day, so the exact quantity of years more than a small number has no r e a l meaning to the persons i n the epic. Events and objects extending i n t h e i r existence beyond a l i f e t i m e are frequently described as occuring " i n former times" or as "ancient," expressions which are simple alt e r n a t i v e s f o r the mention of any a r b i t r a r y great number of years. The most p r a c t i c a l measure of e a s i l y i n t e l l i g i b l e large un i t s of time are mentioned i n terms of generation^ so that genealogies are, i n e f f e c t , calendars. This i s how time i s measured at the beginning of the epic sta r t i n g with Scyld. Due to memory lapses, the genealogies probably became compressed by omissions. This does not matter f o r , what did not happen i n the l a s t few generations, happened much before that and could not be properly grasped anyhow. Everything i s judged i n human terms r e l a t i v e to the present of the persons concerned. Past times are often indicated i n r e l a t i o n to the events i n the l i f e t i m e of some famous person, as i n the case of Sigemund who prospered "after Heremod's war subsided" ( 1 . 501). To many students of h i s t o r y dates themselves are useless unless they can be related to other events of the same period to produce an understanding of t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e . The passage 119 o f t i m e i s m e a n i n g l e s s I n i t s e l f e x c e p t i n s o f a r a s i t s i g n i f i e s t h e l e n g t h o f t h e p e r i o d c o n s u m e d i n t h e p e r f o r -m a n c e o f c e r t a i n a c t i o n s i o r i n t h e s t r e t c h o f t h e c o n t i n u e d e x i s t e n c e o f some p e r s o n , o r i n t h e i n t e r v a l b e t w e e n e v e n t s , a s w h e n " i t w a s n o l o n g e r a s p a c e o f t i m e t h a n o n e n i g h t " ( 1 . 13^5) t h a t G r e n d e l c a me a g a i n , o r b e t w e e n l o n g e r p e r i o d s , s u c h a s t h e " l o n g w h i l e " ( 1 . 16) d u r i n g w h i c h t h e D a n e s s u f f e r e d b e f o r e t h e c o m i n g o f S c y l d S c e f i n g . I n h u m a n m e a s u r e m e n t , t i m e s e e m s e n d l e s s l y l o n g w h e n u n e n d u r a b l e c o n d i t i o n s m u s t b e s u f f e r e d . R e p e t i t i o n a n d e x a g g e r a t i o n a r e u s e d t o a c h i e v e t h i s e f f e c t i n B e o w u l f . T h i s i s s e e n i n t h e a c u t e a w a r e n e s s o f a n u n p l e a s a n t t i m e w h e n H e n g e s t m u s t r e m a i n l n a f o r e i g n l a n d " e v e r y d a y " ( 1 . 1090) , " f o r a w i n t e r " ( 1 . 1 1 2 8 ) , " u n t i l a n o t h e r y e a r c a m e " (1 .1133) , " t h e n w i n t e r w a s d e p a r t e d " ( 1 . 1136) . T h e e f f e c t o f t h i s r e p e t i t i o n i n s o s h o r t a s p a c e , i n t o o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e s e a s o n o f d e a t h , i s a p p r o p r i a t e l y o p p r e s s i v e . I t i s a l s o how t h e p a s t r a v a g e s o f G r e n d e l a r e d e s c r i b e d — i n t e r m s o f t h e l e n g t h o f t h e p e r i o d o f h i s n i g h t l y r e i g n : " g r e a t w a s t h e w h i l e " ( 1 . 1 4 6 ) , "many y e a r s " ( 1 . 153) , " n o r w a s t h a t t h e f i r s t t i m e " ( 1 . 716) , " a l o n g t i m e " ( 1 . 937) , a n d s o f o r t h u n t i l , b y t h e a c c u m u l a t i v e e f f e c t o f t h i s r e p e t i t i o n o f l a r g e s e c t i o n s o f t i m e , t h e d u r a t i o n o f t h e r a i d s d o e s i n d e e d s e e m u n b e a r a b l y l e n g t h y . W h i l e o n t h e s u b j e c t o f e x t e n d e d s t r e t c h e s o f t i m e i t i s p e r h a p s d e s i r a b l e t o c l e a r u p t w o c r u x e s . T h e f i r s t c o n -c e r n s t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t " a n a v e n g e r y e t l i v e d a f t e r t h e h a t e f u l o n e , a f t e r t h e b a t t l e - c a r e , f o r a l o n g t i m e " ( 1 . 1256-120 5 8 ) . T h i s s e e m s i n a p p a r e n t c o n t r a d i c t i o n t o t h e o t h e r s t a t e m e n t s w h i c h i n d i c a t e t h a t G r e n d e l ' s dam l i v e d n o t q u i t e t w o d a y s a f t e r G r e n d e l ' s d e f e a t . T h i s i s m o s t s t r o n g l y s u p p o r t e d b y B e o w u l f ' s a c c o u n t o f t h e m o n s t e r q u e l l l n g s w h e n h e s a y s t h a t " a f t e r m o r n i n g c a m e " ( 1 . 2103) a n d f o r " t h e e n t i r e d a y " ( 1 . 2115) a f t e r h e f o u g h t w i t h G r e n d e l t h e d a y w a s s p e n t i n t r e a s u r e g i v i n g a n d s t o r y -t e l l i n g , " u n t i l n i g h t c a m e " ( 1 . 2116), a t w h i c h t i m e t h e dam made o f f w i t h t h e c o r p s e o f j E s c h e r e . I n t h e o r i g i n a l a c c o u n t , u p o n H r o t h g a r * s r e q u e s t t h e f o l l o w i n g m o r n i n g , B e o w u l f r e s p o n d s b y t e l l i n g H r o t h g a r t o " a r i s e " a n d s u g g e s t s t h a t a l l " go q u i c k l y " ( 1 . 1390) , w h i c h r e s u l t s i n a h o r s e b e i n g b r i d l e d f o r t h e e x p e d i t i o n t o t h e m e r e w h e r e B e o w u l f s p e n t " a g o o d p a r t o f t h e d a y " ( 1 . 1^95) b e f o r e h e w a s a b l e t o d e s t r o y t h e f e m a l e f i e n d . How t h e n , c a n t h i s b e r e c o n c i l e d t o t h e s t a t e m e n t t h a t t h e d a m ' l i v e d a f t e r t h e h a t e f u l o n e , f o r a l o n g t i m e " ? T h e r e a r e t w o p o s s i b l e s o l u t i o n s o t h e r t h a n t h e c a r e l e s s n e s s o f t h e p o e t . F i r s t o f a l l , i t I s p o s s i b l e t h a t , a s p r e v i o u s l y i l l u s t r a t e d , " a l o n g t i m e " c o u l d s i m p l y m e a n a p r i v a t e , e x p e r i e n c e d s e n s a t i o n o f t h e t i m e b e i n g u n e n d u r a b l y l o n g f o r t h e dam who w a s " m i n d f u l o f h e r m i s e r y " ( 1 . 1259) a n d , l i k e t h e d r a g o n , " a w a i t e d w i t h d i f f i c u l t y u n t i l e v e n i n g c a m e " ( 1 . 2301-02), s o t h a t t h e t i m e m e r e l y s e e m e d l o n g } a n d f o r H r o t h g a r who h a d s o l o n g e x p e r i e n c e d a f f l i c t i o n t h a t t h i s s e e m e d j u s t a c o n t i n u a t i o n o f i t . T h e s e c o n d p o s s i b i l i t y i s t h a t t h e s t a t e m e n t s h o u l d b e r e a d w i t h t h e f o l l o w i n g s e n s e : " a n a v e n g e r y e t l i v e d a f t e r 121 t h e h a t e f u l o n e , a f t e r t h e g r i e v o u s s t r i f e ; s h e l i v e d f o r a l o n g t i m e . " T h i s i s n o t i m p o s s i b l e s i n c e i t i s n o t u n u s u a l t h a t , f o r m o d e r n r e a d e r s , I t i s o f t e n d i f f i c u l t t o d e t e r m i n e t o w h i c h s t a t e m e n t a q u a l i f y i n g c l a u s e b e l o n g s . T h e r e i s some s u p p o r t f o r t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n i n t h e l i n e s i m m e d i a t e l y f o l l o w i n g w h i c h d e a l w i t h t h e t i m e s h e w a s f o r c e d t o I n h a b i t " t h e c o l d s t r e a m s , a f t e r C a i n b e c a m e t h e e d g e - s l a y e r o f h i s o n l y b r o t h e r " ( 1 . 1261-62) , w i t h t h e o r i g i n s o f G r e n d e l , a n d w i t h a h i s t o r y o f h i s r a i d s . T h i s l o n g r e c i t a t i o n . o f h i s t o r y h e l p s t o e x p l a i n h e r m o t i v e f o r c o m i n g t o H e o r o t . A f t e r t h i s h i s t o r y a r r e s t i n g t h e n a r r a t i v e f l o w , t h e s t o r y m o v e s o n : " T h e n s h e came t o H e o r o t " ( 1 . 1279) . I n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e b a t t l e i n t h e m e r e a n d p r e c e d i n g t h e a c t i o n s t a t e m e n t : " T h e n s h e r e a c h e d t o w a r d s h i m a n d s e i z e d t h e w a r r i o r s " ( 1 . 1501) I s a s e n t e n c e c o m p a r a b l e t o t h e o n e u n d e r d i s c u s s i o n : " S o o n s h e f o u n d t h a t o u t , s h e w h o , g r i m a n d g r e e d y , a n d f i e r c e l y r a v e n o u s , h e l d t h e f l o o d ' s c o u r s e f o r a h u n d r e d y e a r s , t h a t some man f r o m a b o v e w a s e x p l o r i n g t h e l a n d o f a l i e n c r e a t u r e s " ( 1 . 1497-1500). H e r e t h e " h u n d r e d y e a r s " c o r r e s p o n d s t o t h e " l o n g t i m e " o f t h e e a r l i e r l i n e . T h e s e c o n d c r u x c o n c e r n s t h e a g e o f t h e d r a g o n ' s h o a r d . T h e d i f f i c u l t y a r i s e s b e c a u s e t h e t w o a c c o u n t s o f I t s h i s t o r y a p p e a r t o d i f f e r . A f t e r t h e s o l i l o q u y o f t h e l a s t s u r v i v o r i t i s s t a t e d t h a t t h e d r a g o n h e l d t h e h o a r d f o r " t h r e e h u n d r e d w i n t e r s " ( 1 . 2278), a n d i n t h e s e c o n d a c c o u n t , t h a t t h e t r e a s u r e r e m a i n e d " i n t h e e a r t h ' s b o s o m a t h o u s a n d w i n t e r s " ( 1 . 3 ° 4 9 -50) . T h e d i f f i c u l t y d i s a p p e a r s i f we c o n s i d e r t h a t " t h e a n c i e n t w o r k o f m e n " ( 1 . 2286) w a s p l a c e d i n t h e b a r r o w " n e w l y 122 r a i s e d " ( 1 . 2 2 4 3 ) o r b u i l t p r o b a b l y b y t h o s e who " p a s s e d l o n g e s t t h e r e " ( 1 . 2238), t h e " f a m o u s p r i n c e s " ( 1 . 307O). T h e l a s t s u r v i v o r w a s m e r e l y t h e v e r y l a s t o n e who " t a r r i e d " ( 1 . 2 2 3 7 ) — i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t h e b u i l t t h e b a r r o w , w h i c h "was a l l r e a d y " ( 1 . 