Sample Passages for Identification--Be able
to identify what work these quotations come from, what
author is (if known), what character (if any) is speaking,
and briefly comment upon the quotations significance or
A: Attend! We have heard of the thriving of the throne of Denmark,
How the folk-kings flourished in former days
How those royal athelings earned that glory. . . .
B: Heorot he named it, / whose word ruled a wide empire. / He made good his boast, gave out rings, / arm-bands at the banquet.
C: It was with pain that the powerful spirit / dwelling
in darkness endured that time, / hearing daily the hall
filled / with loud amusement.
D: This unhappy being
had long lived in the land of monsters
since the Creator cast them out
as kindred of Cain. For that killing of Abel
eternal Lord took vengeance.
There was no joy of that feud: far from mankind
God drove him out for his deed of shame!
From Cain came down all kinds misbegotten
--ogres and elves and evil shades--
as also the Giants, who joined in long
wars with God.
E: "Health to Hrothgar! I am Hygelac's kinsman
and serve in his fellowship. Fame-winning deeds
have come early to my hands. The affair of Grendel
has been made known to me on my native turf....
Had [my men] not seen me come home from fights
where I had bound five-Giants--their blood was upon me--
cleaned out a nest of them? Had I not crushed on the wave
sea-serpents by night in narrow struggle?
F: "So that my lord Hygelac, my leader in war,
may take joy in me, I abjure utterly
the bearing of sword or shielding yellow
board in this battle! With bare hands shall I
grapple with the fiend, fight to the death. . . .
FF: Gliding through the shadows came
the walker in night; the warriors slept
whose task was tohold the horned building. . . .
Down off the moorlands' misting fells came
Grendel stalking; God's brand was on him.
The spoiler ment to snatch away
From the high hall some of the human race.
G: Mysterious is the region / they live
in--of wolf-fells, wind-picked moors / and treacherous
fen-paths: a torrent
of water / pours down dark cliffs and plunges into the
earth, / an underground flood. It is not far from here,
of miles, that the Mere lies, overcast with dark, crag-rooted
trees / that hang in groves hoary with frost. / An uncanny
sight be seen at night there--the fire in the water!
GG: The blood it had shed made the sword dwindle into deadly icicles;
the war-tool wasted
away. It was wonderful indeed
how it melted away entirely, as the ice does in the spring
when the Father unfastens the frost's grip,
unwinds the water's rope--He who watches over
the times and the seasons; He is the true God.
H: "Wyrd saves oft / the man undoomed if he undaunted
I: The spring was cut on it / of the primal strife, with
the destruction at last / of the race of Giants by the rushing
Flood, / a terrible end. Estranged was that race / from
the Lord of Eternity: the tide of water / was the final
reward that the Ruler sent them.
I:J Passion filled the prince of the Geats:
he allowed a cry to utter from his breast,
roared from his stout heart: as the horn clear in battle
his voice re-echoed through the vault of grey stone.
The hoard-guard recognized a human voice,
and there was no more time to talk of friendship:
hatred stirred. Straightaway
The breath of the dragon billowed from the rock
in a hissing gust; the ground boomed.
K: "I remember the time, as we were
taking mead / in the banqueting hall, when we bound ourselves
to the gracious
lord who granted us arms, / that we would make return for
these trappings of war / these helms and hard swords,
such as this / should ever chance for him. . . / That day
has now come / when he stands in need of the strength
good fighters, our lord and liege. Let us go to him / help
our leader for as long as it requires . . ."
L: "Quickly go now,
beloved Wiglaf, and look upon the hoard
under the grey stone, now the serpent lies dead,
sleeps rawly wounded, bereft of his treasure.
Make haste, that I may gaze upon that golden inheritance,
that ancient wealth, that my eyes may behold
the clear skillful jewels: more calmly then may I
on the treasure's account take my departure
of life and of the lordship I have long held."
M: "Your kinsmen every one,
Shall become wanderers without land-rights
as soon as aethelings over the world
Shall hear the report of how you fled,
a deed of ill fame. Death is better
for any earl than an existence of disgrace!"
N: A woman of the Geats sang out
the lament for his death. Loudly she sang,
her hair bound up, the burden of her fear
that evil days were destined her
--troops cut down, terror of armies,
bondage, humiliation. Heaven swallowed the smoke. . . .
. . . they said that he was of all the world's kings
the gentlest of men, and the most gracious,
the kindest to his people, the keenest for fame.