| Quote #1
And a young prince must be prudent like that,
Even before we've met Beowulf himself, while we're still hearing about the great kings of the Spear-Danes from the past, the narrator reminds us of an important custom: the giving of gifts. In this world, if princes are generous with their wealth and treasures, they're more likely to have faithful warriors surrounding them.
| Quote #2
Wulfgar replied, a Wendel chief
There are many passages like this in Beowulf – scenes where people come and go, introduce themselves to each other, and introduce other people to people they already know, carry messages, and so on. What's the point? Well, medieval Scandinavian warriors may have been tough, brutal men who spent most of their time fighting, feasting, and sleeping it off, but they were also very formal and organized. Protocol had to be observed; introductions had to be made in the right way.
| Quote #3
Wealhtheow came in,
High-class women play a subtle but important role in early medieval culture. As Hrothgar's queen, Wealhtheow spends her time at the feast circulating, offering a goblet full of mead to each warrior in turn, creating connections between the men and signaling to everyone where they rank in the hierarchy. This is a traditional duty that helps her to fulfill her function as a "peace-weaver," a lady who uses her rank and position to reinforce alliances between tribes.