2 2 4 l ) , b y h i m s e l f . T h e p o e t , w i s h i n g t o e x a g g e r a t e h i s p o i n t a b o u t t h e a n c i e n t o r i g i n s o f t h i s t r e a s u r e , m a k e s t h e d a t e o f t h i s e p i s o d e a " t h o u s a n d w i n t e r s " a g o . He p r o b a b l y w a n t e d t h i s d a t e t o s e r v e a s a m e d i a n b e t w e e n B e o w u l f ' s l i f e t i m e a n d e t e r n i t y , w h i c h t h e h e r o p o e t i c a l l y b e c o m e s a t o n e w i t h b y b e i n g b u r i e d w i t h t h i s a n c i e n t t r e a s u r e . T h i s " h o a r d d e l i g h t " ( 1 . 2 2 7 0 ) w a s f o u n d b y t h e d r a g o n " t h r e e h u n d r e d w i n t e r s " ( 1 . 2278) a g o , a n d " h e l d i n t h e e a r t h " ( 1 . 2279) b y h i m e v e r s i n c e . T h e d r a g o n w a s a b l e t o f i n d i t b e c a u s e a p a r t o f i t h a d d e t e r i o r a t e d s o t h a t h e w a s a b l e t o f i n d i t " s t a n d i n g o p e n " ( 1 . 2 2 7 1 ) . A s i s s o m e t i m e s t h e c a s e , i n t h e s e c o n d a c c o u n t o f a n e v e n t , m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n i s a d d e d , s u c h a s t h e p r e s e n c e o f G r e n d e l ' s g l o v e o r p o u c h ( 1 . 2 0 8 5 ) , a s w e l l a s t h e name o f H o n d s c i o ( 1 . 2076). T h i s i s a l s o t r u e i n r e g a r d t o t h e m e n t i o n o f t h e c u r s e i n t h e a p p r o p r i a t e c o n t e x t o f B e o w u l f ' s d e a t h a n d t h e d o w n f a l l o f t h e G e a t s ( 1 . 3069). S t j e r n a h a s r a i s e d a n u n n e c e s s a r y d i f f i c u l t y l n r e g a r d t o t h e l o c a t i o n o f t h e h o a r d b y s e e i n g i t v a r i o u s l y a s a b a r r o w o r m o u n d a n d a n o p e n f i e l d : " A c c o r d i n g t o t h e f i r s t [ a c c o u n t ] t h e t r e a s u r e w a s d e p o s i t e d i n a c o v e r e d g r a v e - c h a m b e r , a n d a c c o r d i n g t o t h e o t h e r i n a n o p e n f i e l d , a n e o r b s e l e . " 1 1 S t j e m a , p . 1 4 0 . Now t h e e d i t o r o f S t j e m a h a s , l n h i s f o o t -n o t e , e x p l a i n e d t h i s f a u l t y t r a n s l a t i o n o f e o r b s e l e ( 1 . 2515 a n d 2 4 1 0 ) : " T h e a u t h o r m u s t h a v e h a d l n m i n d t h e i d e a p u t f o r w a r d b y some s c h o l a r s t h a t i n l o c a l n a m e s s u c h a s e . g . U p s a l a , t h e s y l l -a b l e s a l m a y h a v e m e a n t a n o p e n f i e l d . O.A. F - s e l e i n e o r b s e l e h o w e v e r u n d o u b t e d l y m e a n s ' h a l l , c h a m b e r , ' a s i n h r l n g s e l e j . " K l a e b e r c o n f i r m s t h i s i n h i s g l o s s a r y . 123 A l l t h e d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t h e d r a g o n ' s r e s i d e n c e a r e s i m p l y v a r i a t i o n s d e s c r i b i n g i t s d i f f e r e n t a s p e c t s a s i t i s t h e n a t u r e o f v a r i a t i o n s t o d o . H a v i n g h o p e f u l l y c l e a r e d u p t h e s e t w o c r u x e s a b o u t l o n g p e r i o d s o f t i m e we c a n p r o c e e d t o o b s e r v e how t h e p o e t h a s s k i l f u l l y p r e s e n t e d t i m e s e q u e n c e s a n d d u r a t i o n s w i t h i n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e m a i n p l o t . T h e a d v e r b P a i s u s e d c h i e f l y t o c a r r y a c t i o n s s e q u e n t i a l l y f o r w a r d f o r b o t h l o n g a n d s h o r t p e r i o d s o f t i m e . T h e s e q u e n t i a l n a t u r e o f P a c a n b e i l l u s t r a t e d i n a n y s e c t i o n d e a l i n g w i t h t h e j o u r n e y o f t h e G e a t s f r o m D e n m a r k b a c k t o t h e i r h o m e l a n d i " T h e n o n t h e w a y H r o t h g a r ' s g i f t s w e r e o f t e n e s t e e m e d " ( 1 . 1844 f f . ) , " T h e n t h e p r o u d o n e s came t o fcfvfc. f l o o d " ( 1 . 1 8 8 8 ) , " T h e n b h - ^ t h e s a n d t h e s e a - c u r v e d b o a t w a s l a d e n w i t h w a r - w e e d s " ( 1 . 1 8 9 5 - 9 6 ) , " T h e n b y t h e m a s t a s e a - c l o t h , a s a i l r o p e w a s f i x e d ; t h e s e a - w o o d t h u n d e r e d " ( 1 . 1 9 0 5 - 0 6 ) . T h i s i s v e r y l i k e t h e s e c t i o n o f t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y ( P a t e X ) w h e r e t h e D u k e o f N o r m a n d y l e a d s h i s m o u n t e d k n i g h t s t o t h e s h i p s . T h e d i f f e r e n t p a r t s r e p r e s e n t s u c c e s s i v e s t a g e s i n t h e d e p a r t u r e . T h e l a t i n i n s c r i p t i o n s u n d e r t h e v a r i o u s p a r t s r e a d : " T h e s e men a r e c a r r y i n g a r m s t o t h e s h i p s , " " A n d h e r e t h e y a r e p u l l -i n g a c a r t w i t h men a n d a r m s , " " h e r e D u k e W i l l i a m i n a g r e a t s h i p h a s c r o s s e d t h e s e a . " S e q u e n t i a l a c t i o n s a r e o f t e n s l o w e d d o w n , I n t e r r u p t e d , o r c o m p l e t e d b y ob_ best o r b a t ( a f t e r v e r b x o f m o t i o n ) , i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h i s i n s t a n c e b y t h e j o u r n e y t o G e a t l a n d c o n t i n u i n g " u n t i l t h e y c o u l d s e e t h e c l i f f s 1 2 4 o f t h e G e a t s " ( 1 . 1 9 1 1 ) • M o v e m e n t i s now m o r e d e t a i l e d a n d p r e c i s e : " Q u i c k l y t h e h a r b o r - g u a r d i a n w a s r e a d y b y t h e s e a " ( 1 . 1 9 1 4 ) . T h e t r a n s i t i o n f r o m t h e f i r s t t o t h e s e c o n d p a r t o f B e o w u l f s h o w s h o w t h e p o e t i n d i c a t e s a l o n g p a s s a g e o f t i m e i n a m i n i m u m s p a c e . W i t h i n a f e w l i n e s t i m e i s m e n t i o n e d b y w a y o f t e m p o r a l c o n j u n c t i o n s a n d a d v e r b s , b y r e f e r e n c e t o t h e o c c u r e n c e o f c e r t a i n a c t i o n s a n d t h e e x i s t e n c e o f c e r t a i n p e o p l e , a n d b y m e n t i o n o f d u r a t i o n s : " A f t e r w a r d s i t h a p p e n e d i n l a t e r d a y s . . . " ( 1 . 2 2 0 0 ) , "when H y g e l a c w a s l a i d l o w " ( 1 . 2 2 0 1 ) , " w h e n a m o n g t h e V i c t o r - p e o p l e t h e h a r d y b a t t l e -d a r i n g o n e s s o u g h t h i m " ( 1 . 2 2 0 4 - 0 5 ) , " a f t e r w a r d s t h e b r o a d r e a l m p a s s e d t o B e o w u l f " ( 1 . 2 2 0 ? - 0 8 ) , " h e h e l d i t w e l l f o r f i f t y w i n t e r s " ( 1 . 2 2 0 8 - 0 9 ) . T h i s i s b r o u g h t t o a h a l t b y a n o b beet c l a u s e : " u n t i l o n e b e g a n , o n d a r k n i g h t s . . . t o h o l d s w a y " ( 1 . 2 2 1 0 - 1 1 ) . T h e A n g l o - S a x o n a u d i e n c e i s n o t y e t , h o w e v e r , s u f f i c i e n t l y p r e p a r e d f o r s u c h a s w i f t t r a n s i t i o n i n t h e m a i n p l o t . I t d o e s b e c o m e e m o t i o n a l l y p r e p a r e d b y t h e s h i f t t o t h e m o r e e x t e n d e d t i m e p e r s p e c t i v e o f t h e a n c i e n t t r e a s u r e s a n d t h e l a s t s u r v i v o r w i t h h i s d i m i n u t i v e s t a y o n e a r t h . I n t h e c o n t e x t o f t h e " f o r m e r d a y s " a n d t h e n o f t h e " t h r e e h u n d r e d w i n t e r s " t h e d r a g o n h e l d t h e h o a r d " u n t i l o n e e n r a g e d h i m " ( 1 . 2 2 8 0 ) , a n d i n t h e t i m e i t t a k e s f o r t h e t e l l i n g o f t h e s t o r y , t h e a u d i e n c e i s now m o r e p r e p a r e d t o a c c e p t t h e p a s s a g e o f f i f t y y e a r s . T h e l e n g t h e n i n g s h a d o w o f t i m e i s d r a m a t i c a l l y r e i n f o r c e d t h r o u g h o u t t h e l a s t p a r t b y s u c h c o n s t a n t r e f r a i n s a s : "now...," " f o r t h e l a s t t i m e , " " a t t h e e n d o f h i s l i f e , " 125 " n o l o n g e r . . . , " w h i c h i m p r e s s t h e a c t i o n s o f B e o w u l f w i t h g r e a t w e i g h t a n d s i g n i f i c a n c e , a n d w h i c h c o u n t e r b a l a n c e t h e new o r d e r o f t h i n g s i n t r o d u c e d b y : " f o r t h e f i r s t t i m e . " T h e a l l u s i o n s a n d d i g r e s s i o n s s e r v e , a m o n g o t h e r p u r p o s e s t o c r e a t e t h e i l l u s i o n o f t i m e p a s s a g e . B y t h e t i m e t h e a u d i e n c e h a s b e e n t a k e n b a c k t o t h e m a i n p l o t i t f e e l s t h a t m u c h t i m e h a s p a s s e d . T h r o u g h r e p e t i t i o n a n d f r e q u e n t r e i t e r a t i o n o f " a t t i m e s " B e o w u l f f i l l s i n f o r H y g e l a c w h a t t r a n s p i r e d a n d how t i m e w a s p a s s e d t h e e n t i r e d a y a t ' H e o r o t w h e n t a l e s w e r e t o l d : p 5 r w a s g i d d o n d g l e b ; g o m e l a S c i l d i n g , f e l a f r i c g e n d e f e o r r a n r e h t e ; h w i l u m h i l d e d e o r h e a r p a n w y n n e , g o m e n w u d u g r e t t e , h w i l u m g y d awraec s o p o n d s a r l i c , h w i l u m s y l l i c s p e l l r e h t e s e f t e r r l h t e r u m h e o r t c y n i n g ; h w i l u m e f t o n g a n e l d o g e b u n d e n , g o m e l g u p w i g a g l o g u p e c w i p a n , h i l d e s t r e n g o ; h r e p e r i n n e w e o l l , p o n n e _ h e _ w l n t r u m f r o d w o r n g e m u n d e . S w a we peer i n n e a n d l a n g n e de3g_ n l o d e n a m a n , o p peat n i h t b e c w o m o p e r t o y l d u m . ( 1 . 2105-17) J u s t a s t i m e i s p a s s e d b y r e c i t a t i o n a t H e o r o t , s o a l s o i n t h e e p i c n a r r a t i o n o f t h e p o e t h i m s e l f . A n o t h e r f u n c t i o n o f t h e a l l u s i o n s a n d d i g r e s s i o n s i s t o p r e s e n t a l l t h e m a j o r s t a g e s i n t h e e x i s t e n c e o f a s u b j e c t ; s i m u l t a n e o u s l y i s o t h a t i t s t o t a l s i g n i f i c a n c e c a n b e s e e n . T h i s k i n d o f j u x t a p o s i t i o n o f d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s o c c u r s w h e n t h e p o e t m e n t i o n s , j u s t a f t e r t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f t h e b u i l d i n g o f H e o r o t ^ t h a t i t l a t e r e n d u r e d " b a t t l e - s u r g e s , h a t e f u l f i r e " ( 1 . 