Thursday, February 3, 2011

From the Diary of Wealhtheow

Entry 1
For twelve long winters, my kingdom has suffered many a nights of terror, pain, and death at the hands of the mischievous sprite Grendel. Our great and noble king, my love Hrothgar, has finally met a fearless and brawny warrior to free us from this entrapment. Do not doubt that we did not look among our own men first for a hero. Our options were slim however, due to the carnage of Grendel, each night our strongest and most able are snatched away. Beowulf, the warrior that is to save our kingdom, is the son of the Geat warrior-lord Ecgtheow. I had the opportunity to greet and speak with Beowulf during our nightly merriments in Heorot. After this brief exchange, I am confident that he will be successful in defeating Grendel.

Entry 2
I awoke this morning to joyous news. The great Beowulf had succeeded in defeating Grendel. There was only one other fatality, a man who was sleeping in the hall along with the others. Hrothgar informed me that Beowulf grappled and defeated Grendel without the protection of his armor and mail! This grappling match resulted in the ultimate battle prize! The arm and shoulder of the gruesome Grendel were acquired. This is exceptionally amazing, and only a man with strength of God behind him would be able to accomplish such a feat! The battle inside the Meade hall was a violent one, and much of our glorious hall was destroyed in the process. Hopefully it will be repaired in time to hold a victory feast for our hero Beowulf.

Entry 3
The hall was repaired just in time to house our victory feast. During this time, Hrothgar showered Beowulf with gifts of opulence and status for the terror he had freed our kingdom from. During this time, Hrothgar expressed interest in adopting the great Beowulf as a son. This would benefit our kingdom in terms of his strength, and uniting the Geats and Danes. I doubt that rivaling nations would be inclined to attack our defenses if we have such a remarkable warrior on our side. I am however worried of the potential impact that it would have on our two young sons, the heirs to Hrothgar’s throne. I don’t believe that Beowulf would do harm to my children, but I am unsure if his presence would benefit their standing in the kingdom. If Beowulf becomes a member of our kingdom, he would be next in line to take over the throne in the wake of Hrothgar’s death. Will my sons ever have a chance to rule in the kingdom built by the sweat of their ancestors, or will this mark the end of my family’s rule? I am tempted to speak out against the inclusion of Beowulf into our kingdom. At seems that protection and freedom from Grendel may result in the loss of our kingdom and great hall. However, only time will tell.

Entry 4
Just as I thought that we were freed from the devastation caused at the hands of Grendel, another monster with a blood feud against our kingdom rose and attacked our beloved hall under the cloak of darkness. This time a valued member of our kingdom was killed. This has left Hrothgar downtrodden and listless, unable to fathom how quickly such a night of celebration and high spirits could be marred by such tragedy. Our glorious Heorot has been the setting of so much fright; I am tempted to say that the hall is cursed!

Entry 5
Today, Beowulf and a party of the most capable men from our kingdom went out to search for the monster. They were successful in killing the monster; however this marked the union of ranks between Beowulf and Unferth. This relationship puts worry in my heart. Unferth can easily be identified as the strongest man in our kingdom, and his union with Beowulf is capable of causing unrest. What if the twosome were to attempt to overthrow Hrothgar from his position of king? Who would be capable of stopping them?


  1. This is really good! The writing fits with how the book is written and you summarized the events in the book very nicely. The way we talked about the Queen being worrisome that her children would not rule because of the adoption of Beowulf and his political power increasing was very nicely inserted into the entries. Also, Unferth's relationship with Beowulf was expressed well. Beowulf, as a book was explained in a great way through this.

    My only comment is there were no quotes from the book. The professor specifically asked to cite Beowulf as evidence and you did not do so. Also, the summarization of events was done well, but the Queen's personality and actual position in the book was not really brought to a clear image. She is writing this diary, but who really is she? There is no explanation except for a few feelings of Beowulf's arrival do we really find out what she's thinking. Otherwise, good job :)

  2. I think Marissa's analysis in her second paragraph covers most of the necessary ground here. Like she says - "who really is she?" What you're doing here (Marissa is less direct about this) is echoing the book and echoing what was said in class - I don't see anything at all which really expands on the conversation.

    Marissa, I think, is arguing that if you're not going to add anything to the events and our understanding of them, that you should be expanding on W.'s character instead. I think that's a smart analysis: I would have been fine with more insight into the events themselves (maybe expanding on her discussion with Hrothgar about his adoption of B., for instance), or I would have been fine with a deeper analysis of W.'s character - but I really needed one or the other, at least. With, as Marissa points out, citations.