Hrothgar


Also found in: Wikipedia.

Hrothgar

Danish king desperately distressed by warrior-killing monster. [Br. Lit.: Beowulf]
See: Despair
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
HROTHGAR, King of the Spear Danes, was a mighty man in war, and when he had fought and conquered much, he bethought him that he would build a great and splendid hall, wherein he might feast and be glad with his people.
And now far across the sea a brave man of the Goths, Beowulf by name, heard of the doings of Grendel, and he made up his mind to come to the aid of King Hrothgar.
And now these new-come warriors were led to King Hrothgar. He greeted them with joy, and after feasting and song the Danes and their King departed and left the Goths to guard the hall.
That was not the first time that he had sought Hrothgar's home.
Hrothgar made a great feast, at which he gave rich gifts to Beowulf and his friends.
So when night fell she hastened to the hall, and carried off Hrothgar's best loved thane.
The water-witch was slain, and rejoicing, the hero returned to Hrothgar.
It relates, with the usual terse and unadorned power of really primitive poetry, how the hero Beowulf, coming over the sea to the relief of King Hrothgar, delivers him from a monster, Grendel, and then from the vengeance of Grendel's only less formidable mother.
About King Hrothgar are grouped his immediate retainers, the warriors, with whom he shares his wealth; it is a part of the character, of a good king to be generous in the distribution of gifts of gold and weapons.
He observes: "Wen' ic paet ge for wlenco, nalles for wraecsidum / ac for higejarymmum, Hordgar sohton" [I think that you have sought Hrothgar for high spirit, not at all because of exile but for greatness of heart] (Beowulf 338-39).
To recap, the film's final act begins with Beowulf's acknowledging that he is, in a sense, "dead." It is safe to assume he is referring to his repetition of Hrothgar's mistake by lying with Grendel's mother, which has led to an undeserved tenure as king of the Danes, during which he has had time to dwell on his shame and the death of Hrothgar, for which he is also at fault.
While men hold the unquestioned positions of influence in the heroic world, the only female speaker in Beowulf is Wealhtheow, Hrothgar's wife and queen.