82-83) . T h e p o e t d o e s t h i s r e p e a t e d l y , a s w h e n h e t e l l s o f t h e g i v i n g o f t h e n e c k - r i n g t o B e o w u l f b y 126 W e a l h t h e o w a n d t h e n , a f t e r r e f e r r i n g t o t h e B r o s i n g s ' n e c k l a c e s o t h a t i t c a n b e s e e n i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r f a t e f u l a n d f a m o u s n e c k l a c e s , i m m e d i a t e l y j u m p s a h e a d t o o b s e r v e t h a t H y g e l a c w o r e i t o n h i s l a s t e x p e d i t i o n . T h e p o e t n e v e r l e t s h i s a u d i e n c e f o r g e t t h a t a l l t h i n g s m u s t b e s e e n i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e i r t o t a l t i m e o n e a r t h . J u s t a s 9 i n t h e e p i c , ; t h e a l l u s i o n s a n d d i g r e s s i o n s a r e b o r d e r e d t o o t h e r t i m e p e r i o d s , s o i n t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y ( s e e P l a t e s I X , X , X I ) r e l e v a n t m a t e r i a l o f t e n o c c u r s l n t h e b o r d e r s , a s w h e n g h o s t l y s h i p s f o r b o d e d i s a s t e r i n t h e b o r d e r b e l o w t h e n e w l y c l o w n e d K i n g H a r o l d ' s r e s i d e n c e , r e i n f o r c i n g t h e p r e v i o u s s e c t i o n w h e r e t h e men l o o k a t t h e omen i n t h e s k y , w h i c h may w e l l h a v e b e e n H a l l e y ' s c o m e t w h i c h t h e A n g l o - S a x o n C h r o n i c l e r e c o r d s a s t h e " s t a r w i t h h a i r " t h a t b l a z e d 2 a c r o s s E u r o p e i n s p r i n g t h a t y e a r . On t h e r i g h t s i d e o f H a r o l d i s a n o t h e r p o i n t o f i n t e r e s t i n r e g a r d t o t i m e — a s e a e p i s o d e , f r a m e d b y t w o t r e e s , o n e i t h e r s h o r e , s h o w s a m e s s e n g e r s a i l i n g t o i n f o r m W i l l i a m t h a t H a r o l d h a s b e e n m a d e k i n g . T h i s a p p a r e n t l y o c c u r s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y w i t h t h e o m e n , a n d i s r e m i n i s c e n t o f t h e B e o w u l f p o e t ' s m e t h o d o f c r e a t i n g t e n s i o n a n d f o r e c a s t i n g d i s a s t e r w h e n h e a l t e r n a t e s d e s c r i p -t i o n s o f t h e men f e a s t i n g i n s i d e H e o r o t w i t h d i f f e r e n t s t a g e s o f G r e n d e l * s a p p r o a c h . I n t h e B a t t l e o f H a s t i n g s a s d e p i c t e d i n t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y , t h e l o w e r b o r d e r o f s l a i n a n d f r a g m e n t e d b o d i e s 2 K e n n e t h M. S e t t o n , "900 Y e a r s A g o : T h e N o r m a n C o n q u e s t , " N a t i o n a l G e o g r a p h i c . C C C X X X , ( A u g u s t , 1966) , p . 22&.a*A v\<az <x. 127 f u r t h e r I l l u s t r a t e s t h e h o r r o r s o f w a r a n d t h e r e b y r e l a t e s t o t h e b a t t l e s c e n e i n t h e m a i n s t r i p w h i c h s e e m s t o h a v e s p i l l e d o v e r i n t o t h e b o r d e r . T h i s i s v e r y l i k e , d u r i n g t h e d r a g o n f i g h t , t h e a l l u s i o n t o t h e b l o o d y p a s t h i s t o r y o f W i g l a f * s s w o r d , w h i c h c o u l d b e c o n c e i v e d o f v i s u a l l y a s b e i n g d e p i c t e d i n t h e b o r d e r . R a t h e r l i k e t h e a l l u s i o n s a n d d i g r e s s i o n s I n t h e e p i c , t h e b o r d e r s o f t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y " c o n t a i n b e a s t s b o t h r e a l a n d i m a g i n a r y , s c r a p s o f o l d f a b l e s , s c e n e s o f c o u n t r y l i f e . F o r t h e m o s t p a r t t h e y a r e o n l y a d e c o r a t i o n , b u t now a n d t h e n t h e s t o r y f l o w s o v e r i n t o t h e m , a n d s o m e t i m e s t h e y m a k e t h e i r own c o n t r i b u t i o n t o i t . " 3 T h e m o s t I n t e r e s t i n g m e a n s b y w h i c h t h e p o e t g i v e s t h e i l l u s i o n o f t i m e p a s s a g e i s b y s h o r t d e s c r i p t i o n s l n w h i c h t h e s u b j e c t s a r e o b s e r v e d f o r t h e i r o w n s a k e i n a k i n d o f a b s o l u t e t i m e a p a r t f r o m t h e p o r t i o n o f d u r a t i o n t o w h i c h t h e y b e l o n g . S u c h p a s s a g e s a d d n o t o n l y r i c h n e s s t o t h e t e x t u r e o f t h e e p i c b u t a l s o s e r v e a s t r a n s i t i o n s a n d g i v e t h e I m p r e s s i o n o f t i m e h a v i n g p a s s e d w h e n t h e n a r r a t i v e f l o w r e t u r n s . T h i s t e c h n i q u e s o f r e q u e n t l y u s e d b y t h e p o e t w i l l b e c o m e o b v i o u s a f t e r a f e w d e m o n s t r a t i o n s . L e t u s c o n s i d e r , f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e p a s s a g e f o l l o w i n g B e o w u l f ' s v i c t o r y . T h e s c e n e i s w i t h i n H e o r o t : " T h e n w a s a g a i n a s b e f o r e f o r t h e v a l o r - f a m e d , f o r t h e r e t a i n e r s , a f a i r f e a s t p r e p a r e d " ( 1 . 1787-88) . T h i s i s a l l w i t h i n t h e n a r r a t i v e f l o w d u r i n g w h i c h t h e y a r e t o b e i m a g i n e d f e a s t i n g . 3 N o r m a n D e n n y a n d J o s e p h i n e F i l m e r - S a n k e y , p . 10 . 1 2 8 T h e p o e t s u d d e n l y s h i f t s h i s c a m e r a e y e o u t s i d e t o o b s e r v e t h e d a r k e n i n g n i g h t ( 1 . 1789-90) , a n d t h e n m o v e s b a c k i n s i d e a g a i n . I n s i d e , h o w e v e r , m u c h t i m e h a s p a s s e d a n d e v e r y o n e i s r e a d y f o r b e d : " T h e n o b l e h o s t a l l a r o s e . . . " ( 1 . 1 7 9 0 f f . ) . T h e n a r r a t i v e m o v e m e n t c o n t i n u e s a t t h e same p a c e a s b e f o r e e x c e p t t h a t i t i s now m u c h l a t e r : " s o o n a h a l l - t h a n e . . . g u i d e d h i m f o r t h " ( 1 . 1794-95) a n d " t h e n t h e g r e a t - h e a r t e d r e s t e d " ( 1 . 1799) . T o p r o v i d e t h e t r a n s i t i o n t o m o r n i n g t h e p o e t o n c e m o r e s h i f t s a n d d i s t a n c e s t h e p e r -s p e c t i v e s o t h a t t h e w h o l e s c e n e c a n b e o b s e r v e d a s a p o i n t o f i n t e r e s t w h i l e a l l r e s t : " t h e h a l l t o w e r e d h i g h , s p a c i o u s a n d g o l d - d e c o r a t e d , t h e g u e s t s s l e p t w i t h i n " ( 1 . 1 7 9 9-1800). A f t e r c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h i s t o t a l s i g h t t h e t i m e f l o w r e s u m e s w i t h t h e t e m p o r a l c o n j u n c t i o n o b bast a n d m e n t i o n o f t h e c o m i n g o f t h e s u n w h i c h s o o f t e n i n d i c a t e s t i m e p a s s a g e a n d m o o d c h a n g e i n B e o w u l f : " u n t i l t h e b l a c k r a v e n b l i t h e - h e a r t e d l y a n n o u n c e d h e a v e n ' s j o y . T h e n b r i g h t n e s s came h a s t e n i n g , ^ t h e s h i m m e r o v e r t h e s h a d o w ] " ( 1.1801 - 0 3 ) . M o v e m e n t i s a l s o p i c k e d u p a g a i n : " t h e w a r r i o r s h a s t e n e d . . . " ( 1 . 1803) . T h u s , w h e n n o t h i n g e s p e c i a l l y e x c i t i n g i s h a p p e n i n g a n d w h e n t i m e m u s t b e p a s s e d b e f o r e t h e n e x t p o i n t i n t h e s t o r y c a n r e a s o n a b l y b e p r e s e n t e d , t h e p o e t g i v e s h i s a u d i e n c e a n a e s t h e t i c s c e n e t o a p p r e c i a t e b e f o r e c o n t i n u i n g . V a r i a t i o n p l a y s a l a r g e r o l e i n t h i s c o n c e n t r a t i o n o n a s p e c i f i c o b j e c t o r s c e n e i n a n a b s o l u t e t i m e s e t t i n g . T h e p a s s a g e b a c k t o G e a t l a n d i s i n d i c a t e d s i m p l y b y d e s c r i p t i v e a t t e n t i o n t o t h e b o a t o n t h e w a v e s : " t h e s e a - w o o d t h u n d e r e d ; t h e r e t h e w i n d o v e r t h e w a v e s d i d n o t r e s t r a i n t h e w a v e - f l o a t e r f r o m i t s 129 c o u r s e ; t h e s e a - g o e r , t h e b o u n d - p r o w o v e r t h e o c e a n s t r e a m " ( 1 . 1906-10) . T h e v a r i o u s f e a t u r e d w a y s o f l o o k i n g a t t h e b o a t a n d t h e o c e a n h e l p s ; d r a w a t t e n t i o n a w a y f r o m t h e m e n a n d p r o v i d e s a l i t t l e s p a c e o f r e l i e f " u n t i l t h e y c o u l d s e e t h e c l i f f s o f t h e G e a t s " ( 1 . 1911) . O n e m o r e e x a m p l e s h o u l d s e r v e t o i l l u s t r a t e a d e q u a t e l y t h e t e c h n i q u e o f a r r e s t i n g t h e t i m e f l o w b y m e a n s o f a s h o r t p a s s a g e o f d e s c r i p t i o n w h i c h p r o v i d e s a n e m o t i o n a l r e l e a s e f r o m t h e f o r e g o i n g e p i s o d e a n d s e r v e s a s a s u i t a b l e p r e p a r a -t i o n f o r t h e n e x t s t a g e o f t i m e a n d a c t i o n . A t t e n t i o n i s d r a w n t o t h e v i e w i n g a n d c o n t e m p l a t i o n o f t h e v i s u a l . T h e f r e q u e n t d e s c r i p t i o n s o f t r e a s u r e s , w e a p o n s , a n d a r m o r o f t e n s e r v e t h i s p u r p o s e . B e t w e e n t h e t i m e t h e G e a t s l e a v e t h e i r b o a t a n d a r r i v e a t H e o r o t t h e h e l m e t s a r e t h e o b j e c t o f c o n c e n t r a t e d v i s i o n : " T h e b o a r - i m a g e s s h o n e o v e r t h e c h e e k -g u a r d s a d o r n e d w i t h g o l d , v a r i e g a t e d a n d f i r e - h a r d e n e d , — h e l d g u a r d o v e r l i f e f o r t h e w a r l i k e g r i m o n e s " ( 1 . 303-306) . A f t e r t h i s m u s i n g i n c l o s e r a n g e o n t h e b o a r - i m a g e s , o n t h e s h i n i n g , o n t h e c h e e k - g u a r d s , o n t h e g o l d a d o r n i n g , o n t h e v a r i e g a t i o n , o n t h e s t r e n g t h , a n d o n t h e p u r p o s e o f t h e h e l m e t s , t i m e s n a p s b a c k : " T h e men h a s t e n e d , d e s c e n d e d t o g e t h e r , u n t i l t h e y c o u l d s e e t h e t i m b e r e d h a l l , s p l e n d i d a n d g o l d - a d o r n e d " ( 1 . 