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Section 7

Beowulf Returns to Geatland

The Geats return and Beowulf orders the treasures to be borne to Hygelac and his wife, Hygd.

Story of Thryth ("Strength"): Hygd was very unlike the princess Thryth, to whom none dared look at for fear of getting killed (as she killed all but one who looked at her). This was not acceptable behavior for a lady, beautiful though she was, as a woman is supposed to heal differences, not create them. At last, however, Thryth changed when she was given in marriage to King Offa. She loved her husband dearly, and became famous for her goodness and help to Offa, who himself was endowed with much greatness in war and wisdom.

Beowulf sits beside the king as Hygd serves mead to everyone, and recounts his battle with the two monsters. He says he was received well by Hrothgar, who gave him a seat beside his son, as the Queen and his daughter, Freawaru, served mead to the thanes. Freawaru had been pledged in marriage to Froda's (king of Heathobards) son Ingeld, in an effort to seal peace between the Danes and the Heothobards. Beowulf, however, expresses doubt at the wisdom of this decision, and maintains that sooner or later, one of the old Heothobards will remind Ingeld of the insult offered to his kin, and incite him to take revenge. Ingeld's love towards Freawaru will lessen, and the friendship between the two nations might be destroyed. Beowulf then retells his fights with Grendel and his mother.

Beowulf gives a boar-crested headpiece, helmet, a shirt of mail, a war-sword, and four bay horses to Hygelac. To Hygd, he presents three horses and a necklace that Wealhtheow had given him. The poet praises Beowulf for being so generous and bearing no malice towards his kin, and he remarks that Beowulf continued to be brave and never misused his power. Hygelac in turn gives him a battle-sword, as well as a hall with seven thousand hides of land.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Section 1
Section 2
Section 3
Section 4
Section 5
Section 6
Section 7
Section 8
Section 9
Section 10


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