Beowulf for beginners

Freawaru and Ingeld

the girl dressed in gold is married to Ingeld. Freawaru the Danish daughter marries the Heathobard son. But Ingeld's father died fighting the Danes. Can it be forgotten? The slaying-spear seldom sleeps for long.

the Wedding After the wedding at Heorot, Ingeld takes his beloved bride back to his people. A group of Danish warriors rides with them. There will be a feast that night. But when the bride is brought home to the Heathobard hall, it does not please everyone to see Danes at the table dressed in fine war-gear. Some of those weapons that they wear so proudly were won in the wars. The Danes took them from the Heathobard warriors they had killed.

An old spear-fighter speaks out at the feast. He remembers the slaying of many men by the spear and his heart is bitter. He says to a young Heathobard warrior:

'Do you see the sword that Danish man is wearing? Haven't I seen it somewhere before? Your father carried it into battle. The Danes killed him there. Now the killer's son wears it openly in our hall.'

The old warrior keeps on with his words until the young man can bear it no longer. That night he kills the Dane. The feud is begun again. Promises of peace are broken on both sides. Ingeld vows he will take revenge. His love for Freawaru is not strong enough to stop him. His love for his wife soon grows less.

So the Heathobards and the Danes return to war, till at last even Heorot is attacked. It is so cunningly and so strongly made that it cannot be damaged by fighting. Yet in the end the bright flames of fire destroy Hrothgar's hall, the home of so many heroes.

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