306-308). B y m a k i n g t h e d e c o r a t i o n p u r p o s e f u l a s w e l l a s e n h a n c i n g , t h e p o e t s h o w s t h e h i g h d e g r e e o f s o p h i s t i c a t i o n h e h a s a c h i e v e d i n h i s a r t . I n t h e B a y e u x T a p e s t r y a l s o ( s e e P l a t e s I X , X , X I ) , t h e e y e l i n g e r s u p o n s u c h t h i n g s a s t h e i n t e r l a c e d b r a n c h e s o f t r e e s w h i c h f r e -q u e n t l y s e r v e t o f r a m e n a r r a t i v e s e c t i o n s o f d i f f e r e n t t i m e 130 p e r i o d s a n d s p a t i a l a r e a s . T h e t i m e r h y t h m s i n B e o w u l f a r e c o u n t e r p o i n t e d b y t h e a l t e r n a t i o n s o f l o n g d u r a t i o n s w i t h s h o r t o n e s . T h i s i s n o t i c e a b l e t h r o u g h o u t t h e e p i c . I n t h e f i r s t p a r t t h e i m p r e s s i o n l e f t b y t h e l e n g t h o f t h e h i s t o r i c a l p e r i o d s i n c e S c y l d , s i n c e C r e a t i o n , a n d s i n c e t h e b u i l d i n g o f H e o r o t , b y t h e l e n g t h o f G r e n d e l ' s p e r s e c u t i o n , o f E c g t h e o w ' s l i f e , o f t h e l o n g t i m e G o d r u l e d m a n k i n d , o f t h e p e r i o d o f H e r e m o d , o f H e n g e s t ' s l o n g w i n t e r , o f t i m e s i n c e C a i n a f t e r w h i c h h i s d e s c e n d a n t s s u c h a s G r e n d e l h a d t o i n h a b i t u n d e s i r a b l e r e g i o n s , o f t h e a g e s s i n c e t h e a n c i e n t s w o r d o f g i a n t s w a s m a d e , o f t h e h u n d r e d y e a r s s i n c e t h e dam h a d t o i n h a b i t t h e f l o o d ' s c o u r s e , a n d o f t h e 50 y e a r s H r o t h g a r r u l e d , k e e p o n w o r k i n g t o p r o d u c e a b r o a d e r h i s t o r i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a n d a b r o a d e r p e r s p e c t i v e t o a l t e r n a t e w i t h t h e l i m i t e d p r e s e n t o f t h e f o c u s s e d m a i n o c c u r e n c e s i n t h e s t o r y . T h e r e s u l t i s a n i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f t i m e a w a r e n e s s t h r o u g h t h e r a d i c a l s h i f t s f r o m e x t e n d e d d u r a t i o n s , w h i c h g i v e t h e e f f e c t o f p r o l o n g a t i o n , t o t h e i m m e d i a t e p r e s e n t , d u r i n g w h i c h t e n s i o n a n d a n x i e t y a r e b u i l t u p b y p e r i o d i c r e p e t i t i o n s o f t h e c o m i n g o f n i g h t a n d o f G r e n d e l a l t e r n a t e d w i t h t h e c u r r e n t s t a g e s o f H e o r o t ' s f e s t i v i t i e s . T h e h i g h e s t i n h e r o i s m i s t o a b i d e b u t " t h e s p a c e o f a n i g h t n e a r G r e n d e l " ( 1 . 528) . T h e p o e t a l s o u t i l i z e s a c o n s t a n t l y s h i f t i n g p e r s p e c t i v e f r o m t h e s c e n e o f t h e a c t i o n t o a n a n x i o u s l y w a i t i n g a u d i e n c e d u r i n g t h e d e s -c r i p t i o n s o f f i g h t s i n o r d e r t o c r e a t e t h e i m p r e s s i o n o f t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e , p a r t i c u l a r l y e f f e c t i v e s i n c e t h e i g n o r a n t a u d i e n c e i n e a c h c a s e w a i t s w i t h b a i t e d b r e a t h f o r k n o w l e d g e 131 o f t h e o u t c o m e o f t h e f i g h t w h i c h i s made t o s e e m i n t e r m i n -a b l y l o n g . T h e m o s t p o i g n a n t c o u n t e r p o i n t r h y t h m s a r e c r e a t e d b y t h e a w a r e n e s s o f t h e l i m i t e d f i n i t e d u r a t i o n o f man a s c o n -t r a s t e d t o t h e i n f i n i t e d u r a t i o n o f e t e r n i t y . I t i s t h i s w h i c h i m p a r t s t h e d o m i n a n t t o n e a n d g i v e s a n i m p r e s s i o n o f a n t i q u i t y t o t h e p o e m . S t a r t i n g w i t h t h e b e g i n n i n g o f B e o w u l f a n d i n c r e a s i n g t o w a r d s t h e e n d i s t h e p i c t u r e o f man a g a i n s t t h e t r e m e n d o u s b a c k d r o p o f e t e r n i t y . S c y l d c a me f r o m t h e s e a a n d t h e n a t h i s e n d , t h e D a n e s " l e t t h e o c e a n b e a r h i m , t h e y g a v e h i m b a c k t o t h e s e a " ( 1 . 48-4-9),that i s , t o t h e e l e m e n t s f r o m w h i c h h e c a m e . W i t h i n a f e w l i n e s i t i s a g a i n s t a t e d t h a t S c y l d " h a d t u r n e d e l s e w h e r e " ( 1 . 55)• T h e a u d i e n c e a l r e a d y k n o w s t h i s b u t t h e r e p e t i t i o n i s a k i n d o f s p e c u l a t i v e r u m i n a t i n g o v e r t h e c o u r s e o f l i f e a n d i t s a f t e r -m a t h . S h o r t l y a f t e r w a r d s " m a r t i a l p r o w e s s w a s g i v e n t o H r o t h g a r " ( 1 . 64). T h e c o n c e p t i o n i s t h a t e v e r y t h i n g i s l e n t , a n d t h a t e v e n o n l y f o r a s h o r t p e r i o d o f t i m e , a s w h e n ' t h e t o t a l a c t i v i t i e s o f H e o r o t a r e s o o n t o b e c u r t a i l e d : " n o r w a s i t y e t l o n g t i l l t h e o a t h - s w e a r e r s ( s w o r d - h a t e ^ s h o u l d a w a k e n ^ a f t e r d e a d l y h o s t i l i t y " ( 1 . 83 -85) . V i e w e d a g a i n s t t h i s i m m e n s e p r o s p e c t i t i s s e e n h o w l i t t l e a c t u a l p o w e r man h a s b e c a u s e o f h i s l i m i t e d e x i s t e n c e ; w h a t h e a t t i m e s m a n a g e s t o a c h i e v e d e s p i t e h i s d a r k f a t e i s t h e r e a l m a t t e r o f B e o w u l f . W h e t h e r g o o d o r e v i l , d e e d s a c c o m p l i s h e d i n l i f e a r e a m a t t e r o f c o r r e c t t i m i n g , o f t a k i n g t h e t i d e a t t h e f u l l , a s i l l u s t r a t e d w h e n t h e p o e t s a y s t h a t G r e n d e l d i d n o t " t h i n k t o d e l a y , b u t , a t t h e f i r s t o c c a s i o n , q u i c k l y s e i z e d a 132 s l e e p i n g w a r r i o r " ( 1 . 739-741); o f d a r i n g w h i c h a m o u n t s t o a c h a l l e n g e o f f a t e , a s w h e n i t i s s t a t e d t h a t H r u n t i n g h a d n e v e r " b e f o r e f a i l e d a n y man who " d a r e d g o o n t e r r i b l e v e n -t u r e s " ( 1 . 1462) , t h o u g h l a t e r i t d i d i n d e e d f a i l B e o w u l f , i l l u s t r a t i n g t h e u n c e r t a i n t y o f e v e r y t h i n g c o n n e c t e d w i t h m a n ; o f s i n g l e - h a n d e d e f f o r t s b y w h i c h , a s w i t h S i g e m u n d who " a l o n e e n g a g e d i n t h e d a r i n g d e e d " ( 1 . 888-889) a g a i n s t t h e d r a g o n , e a c h man u l t i m a t e l y s t a n d s a l o n e a n d m e e t s h i s o w n d e s t i n y u n a c c o m p a n i e d . K n o w l e d g e o f t h e p o s s i b l e , e v e n l i k e l y , o u t c o m e o f s e i z i n g a n o p p o r t u n i t y f o r s i n g l e -h a n d e d d a r i n g i n c r e a s e s t h e s t a t u r e o f t h e h e r o , who i s a w a r e o f t h e c o s t w h i c h i s d e a t h , a n d s o m a k e s p r e p a r a t i o n s a c c o r d i n g l y , a s w h e n B e o w u l f a s k s H r o t h g a r t o c a r e f o r h i s t h a n e s a n d t o s e n d h i s t r e a s u r e t o H y g e l a c ( 1 . l 4 7 7 f f . ) . T h e w o r t h w h i l e l i f e , t h e o n e w o r t h y o f g l o r y , i s o n e i n w h i c h d i f f i c u l t t a s k s a r e a c c o m p l i s h e d . I f t h e r e i s n o t a s k a v a i l a b l e , men p l a y a t i t , a s i n g a m e s s u c h a s h o r s e r a c e s ( 1 . 8 6 4 f f . ) . T h e t h r i l l , p r i d e a n d j o y o f c o n q u e s t , a n d o f s t r i v i n g a g a i n s t d i f f i c u l t i e s i s e v e r y w h e r e e v i d e n t i n B e o w u l f , i n t h e b o a s t s a n d i n t h e a t t i t u d e o f t h e h e r o e s , a s w e l l a s i n t h e e a g e r - e y e d a n t i c i p a t i o n o f G r e n d e l w h o s e s p i r i t l a u g h e d w i t h t h e h o p e o f a " f i l l o f f e a s t i n g " ( 1 . 734) , a n d i n t h e e n t h u s i a s m o f t h e w a t e r - m o n s t e r s " s i t t i n g r o u n d t h e f e a s t n e a r t h e s e a - g r o u n d " ( 1 . 564) t h i n k i n g t o p a r t a k e o f B e o w u l f . M a n e x i s t s i n a s a v a g e w o r l d a n d n o b l y h o l d s h i s own w e l l . I t i s p a r t o f G r e n d e l * s a c c u r s e d h e r i t a g e t h a t h i s l i f e - d a y s w e r e n o t c o u n t e d " u s e f u l " t o a n y man ( 1 . 793-794) . P e o p l e a r e o f t e n d e s c r i b e d b y t h e i r o c c u p a t i o n s , t h a t 133 i s , by how much mastery they e x h i b i t e d i n l i f e o v e r men, as i n b a t t l e s , o r o v e r m a t e r i a l s , as i n c r a f t s m a n s h i p . The t r a g e d y o f e x i s t e n c e i s t h a t f o r men and monsters l i f e ' s p l e a s u r e s and c h a l l e n g e s a r e b u t " f o r a l i t t l e w h i l e " (1. 2097). Not o n l y a c t i v i t i e s b u t a l s o the sensuous p e r c e p t i o n of the w o r l d ends w i t h the p a s s i n g of everyone's " a l l o t m e n t of t i m e " (1. 2737). With d e a t h t h e r e i s a stoppage of a c t i v i t y , a s t i l l i n g o f sounds, and a b l i n d i n g o f s i g h t . 