Beowulf: Glossary of Names In order of appearance in the textbook selections. Beowulf Possibly mythical son of Edgetho, Higlac’s nephew and follower and later king of the Geats.Presumed born in A.D. 495, went to Denmark and to Hrothgar’s help in 515, accompanied Higlac on his expedition against the Franks, and Frisians in 521, became king of the Geats in 533, and died at some indefinite later date. The “fifty years” of his reign are, as Klaeber notes, only “a sort of poetic formula.” Hrothgar A Danish king, second son of Healfdane, builder of Herot, and beneficiary of Beowulf’s courage. One of the principal characters of the poem, he is depicted as near the end of his life, wise, brave, but troubled, remembering his glorious past, afflicted with first Grendel and Grendel’s monstrous mother, and worried about the fate of his sons, at his nephew Hrothulf’s hands, after his imminent death. Hrothgar has befriended Beowulf’s father which more than satisfactorily accounts for the help Beowulf gives him. Grendal A man-eating monster who terrorizes the Danes until killed by Beowulf. Grendel lives, with his equally monstrous mother, at the bottom of a foul lake inhabited by assorted other monsters; he is descended from Cain (the progenitor of all evil spirits), though his precise genealogy is not given. The etymology of his name is conjectural: it is perhaps relatd to Old Norse grindill, “storm,” and grenja, “to bellow,” andto other words meaning “sand,” “ground (bottom) of a body of water,” and”grinder (destroyer).” Herot The lofty battle hall build by King Hrothgar, to celebrate his victories, house his growing band of followers, and perhaps to perpetuate his fame. Healfdane A Danish king, Beo’s son, and father of Hergar, Hrothgar, Halga, and Urs. Whether or not the name means Half-Dane s uncertain. Higlac’s A king of the Geats, Hrethel’s son, younger brother of Herbald and Hathcyn. Higlac is both Beoulf’s feudal lord and his uncle. Geats A people of southern Sweden, the Gotar, conquered by the Swedish kingdom in about the sixth century A.D. Wulfgar Hrothgar’s herald. Unferth One of Hrothgar’s courtiers. Skillfun with words, and also a man of considerable reputation as a warrior; his father is Ecglaf. Unferth’s sword, lent to Beowulf for the fight with Grendel’s mother is call Hrunting. Brecca Chief of a tribe known as the Brondings; a contemporary and young companion of Beowulf. His father is Bonstan. Ecglaf Unferth’s father Welthow Hrothgar’s queen, and the mother of his young sons, Hrethric and Hrothmund. Most of her speeches are full of tragic implications, well-known to the Anglo-Saxon audience. Edgetho Beowulfs father, a notable warrior married to Hrethel’s on daughter. (Beowulf’s mother is never revealed.) Wexstan Wiglaf’s father, and more or less vaguely related to Beowulf. Wexstan killed the older of Onel’s nephews, when that Swedish king invaded Geatland, but whether he was himself a Swede, or a Geat serving the Swedes, is not known. In any case, after the survivor of Onela’s two nephews returned to Sweden, killed Onela, and became king, Wexstan could not (and did not) remain in Sweden. Source: www.Project Gutenburg.org Beowulf LIST OF WORDS AND PHRASES NOT IN GENERAL USE. ATHELING.—Prince, nobleman. MERE.—Sea; in compounds, ‘mere-ways,’ ‘mereBAIRN.—Son, child. currents,’ etc. BARROW.—Mound, rounded hill, funeral-mound. MICKLE.—Much. BATTLE-SARK.—Armor. NATHLESS.—Nevertheless. BEAKER.—Cup, drinking-vessel. NAZE.—Edge (nose). BEGEAR.—Prepare. NESS.—Edge. BIGHT.—Bay, sea. NICKER.—Sea-beast. BILL.—Sword. QUIT, QUITE.—Requite. BOSS.—Ornamental projection. RATHE.—Quickly. BRACTEATE.—A round ornament on a necklace. REAVE.—Bereave, deprive. BRAND.—Sword. SAIL-ROAD.—Sea. BURN.—Stream. SETTLE.—Seat, bench. BURNIE.—Armor. SKINKER.—One who pours. CARLE.—Man, hero. SOOTHLY.—Truly. EARL.—Nobleman, any brave man. SWINGE.—Stroke, blow. EKE.—Also. TARGE, TARGET.—Shield. EMPRISE.—Enterprise, undertaking. THROUGHLY.—Thoroughly. ERST.—Formerly. TOLD.—Counted. ERST-WORTHY.—Worthy for a long time past. UNCANNY.—Ill-featured, grizzly. FAIN.—Glad. UNNETHE.—Difficult. FERRY.—Bear, carry. WAR-SPEED.—Success in war. FEY.—Fated, doomed. WEB.—Tapestry (that which is ‘woven’). FLOAT.—Vessel, ship. WEEDED.—Clad (cf. widow’s weeds). FOIN.—To lunge (Shaks.). WEEN.—Suppose, imagine. GLORY OF KINGS.—God. WEIRD.—Fate, Providence. GREWSOME.—Cruel, fierce. WHILOM.—At times, formerly, often. HEFT.—Handle, hilt; used by synecdoche for ‘sword.’ WIELDER.—Ruler. Often used of God; also in HELM.—Helmet, protector. compounds, as ‘Wielder of Glory,’ ‘Wielder of HENCHMAN.—Retainer, vassal. Worship.’ HIGHT.—Am (was) named. WIGHT.—Creature. HOLM.—Ocean, curved surface of the sea. WOLD.—Plane, extended surface. HIMSEEMED.—(It) seemed to him. WOT.—Knows. LIEF.—Dear, valued. YOUNKER.—Youth.