Foreshadowing In Beowulf

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When Beowulf begins, the life of Shield Sheafson is summarized with his arrival as an orphan and his eventual dominion over the Danes as a great Danish king. Several generations pass until King Hrothgar is in control of the Danes, a mighty king with the fortunes of war favoring him. Eventually, Hrothgar decided to build a vast mead-hall known as Heorot, which was used to house King Hrothgar’s warriors where he would treat them to a large feast. He also used Heorot to house his throne room. Soon after the construction of Heorot, a mighty demon known as Grendel, a descendant of Cain, attacked the occupants of Heorot, killing thirty men on his first attack. Grendel’s attack eventually led to the arrival of a mighty Geat warrior and his clan…show more content…
With each of these tasks, foreshadowing is presented to the reader to show what will eventually lead to Beowulf’s demise. King Hrothgar compares and contrasts Beowulf with King Heremod, a bloodthirsty and powerful king that abused his powers for evil, saying that Beowulf will eventually become king of the Geats and should focus on being a good-hearted ruler over the Geats. Beowulf eventually does become king of the Geats and rules as a good-hearted king for fifty years in the end of the second act. The story of Sigemund was told after Beowulf had forced Grendel into a retreat. In this story, the mighty warrior Sigemund slayes a ferocious dragon, just like Beowulf would in the final act of the poem. From the start of the poem, the reader is told about Shield Sheafson, an orphan child that eventually became one of the first famed Kings of the Danes. It explained how this king became great through conquering challenges and eventually dying like a royal king, just like Beowulf had at the end of the final act, then being buried under a large monument and having the riches of the hoard that the dragon defended being buried with him. These acts of foreshadowing told throughout the poem predict the death of Beowulf; however, one question remains: How does his death affect the poem in its entirety? With Beowulf dead, he leaves his homeland defenseless, with the only real royal blood with the potential to lead the Geats being Wiglaf, but with the fear of Beowulf not being instilled within the enemies of the Geats, Beowulf’s kingdom would likely have
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