134 CHAPTER VI SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION By i n v e s t i g a t i n g some a s p e c t s o f the p o e t ' s mode of e x p r e s s i o n and h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the poem's p e r c e p t i b l e f e a t u r e s as viewed a g a i n s t t h e f l o w o f t i m e , an attempt has been made th r o u g h o u t t h i s s tudy t o show how the w o r l d i s p e r c e i v e d i n Beowulf. The p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s a r e r i c h i n sensuous d e t a i l s , heaped up on a p p r o p r i a t e o c c a s i o n s , y e t h i g h l y s e l e c t i v e i n r e g a r d t o t h e p a r t i c u l a r s he chooses t o emphasize. By a k i n d o f s y n e c d o b h i c a l s h o r t h a n d he g i v e s a c o n c e n t r a t e d p o r t r a y a l o f the most s i g n i f i c a n t and i m p e l l i n g a s p e c t s o f h i s s u b j e c t . He does not d e s c r i b e a l l the s u r f a c e s o f t h e diamond, b u t o n l y t h o s e which t h e l i g h t h i t s i n a b l i n d i n g f l a s h as the gem i s r e v o l v e d and l o o k e d a t from d i f f e r e n t v i e w p o i n t s . The most e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s b e i n g i l l u m i n a t e d t h r o u g h t h e d e v i c e o f v a r i a t i o n , t h e audience e n t e r s i n t o the e x p e r i e n c e and d y n a m i c a l l y e x t e n d s and completes t h e i m p o r t a n t o u t l i n e s on s e v e r a l d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s s i m u l t a n e o u s l y . The s o r t of s u g g e s t i v e c l u e s g i v e n always c o n t a i n some c o n c r e t e d e t a i l s w hich encourage and p e r m i t t a n g i b l e a p p r e h e n s i o n o f t h e s u b j e c t . The d e t a i l s chosen a r e a p p r o p r i a t e and add t b t h e p e r v a d i n g mood arid • * t h e m a t i c s i g n i f i c a n c e o f the o c c a s i o n . Even speeches a r e t a n g i b l y grounded by some sensuous o r k i n e s t h e t i c c l u e about the speaker o r h i s s o c i a l o r p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g . 135 This i m p r e s s i o n i s t i c s t y l e f i n d s i t s p a r a l l e l i n the Anglo-Saxon o u t l i n e drawings , showing a s i m i l a r i t y of p e r c e p t i o n . Thematic p a r a l l e l s to the v i s u a l a r t s can be found i n the "Helmet and Hands" d e c o r a t i o n s of brooches , a m o t i f which has i t s l i t e r a r y c o u n t e r p a r t i n the poem's d e s c r i p t i v e f e a t u r i n g of the heads and hands of the c h i e f a n t a g o n i s t s . The s n a k e - l i k e monsters i n the p i c t o r i a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s resemble those of the poem, p a r t i c u l a r l y the dragons . The c o n t r a s t i n g movements of l i g h t and dark i n Beowulf f u n c t i o n both v i s u a l l y and s y m b o l l i c a l l y . Both a e s t h e t i c and p r a c t i c a l concerns are e v i d e n t i n the f a s h i o n i n g of weapons, h a l l s , and s h i p s by the people i n the e p i c . The p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s l i k e w i s e serve hot o n l y d e c o r a t i v e but a l s o s t r u c t u r a l and thematic purposes . Courage, g l o r y and a c t i o n s are v e r t i c a l l y conceived w h i l e heaviness and death are presented i n h o r i z o n t a l terms.• The t a n g i b l e aspec ts of the poem are rendered main ly through the numerous images u s e d . The compounds which Impart much of the sensuousness to the poem depend on the f a m i l i a r i t y of the audience w i t h the r e f e r e n t s whose c h i e f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s are emphasized and sometimes m e t a p h o r i c a l l y p r e s e n t e d . Both e x t e r n a l and s u b j e c t i v e exper iences are f r e q u e n t l y d e s c r i b e d i n a concrete manner, e i t h e r l i t e r a l l y or m e t a p h o r i c a l l y . 136 To understand i n g r e a t e r depth the poetry of Beowulf which i s so d i s t a n t from our own time and c u l t u r e , not o n l y must we attempt to understand the images they u s e d , but we must t r y to enter i n t o t h e i r p e r c e p t u a l processes which enabled them to p e r c e i v e the w o r l d i n the way they d i d . The p o e t ' s v o c a b u l a r y and manner of d e s c r i p t i o n i n d i c a t e s a s t rong v i s u a l o r i e n t a t i o n . Words of s i g h t s t i l l r e t a i n t h e i r v i s u a l meanings. There i s a g r e a t v a r i e t y of words of s i g h t and t h e i r o b j e c t s . The p o e t ' s d e s c r i p t i o n s r e v e a l the inward r e a l i t y of h i s s u b j e c t s through e x t e r n a l p r e s e n t a t i o n . He does not a r b i t r a r i l y draw v i s u a l a t t e n t i o n to i r r e l e v a n t t h i n g s . Even the c h a r a c t e r s i n the e p i c have a sense of the s i g n i f i c a n c e of what they see—the s e t t i n g s of major a c t i o n s , the scenes of d e s t r u c t i o n or h a p p i n e s s , and of course , the g l i t t e r of b r i g h t t r e a s u r e s . In t h i s gr im n o r t h e r n r e g i o n i n which the o c c a s i o n a l gleam of r i p p l i n g armor o r the shimmer of a f l a s h i n g sword emerges from a background of untamed w i l d e r n e s s o v e r c a s t w i t h a c o l d f o r e b o d i n g s k y , or i n which the s p a r k l e of an a l e - c u p as i t i s passed around by the go ld-adorned queen ••*. catches the l i g h t of the f i r e a t the f u r t h e s t corner of the m e a d - h a l l , i n t h i s darkening w o r l d i n which the hero stands out from h i s gloomy background to perform the desperate and strenuous f e a t s necessary f o r the s u r v i v a l of n a t i o n s , i t i s no wonder t h a t the Anglo-Saxons^have a heightened s e n s i t i v i t y to the v a r i a t i o n s of b r i g h t n e s s and d a r k n e s s , r a t h e r than to v a r i a t i o n s of c o l o r hue as we have i n our - : c i v i l i z e d , e l e c t r i c a l l y - l i t w o r l d . 137 I t i s understandable too t h a t the Anglo -Saxons , aware t h a t no man r e s i s t s f a t e f o r l o n g , d e l i g h t i n b r i g h t t r e a s u r e s . There i s a tendency to e x u l t i n the p h y s i c a l sensuousness of an o b j e c t w h i l e a t the same time contempla-t i n g i t s s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the l a r g e r context of t ime and e t e r n i t y . The method of d e s c r i p t i o n which f e a t u r e s thejouter and i n n e r predominant c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a r i s e s from and encourages t h i s s o r t of i n t e g r a t e d approach. Not o n l y s i g h t s but a l s o sounds and t a c t i l e exper iences are d e a l t w i t h i n t h i s way. The s i g h t of a b e a u t i f u l n e c k l a c e , the sound of the h a r p , the f e e l i n g of warmth near the h e a r t h , the d r i n k i n g of mead—these c o n s t i t u t e the good l i f e and so are t o be doubly a p p r e c i a t e d because they seldom l a s t l o n g and must f r e q u e n t l y be fought f o r and defended. I t i s a w o r l d which encourages the c h e r i s h i n g of l o v e l y and u s e f u l t h i n g s , as w e l l as of f r i e n d s h i p s strengthened i n the c r a s h of b a t t l e . The s e t t i n g s of the poem p r o v i d e a sense of l o c u s and are s i g n i f i c a n t as the r e g i o n s i n which a l l c r e a t u r e s and t h i n g s have t h e i r e x i s t e n c e . Growing up i s an expanding of mastery over l a r g e r a r e a s , w h i l e death i s the u l t i m a t e e x i l e and l e a v i n g of p l a c e . The amount of d e s c r i p t i v e a t t e n t i o n l a v i s h e d on the three major s e t t i n g s , which are a l l des ignated as some s o r t of h a l l , i n d i c a t e t h e i r importance in^;the p o e t ' s scheme. P a r t i c u l a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d i s H e o r o t , the o n l y h a l l w i t h s p e c i a l d e c o r a t i v e f e a t u r e s and a name s y m b o l i z i n g r o y a l t y . I t i s f o r purposes of purg ing t h i s " b e s t " of h a l l s t h a t the most powerfu l of heroes comes to Denmark. He a l s o 138 v i s i t s i t s malevolent c o u n t e r p a r t i n the mere whose e v i l i n h a b i t a n t s he d e s t r o y s . The mere assumes s i n i s t e r and f e a r f u l a s s o c i a t i o n s as the p lace most a l i e n to man. J u s t as the mere g i v e s the dam much of her c h a r a c t e r , so the barrow d e f i n e s the d r a g o n ' s n a t u r e . Beowulf makes h i s f i n a l stand on a s y m b o l i c a l l y b a r r e n e a r t h which i s near to the s u r g i n g sea . To a g r e a t e r or l e s s e r degree the sea surrounds a l l the episodes i n the poem. As do the d e s c r i p t i v e s of the o t h e r s e t t i n g s , those of the sea convey'* i t s e s s e n t i a l p i c t o r i a l and emot ional s i g n i f i c a n c e . This t h e s i s has been l i m i t e d to a study of the p o e t ' s p r e s e n t a t i o n of the s e t t i n g , but s i m i l a r s t u d i e s c o u l d be done of h i s treatment of o b j e c t s , a n i m a l s , main a n t a g o n i s t s , and a c t i o n s . Time c u r t a i l s a l l i n Beowulf . The t r a g i c awareness of man's temporary so journ seems to encourage grand and noble a c t i o n s . Accomplishments are measured a g a i n s t the span of man's l i f e . Time i s marked i n very human terms : the t ime r e q u i r e d f o r some i n d i v i d u a l a c t i o n o r f o r the sum t o t a l of a c t i o n s which make up a l i f e t i m e . Events are cons idered i n r e l a t i o n to t h e i r c loseness to the present of the main c h a r a c t e r s o r to the l i f e t i m e s of former h e r o e s . Unpleasant exper iences seem to occur i n unendurably l o n g s t r e t c h e s of t i m e . The a l l u s i o n s and d i g r e s s i o n s serve to g i v e the i l l u s i o n of t ime passage because they cause the audience to l i n g e r over them, and because they prepare f o r the next stage by s e r v i n g as transitions. They a l s o juxtapose the past or the f u t u r e w i t h the present f o r purposes of i l l u m i n a t i o n . 139 The poet- s k i l f u l l y v a r i e s h i s n a r r a t i v e speed a c c o r d i n g to the needs of the o c c a s i o n , h i g h l i g h t i n g some events i n a b r i e f p e r i o d of t i m e , s topping the a c t i o n a l t o g e t h e r f o r awhi le to observe the p h y s i c a l components of the scene, and then p i c k i n g up s w i f t l y 6 t a much l a t e r s t a g e . T h i s t e c h n i q u of a r r e s t i n g the time f low to momentari ly r e f l e c t upon the p e c u l i a r i t i e s and s p e c i a l f e a t u r e s o f c e r t a i n o b j e c t s o r scenes enables the co nt em p l at ion of t h e i r a e s t h e t i c q u a l i t i e s and p h i l o s o p h i c s i g n i f i c a n c e . The pbet a l s o uses v a r i o u s k i n d s of a l t e r n a t i o n s of t ime rhythms. To c r e a t e t e n s i o n , he a l t e r n a t e s the present a t one l o c a t i o n w i t h the present a t another where something e l s e i s b r o o d i n g . He a l s o a l t e r n a t e s the present w i t h l o n g d u r a t i o n s of t ime and w i t h e t e r n i t y . Only t r e a s u r e s remain as tokens t h a t man has been. T h i s awareness of the s i g n i f i c a n c e and beauty of o l d t r e a s u r e i s everywhere apparent , even i n c r u c i a l moments of danger as when Beowulf n o t i c e s the " b e a u t i f u l " ( 1 . 1662) o l d sword hanging on the w a l l , orrwhen W i g l a f ' s sword i s g i v e n 20 l i n e s about i t s l o n g h i s t o r y i n the s e c t i o n d e s c r i b i n g the a c t i o n s of the dragon f i g h t . Even at such moments there i s a consciousness of the form of t h i n g s and of the l a r g e r p e r s p e c t i v e . Treasure r e s o l v e s the c o n t r a s t i n g movements of past and present i n one image. The:.reverence f o r o l d works shows an a p p r e c i a t i o n of the f a c t t h a t the making and d e c o r a t i o n of b e a u t i f u l t r e a s u r e s r e p r e s e n t s an attempt a t c o n t i n u i t y and some measure of permanence. 140 The " b r i g h t gems of a r t f u l work" (1. 2749) w h i c h Beowulf a s k s t o see b e f o r e h i s p a s s i n g away, and a l l t h e s p a r k i n g t r e a s u r e s i n the poem, become r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f l i f e ' s b r i g h t moments, as w e l l as o f a way o f l i f e . T h i s i s i l l u s t r a t e d when the l a s t s u r v i v o r r e c a l l s t o mind the owners o f t r e a s u r e and t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s . There i s a p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h l i g h t and d a r k because t h a t i s how l i f e i s c o n c e i v e d — i n i t s l i g h t and dark moments. I n the f r e q u e n t a d m i r a t i o n of t r e a s u r e t h e r e i s a r e f l e c t i n g on t h e t h i n g s o f t h i s w o r l d w h i c h , i n a s h o r t t i m e , may n e v e r be e x p e r i e n c e d a g a i n , a f e e l i n g o f wonder a t the presence of semi-permanent t h i n g s b e f o r e t h e f l e e t i n g n e s s and a l m o s t u n r e a l i t y o f l i f e , a t r a g i c m a r v e l l i n g a t momentary b e a u t i e s and accomplishments i n the f a c e o f u l t i m a t e doom and d i s a s t e r , a r e l i s h i n g of the b r i g h t moments b e f o r e the d a r k n e s s c l o s e s a g a i n . I n t h i s t o t a l p e r s p e c t i v e , l o o k a t what man has managed t o a c h i e v e d e s p i t e i t a l l — w h a t h e r o i c a ccomplishments, what a r t f u l f a s h i o n i n g s o f g l e a m i n g t r e a s u r e ! 141 APPENDIX I The f o l l o w i n g words can be considered as having d i m i n i s h e d v i s u a l overtones although they are not as e x p l i c i t l y v i s u a l as are verbs meaning 'to see'. That these words are v i s u a l to some extent may be judged by the t h i n g s to which they r e f e r or by the g e n e r a l context of the passage. Ongitan, ' p e r c e i v e , see, 'hear, understand', occurs 13 times and i s used 8 times w i t h some sense of v i s u a l p e r c e p t i o n . I t i s used w i t h t r e a s u r e as i t s o b j e c t i n a few i n s t a n c e s . In case of h i s decease, Beowulf wishes the " g o l d " to be sent to Hygelac so t h a t he "may p e r c e i v e ... t h a t I. f or-manly v i r t u e , found a good r i n g - g i v e r , enjoyed w h i l e I had the o p p o r t u n i t y " (1. 1484-86). F r e q u e n t l y one o b j e c t has s e v e r a l verbs of s i g h t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h i t by way of v a r i a t i o n . T h i s r e i n f o r c e s the v i s u a l content of the passage, as i n l i n e s 2747 f f . where the "ancient wealth" Beowulf p e r c e i v e s f o r the l a s t time i s emphasized. Though Grendel's dam, t h a t "accursed monster of the deep" (1. 1518) i s once the o b j e c t of o n g i t a n . t h i s verb i s most o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h some p l a c e or h a l l . I t i s used f o r the p e r c e p t i o n of the " g r o u n d - p l a i n " of the mere (1. 1496) and of the " f l o o r " of the dragon's barrow (1. 2770), as w e l l as of Heorot g e a t o l l c and g o l d f a h (1. 308) and of the " h o s t i l e h a l l " of the mere" (1. 1513)* A f t e r the v i s i t t o the Danes the Geats journey "over the waves" u n t i l they can p e r c e i v e the " c l i f f s of the Geats" (1. 1907-11). The important f e a t u r e s of the s t o r y are d e s c r i b e d i n terms of s i g h t : of those p l a c e s , people, and t h i n g s s e e n — t h a t i s what the sum t o t a l of l i f e amounts t o . T h i s i s i n complete c o n t r a s t t o many modern e x i s t e n t i a l i s t p l o t s which occur i n a vacuum o r on a bare stage. To be a b l e to see a t h i n g i s to have knowledge of i t s n a t u r e , i t s purpose, and i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e . T h i s i s i n v o l v e d i n the way geonawlan. 'recognize', o c c u r r i n g o n l y once, i s used when the o l d s p e a r - w a r r i o r asks "the young champion" i f he knows the sword which h i s f a t h e r bore to the f i g h t (1. 2047-48). Wltan. 'know', occurs 27 times but i s used once i n a s i m i l a r visual<-• sense when Grendel gearwost wisse the g o l d - h a l l of men because i t i s " s h i n i n g w i t h g o l d " (1. 715-716). He knows what i t i s by the way i t l o o k s . Cyban o c c u r s f o r a t o t a l of 7 times and i s twice employed i n the sense of m a n i f e s t i n g , c a r r y i n g out, making v i s i b l e by a c t i o n such q u a l i t i e s as v a l o r . In the f i r s t i n s t a n c e , Beowulf "standing u p r i g h t " (a v i s i b l e stance 142 indicative of the quality) showed "valor" ( 1 . 2 6 9 5 ) . In the second, Hrothgar asks Beowulf to manifest his "mighty valor" by protecting the hall against Grendel ( 1 . 6 5 8 ) . Cyban i s also used when i t i s mentioned that the damascend sword would "make known the death-bale" ( 1 . 1940) of those who looked upon Thryth. Gebeacnlan.'point out, show*, occurs once and i s used to indicate that the hall-thane's hate was evident by his murderous leavings* (1 . 140 ) . Ywan occurs 3 times and i s used in a sense of externally showing or manifesting some quality or emotion as when Grendel "manifests through terror strange h o s t i l i t y " ( 1 . 276) and when Hrothgar says that the happy man does ^ ot "show sword-hate" ( 1 . 1738) . It i s the prerogative of l i f e to be able to make evident or to act out emotions. Death for the dragon means that he can no longer wheel in f l i g h t and dis-play "his countenance" ( 1 . 2834) . Geywan occurs twice and is used in a comparable way. Beowulf gives Hygelac Hrothgar*s treasures to show "good w i l l " ( 1 . 2149) . The external thing i s pleasurable to look at in i t s e l f and for i t s indication of internal feelings. This i s the case when Wealhtheow "presents" Beowulf with "two arm ornaments, corselet and rings, the greatest of neck-rings" ( 1 . 1194-95) , by which he accepts the obligation imposed by the g i f t s . Wlslan. occurs 9 times and means 'to show the way, guide, direct, lead*. It i s visual because i t points out where something i s . A "water-crafty man" points out to Beowulf and his men the "land-boundaries" ( 1 . 2 0 8 - 2 0 9 ) . The Danish coast-guard directs the Geats to Heorot ( 1 . 292) and Wulfgar directs them "under the roof of Heorot" ( 1 . 403) . Beowulf himself i s identified as a leader when Wulfgar speaks of him as he "who led the warriors here" ( 1 . 3 7 0 ) . The supreme leader i s of course God who "most often...has showed the way to the friend-less" ( 1 . 1 6 6 3 - 6 4 ) , but i t i s not used merely spiritually here for the concrete example given i s that He enables Beowulf to "see" the "mighty old sword" ( 1 . 1 6 6 1 - 6 4 ) . Wiglaf takes over the role of leader in i t s primary sense when he shows "the way" under the "earth-wall" to the Geats ( 1 . 3 1 0 3 ) . It i s the misfortune of the "thirteenth man" to have to "show the way there" ( 1 . 2406-09) in the f i r s t place. It i s , however, one of the duties of Hrothgar's hall-thane tc guide guests to"their places of rest ( 1 . 1795) • The non-human use of the word,whfch »s perhaps not so visual, refers to the path which showed the way to the men ( 1 . 3 2 0 ) . Getaecan occurs twice, and like wlslan means 'to show, point out, assign.' The warder "clearly showed" the Geats "the way to the courageous one's court" in order "that they might go towards i t " ( 1 . 3 1 2 -314) . Here i t i s distinctly a visual Indication with a concrete purpose in mind. Hrothgar assigns or points out a seat for Beowulf "with his own sons" 143 ( 1 . 2013 )> but here the pr imary f u n c t i o n of the verb does not seem to be v i s u a l . The manner l n which w i s l a n and geteacan are used makes i t obvious t h a t knowledge of environmental surroundings i s e s s e n t i a l f o r the c a r r y i n g out of any a c t i o n s . The s u r r o u n d -i n g s are seen i n r e l a t i o n to man. Over some p l a c e s , some men have knowledge, and t h e r e f o r e a measure of mastery . As i s e v i d e n t , c e r t a i n people d e r i v e p a r t o r a l l of t h e i r I d e n t i t y and r o l e w i t h i n the s o c i e t y from h a v i n g knowledge of the l a y o u t of p l a c e s and b e i n g a b l e to l e a d o r p o i n t out the way t h e r e . Another duty a s s o c i a t e d w i t h seeing i s t h a t of keeping watch f o r the r e t u r n of f r i e n d s and a g a i n s t enemies. The double r o l e of the h a r b o u r - g u a r d i a n s i s to keep watch f o r people e n t e r i n g the l a n d so t h a t none can come unseen, and then to p o i n t out the path to the v i s i t o r ' s d e s t i n a t i o n . W l a t l a n i s used i n regardTthe G e a t i s h h a r b o u r - g u a r d i a n who "eager by the sea gazed from a f a r " f o r the r e t u r n of Beowulf ( 1 . 1916) . Onf lndan i n d i c a t e s t h a t a t l a s t " the l a n d -warden p e r c e i v e d the w a r r i o r ' s r e t u r n " ( 1 . 1891-92) . The verb waclan i s used by Hrothgar when he asks Beowulf to "keep watch a g a i n s t f o e s " ( 1 . 660) i n Heorot f o r one n i g h t . True to h i s f u n c t i o n the hero " w a t c h i n g " ( 1 . 708) (the verb i s weeocan) a w a i t s G r e n d e l . A l s o i n d i c a t i n g the d e f i n i t e job of watching are two nouns. The noun eegweard denotes the r o l e of the S c y l d i n g c o a s t - g u a r d who h o l d s "watch by the sea" ( 1 . 241) . H e a f o d - weard. ' h e a d - w a t c h ' , i . e . , ' d e a t h - w a t c h ' , d e s c r i b e s the p o s i t i o n h e l d by W i g l a f i n the a r r e s t e d scene of the t a b l e a u . S p e c i f i c a l l y meaning ' s i g n * or ' t o k e n ' I s t a c e n , used i n r e f e r e n c e to the " s e a - o f f e r i n g s " which are a v i s i b l e " token of g l o r y " ( 1 . 1654) and t o the murders of Grende l which are a " t o k e n " of h i s hate ( 1 . 141-142) . In the one Instance the a d j e c t i v e undyrne i s used v i s u a l l y , l i t has i m p l i c a t i o n s of ' easy to be seen* by way of n e g a t i v e s t r u c t u r e and understatement : "That g r e a t meeting i s not h i d d e n , l o r d H y g e l a c , t o many men, what s t r i f e to mysel f and Grende l was i n t h a t p l a c e " ( 1 . 2000-0 3 ) . The Geats i n the h a l l are wi tn es s es of the b a t t l e ; a n d G r e n d e l ' s arm, as r e p e a t e d l y mentioned, i s proof " t o many men." The s e c r e t o r dyrne h a l l of the dragon ( 1 . 2320) has dangerous a s s o c i a t i o n s s i n c e the G e a t s , be ing unable t o see i t , cannot d e a l w i t h the dragon i n the morning because he has disappeared i n t o i t . E a r l i e r , unable to see the t h i e f who "stepped f o r t h w i t h secre t c r a f t " ( 1 . 2289-90) near h i s head, the dragon does not know of the robbery 1 4 4 u n t i l he awakes and sees t h a t the t r e a s u r e i s m i s s i n g . As a r e s u l t , danger and d e s t r u c t i o n f o l l o w f o r the dragon , f o r Beowulf , and f o r the e n t i r e n a t i o n . J 145 APPENDIX I I The f o l l o w i n g rough o u t l i n e 1 shows where every s i t -u a t i o n and p l a c e of i n t e r e s t o c c u r s . B r i n g i n g l o c a t i o n t o a t t e n t i o n i n t h i s way should prove the p o e t ' s emphasis on p l a c e . The o u t l i n e does not i n c l u d e movements w i t h i n each p l a c e , as f o r example, w i t h i n Heorot o r the m e r e - h a l l . L i n e s 1-193 The main a c t i o n i s i n Denmark 1-52 I n yore -days S c y l d came from the sea , r u l e d Denmark, departed on the sea 53-63 Beowulf and then H a l f - D a n e r u l e d Denmark 64-82a Hrothgar r u l e d and b u i l t Heorot ( (82b-85)) Heorot i s to be des t royed by h o s t i l i t y and f i r e 86-89 G r e n d e l ' s m i s e r a b l e d w e l l i n g I n the darkness 89-98 The scop i n Heorot s i n g s of the C r e a t i o n of the World 99-100a The W a r r i o r s l i v e i n joy i n Heorot lGCb-105 Unhappy Grende l h o l d s " the moors, the f e n and_ t h j i f a s t n e s s " (106-114) G r e n d e l * s o r i g i n s : C a i n ' s race banished " f a r from mankind" 115-125 G r e n d e l invades Heorot and takes JO corpses to h i s d w e l l i n g 126-137 H e o r o t : misery f o r a day and a n i g h t 13 '8-l49a At n i g h t the people s l e e p a t a d i s t a n c e from H e o r o t . which I s empty, f o r 12 w i n t e r s l49b -170 S t o r y of G r e n d e l ' s o c c u p a t i o n of Heorot spreads 170-193 Danes s i t In c o n s u l t a t i o n , worsh ip a t heathen temples , and Hrothgar has g r e a t sorrow i n Heorot 194-215a The main a c t i o n i n Geat land 194-209 I n Hygelao * s home Beowulf hears of the Danish t r o u b l e s 210-215a G e a t i s h seashore 215b-2l8 The Geats on t h e i r ship on the sea between Geatland  and Denmark 1 I t i s meant to serve as a g u i d e . Some readers may p r e f e r t o p l a c e the l i n e d i v i s i o n a few l i n e s e a r l i e r or f u r t h e r o n . S i n g l e b r a c k e t s around l i n e numbers i n d i c a t e scenes o c c u r r i n g i n the past and double b r a c k e t s those o c c u r r i n g i n the f u t u r e . 146 219-1910 The main a c t i o n i s i n Denmark 219-224a Approach t o the Danish shore 224b-300 The Danish shore:fl* Coast guard on the 1 " w a l l " sees the Geats on the gangway and r i d e s down toward them 301-324 The Way between the Danish shore and Heorot 325-355 The W a l l and the bench o u t s i d e Heorot Where the Geats w a i t and l e a v e weapons 356-389a H r o t h g a r s i t s on the seat i n Heorot 389b-398 Thf> door of Heorot from which Wulfgar speaks t o the Geats 399-649 Beowulf and some of the Geats e n t e r Heorot (419-424a) B e o w u l f ' s t a l e of s l a y i n g n i c k e r s on the sea ((446a-455)) B e o w u l f ' s mention of the p o s s i b i l i t y of b e i n g k i l l e d and taken t o the m o o r - r e t r e a t (506-524) U n f e r t h ' s account of B e o w u l f ' s sea venture w i t h B r e c a (532b-58la) B e o w u l f ' s account of t h e i r venture on the sea 650-651a O u t s i d e Heorot t shapes of darkness 651b-66l Beowulf g i v e n command of Heorot 662a-665a H r o t h g a r d e p a r t s out of the K a l i 665b-702 Beowulf i n Heorot f o r the n i g h t 703-704a O u t s i d e H e o r o t : shadow-walker 704b-709 The Geats are I n s i d e Heorot 710-721a Grendel i s approaching Heorot "from the moor under the m i s t y c l i f f s 721b-724a G r e n d e l i s a t the door o f Heorot 724b-766 Grendel i s i n s i d e H e o r o t : f i g h t 767-769a The Danes are o u t s i d e Heorot 769b-782a H e o r o t : was " f i r m w i t h i n and w i t h o u t " but i s now somewhat s h a t t e r e d i n the f i g h t . 782b-787a Outs ide H e o r o t : The Danes hear sounds of the f i g h t 787b-819a The f i g h t i n s i d e Heorot 8 l9b-823a G r e n d e l escapes t o h i s d w e l l i n g 823b-838 Heorot i s p u r i f i e d 839-852 The t r a c i n g of the track's of G r e n d e l to the  mere 853-924 The Journey from the mere to H e o r o t : h o r s e -r a c i n g on the f a i r earth-ways and the f a l l o w  s t r e e t s (874b-900) The t a l e of Sigemund: wide Journey-i n g s to unknown p l a c e s . the b a t t l e w i t h the dragon "under the hoary s t o n e " , the l o a d i n g of the t r e a s u r e i n t o the b o a t . (9OI-915) The t a l e of Heremod: Denmark and the l a n d of Eotens 925-990 O u t s i d e H e o r o t : the r o o f w i t h G r e n d e l * s hand 147 991-1255& H e o r o t : decorated f o r the f e a s t : c e l e -b r a t i o n s ( 1 0 6 3 - l l 6 0 a ) The scop*s t a l e of F innsburgh (1198b-1201) Hama bore the B r o s i n g s * neck-l a c e t o " the b r i g h t c a s t l e " ( (1202-12l4a)) Hygelac i s t o take t h i s n e c k l a c e t o F r l e s l a n d 1255b-1280a The Dam Journeys from the mere to Heorot 1280b-1295a The Dam i s i n s i d e Heorot 1295b-1301 Beowulf i s i n another d w e l l i n g 1302-1398 Outcry i n Heorot 1345-1379 H r o t h g a r * s d e s c r i p t i o n of the mere 1399-1413 The Journey t o the mere: moor, narrow p a t h , mere 1414-1491 The mere 's edge 1492-1590 Beowulf d i v e s I n t o the mere u n t i l he reaches the g r o u n d - p l a i n and the dam*s  h a l l 1591- l600a Wise men a t the edge of the mere l600b-l602a The Danes l e a v e the edge of the mere  f o r Heorot l602b-l605a The Geats remain a t the edge of mere I605b-l6l7 Beowulf i n the mere I 6 I 8-I63I Beowulf swims from the mere t o Heorot 1644-I880a Heorot I655-I676 B e o w u l f ' s account of the mere r ' ~ f i g h t ( I 6 8 7 - I 6 9 8 ) The s t o r y of the F l o o d on the h i l t (1709-1723) Heremod: Denmark t o the p l a c e  of e x i l e 1724-1784 H r o t h g a r * s account of the way of the w o r l d and of h i s r e i g n i n Denmark I880b-1903a The Journey o f Geats from Heorot to the  shore and the s h i p 1903b-1910 The sea Journey from Denmark to Geat land 1911-3182 The main a c t i o n i s i n G e a t l a n d 1911-1921a The s i g h t i n g o f t h e c l i f f s o f t h e Geat s and t h e i r a r r i v a l a t t h e shore 1921b-1931a A b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n o f H y g e l a c ' s h a l l and Hygd (1931b-1962) T h r y t h : h e r homeland and o v e r t h e sea t o O f f a ' s h a l l 1963.1967a Beowulf's Journey a l o n g t h e sand t o Hy g e l a c ' s d w e l l i n g 1967b-2196a H y g e l a c ' s c o u r t (2000-2031) B e o w u l f ' s account o f the a c t i v i t i e s i n H e o r o t 148 ((2032-2096a)) B e o w u l f ' s p r o p h e c y o f t h e I n g e l d e p i s o d e a t t h e H e a t h o b a r d c o u r t ( 2069b-2l49a) B e o w u l f ' s a c c o u n t o f t h e G r e n d e l f i g h t a t H e o r o t 2l49b-2194 H y g e l a c ' s h a l l : g i f t - g i v i n g 2195-2199 B e o w u l f i s g i v e n h i s o wn l a n d a n d h a l l 2 2 0 0 - 2 2 1 0 a B e o w u l f r u l e s G e a t l a n d 2211b - 2 3 0 6 a T h e d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w i s v i o l a t e d ( 2 2 3 3-22?0a) T h e l a s t s u r v i v o r a t t h e b a r r o w ( 2 2 7 1 b - 2 2 8 0 a ) T h e d r a g o n f o u n d t h e b a r r o w 300 y e a r s a g o 2306b-2323 A t n i g h t s t h e d r a g o n o n t h e w a l l o f t h e b a r r o w g o e s t o d e s t r o y t h e h o m e s o f t h e G e a t s a n d t h e n r e t u r n s t o h i s b a r r o w 2327b-2400 B e o w u l f i s o u t s i d e i n G e a t l a n d (2351b-2396) T h e p o e t ' s s u m m a r y o f t h e H e o r o t e p i s o d e , r a i d t o F r i e s -l a n d , B e o w u l f ' s s w i m o n t h e s e a b a c k t o G e a t l a n d , H y g d ' s o f f e r o f t h e r e a l m , t h e w a r s w i t h S w e d e n " o v e r t h e w i d e s e a " 2 4 0 1 - 2 4 1 6 B e o w u l f ' s j o u r n e y t o t h e d r a g o n ' s b a r r o w 2417 - 2 5 3 7 B e o w u l f s i t s o n t h e headland:= n e a r t h e b a r r o w a n d t e l l s h i s m e n t o " a w a i t o n t h e h i l l " ( b e o r g ) (2426 - 2 5 0 8 a ) B e o w u l f r e c a l l s h i s y o u t h a t t h e c o u r t o f H r e t h e l , t h e o l d m a n ' s d e s o l a t i o n a t h i s s o n ' s e m p t y w i n e - h a l l , w a r s w i t h S w e d e n " o v e r t h e w i d e w a t e r " , a r i d a r o u n d H r e o s n a b e o r h , a n d H y g e l a c ' e x p e d i t i o n t o F r i e s l a n d 2538-2595 B e o w u l f a r i s e s a n d g o e s " u n d e r t h e s t o n y c l i f f s " , f i g h t 2596-2660 T h e r e t a i n e r s f l e e t o t h e w o o d s : W i g l a f ' s s p e e c h 2 6 6 l - 2 7 1 1 a W i g l a f w a d e s " t h r o u g h t h e d e a d l y r e e k " a n d h e l p s B e o w u l f a t t h e b a r r o w : f i g h t 2 711b - 2 7 5 1 B e o w u l f g o e s to s i t o n a s e a t b y w a l l . W i g l a f h o v e r s o v e r h i m 2752-2782 W i g l a f g o e s u n d e r t h e b a r r o w ' s r o o f 2783-2845 W i g l a f g o e s b a c k t o s h o w t h e . t r e a s u r e t o B e o w u l f s t i l l s i t t i n g 2 8 0 2 - 2 8 0 8 B e o w u l f g i v e s i n s t r u c t i o n s a b o u t t h e b u i l d i n g o f h i s m o u n d 2846-2891 T h e r e t a i n e r s l e a v e t h e w o o d a n d g o t o s e e t h e ' d e a d B e o w u l f n e a r t h e b a r r o w ( ( 2 8 8 4 - 2 8 9 1 ) ) W i g l a f ' s p r o p h e c y a b o u t t h e G e a t s who w i l l w a n d e r d e p r i v e d  o f c o u n t r y 149 2892-3030a The messenger r i d e s t o the headland to p r o c l a i m the events t o the t r o o p s and t e l l s of Beowulf on the bed of s l a u g h t e r , r e c a l l s the e x p e d i t i o n to the l a n d of the F r i s i a n s and the wars a t Ravendwood, and then p r o -phec ies strange l a n d s of Geats 3030b-3119 The t r o o p goes under E a - r h a n * . s : fc.q see. . Beowulf and the Dragon on the sand (3049b-30?5) The p o e t ' s summary of the t r e a s u r e r which l a y i n the barrow f o r 1000 years 3087-3100 W i g l a f t e l l s about the I n s i d e of the d r a g o n ' s barrow and orders B e o w u l f ' s barrow to be b u i l t on the  s i g h t of h i s pyre 3120-3131a W i g l a f and the Geats go i n s i d e the d r a g o n ' s  barrow 3131b-3133 The Geats shove the dragon over the c l i f f  i n t o the sea 3134-3155 The Geats go t o t4-re>nesh^sse w.tffh:fche> -• V~ 'M\e t r e a s u r e and b u i l d a pyre 3156-3182 The Geats b u i l d the mound i n 10 days 150 A P P E N D I X I I I T h e p o e t h a s a p r e d e l i c t i o n f o r c e r t a i n n u m b e r s t o i n d i c a t e e i t h e r v a r i o u s p e r i o d s o f t i m e o r n u m b e r s o f t h i n g s : 3 r e f e r s t o t h e n u m b e r o f h o r s e s B e o w u l f g i v e s H y g d (1. 2174) , 13 t o t h e n u m b e r t h e u n f o r t u n a t e t h i e f a d d e d t o t h e s e a r c h e r s o f t h e d r a g o n (1. 2403), 30 t o t h e n u m b e r o f men w h o s e s t r e n g t h B e o w u l f h a d i n h i s h a n d g r i p (1. 380), a n d t o t h e n u m b e r o f s u i t s o f a r m o r h e h a d o n h i s a r m d u r i n g t h e F r i s i a n s w i m (1. 2361) , a s w e l l a s t o t h e n u m b e r o f t h a n e s G r e n d e l t o o k a t o n e t i m e d u r i n g t h e i r r e s t (1. 123) , 300 t o t h e n u m b e r o f y e a r s t h e d r a g o n h e l d t h e h o a r d ; 5 i n d i c a t e s t h e n u m b e r o f n i g h t s B r e c a a n d B e o w u l f w e r e t o g e t h e r o n t h e s e a (1. 545)<3.Hthe n u m b e r o f f o e s b o u n d b y B e o w u l f t o p r o v e h i s s t r e n g t h t o t h e w i s e m en (1. 420), 50 t h e n u m b e r o f y e a r s H r o t h g a r (1. 2209) a n d B e o w u l f (1. 2733) r u l e d , a n d t h e d r a g o n ' s l e n g t h i n f e e t (1. 3042); 7 i n d i c a t e s t h e t o t a l n u m b e r o f n i g h t s B e o w u l f t o t t e d o n t h e s e a (1. 517) , t h e a g e a t w h i c h B e o w u l f c ame t o c o u r t (1. 2428), a n d t h e n u m b e r o f t h o u s a n d s o f l a n d H y g e l a c g a v e t o B e o w u l f (1. 2195). 10 r e f e r s t o t h e n u m b e r o f d a y s i t t o o k t o c o n s t r u c t B e o w u l f ' s m o u n d (1. 3159), a n d t o t h e n u m b e r o f c o w a r d s i n t h e d r a g o n e n c o u n t e r (1. 2847), 100 t o t h e n u m b e r o f y e a r s t h e dam h e l d t h e m e r e (1» 1498), a n d t o t h e n u m b e r o f t h o u s a n d s o f l a n d g i v e n t o E o f o r a n d W u l f (1. 2994-95), a n d 1000 t o t h e n u m b e r o f y e a r s t h e t r e a s u r e r e m a i n e d i n t h e b a r r o w (1. 3050), a n d t o t h e n u m b e r o f men B e o w u l f p r o m i s e s a r e a t H r o t h g a r ' s d i s p o s a l i f h e n e e d s a i d (1. 1829); a n d f i n a l l y , 12 r e f e r s t o t h e n u m b e r o f y e a r s G r e n d e l w a r r e d (1. 147), t o t h e n u m b e r who w e n t w i t h B e o w u l f t o s e e k t h e d r a g o n (1. 2401), a n d a l s o t o t h e n u m b e r t h a t r o d e a r o u n d h i s m o u n d (!• 3170). Ramsey Abbey (?): C r u c i f i x i o n , f r o m Psalter. Late tenth century. Minia ture 9 ! by 7! in. British Museum From R l c k e r t I T « Folio 192 v ol the Book of Durrow. Courtesy of T h e Board o *rom Leyene C o ] ] c g c > D i ] b ] i n Interlace. A general system of ornament consisting of lines or bands which pass over and under each other, like the threads in lace. From R i c k e r t From Kendrick I V V F I G 57. Gold bracteate from Lundeby, Oland. Vi FIG. 58. Gold bracteate (from Denmark ?) Vi FIG. 59. Helmet-plate of bronze, from Grave No. ], Vendel, Uppland. H Prom S t j e r n a V I I F I G . 2. — B R O N Z E P L A T E F R O M O L A N D (Early Viking period?). Preserved i n the N a t i o n a l M u s e u m , Stockholm. F r o m Monte l ius , p. i s 1 • From K l a e b e r VIII [THIS LINE TRANSLATES THE LATIN] KING EDWARD WHERE HAROLD, DUKE OF THE ENGLISH. HERE HAROLD HAS SAILED THE SEA AND WITH HIS SAILS HERE BISHOP O D O , HOLDING A MACE, URGES O N THE YOUNG MEN From S e t t o n I X w CD 1 2 DOO» E D I A G R A M S O F A S C A N D I N A V I A N ROVA1. M A L I . . U p p e r F i g u r e : G r o u n d P l a n ; L o w e r F i g u r e : V e r t i c a l S e c t i o n o n l i n e F . G . From Clark H a l l I 151 B I B L I O G R A P H Y A d a m , R . J . A C o n q u e s t o f E n g l a n d : T h e C o m i n g o f t h e  N o r m a n s . L o n d o n : B i l l i n g a n d S o n s , 1965. A l m g r e n , B e r t l l , e t a l . T h e V i k i n g . L o n d o n : C A . W a t t s a n d C o . L t d . , 1966. A n d e r s o n , G e o r g e K . T h e L i t e r a t u r e o f t h e A n g l o - S a x o n s . P r i n c e t o n U n i v . P r e s s , 1966. A n d r e w , S.O. P o s t s c r i p t o n B e o w u l f . C a m b r i d g e U n i v . P r e s s , 19^8. B a r t l e t t , A . C T h e L a r g e r R h e t o r i c a l P a t t e r n s i n A n g l o - S a x o n P o e t r y . C o l u m b i a U n i v . P r e s s , 1935. B a u m , P a u l l F . " T h e B e o w u l f P o e t . " A n A n t h o l o g y o f " B e o w u l f "  C r i t i c i s m , e d . L e w i s E . N i c h o l s o n . T o r o n t o : B a x t e r , 1965, 353-366. B e c k w i t h , J o h n . E a r l y M e d i e v a l A r t . New Y o r k : P r a e g e r , 1964. B e d e ' s H i s t o r y o f t h e E n g l i s h C h u r c h a n d P e o p l e , t r a n s , a n d i n t r o d . b y L e o S h e r l e y - P r i c e . H a r m o n d s w o r t h , M i d d l e s e x : P e n g u i n B o o k s , 1965. B e n s o n , L a r r y D. " T h e L i t e r a r y C h a r a c t e r o f A n g l o - S a x o n F o r m u l a i c P o e t r y . " P M LA. 81 (1966), 334-341. B i r r e l l , T.A. "The S o c i e t y o f A n t i q u a r i e s a n d t h e T a s t e f o r O l d E n g l i s h : 1705-1840." N e o p h i l . 50 (1966), 107-117, B l a c k b u r n , F . A . " T h e C h r i s t i a n C o l o r i n g i n B e o w u l f . " A n  A n t h o l o g y o f " B e o w u l f " C r i t i c i s m , e d . L e w i s E . N i c h o l s o n . T o r o n t o : B a x t e r , 1965, 1-22. B l a i r , P e t e r H u n t e r . A n I n t r o d u c t i o n t o A n g l o - S a x o n  E n g l a n d . C a m b r i d g e U n i v . P r e s s , 196T. B l o o m f i e l d , M o r t o n W. " B e o w u l f a n d C h r i s t i a n A l l e g o r y : A n I n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f U n f e r t h . " A n A n t h o l o g y o f " B e o w u l f "  C r i t i c i s m , e d . L e w i s E . N i c h o l s o n . T o r o n t o : B a x t e r , 1965, 155-164. B l o o m f i e l d , M o r t o n W. " P a t r i s t i c s a n d O l d E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e : N o t e s o n Some P o e m s . " A n A n t h o l o g y o f " B e o w u l f " C r i t i c i s m , e d . L e w i s E . N i c h o l s o n . 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