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The hall also symbolizes the concept of comitatus, the honor code that exists between the king, or feudal lord, and his warriors.

Thanes swear devotion to their leader and vow to fight boldly, to the death if necessary, for him.

One night he attacks without warning and slaughters 30 of Hrothgar's men.

He returns the next night and soon drives the Scyldings from the great hall. Analysis It is often said that Beowulf begins and ends with a funeral, and that is very nearly the case.

Heorot is no common beer hall; it is more of a palace, towering high like a cliff.

When Grendel invades this setting, he strikes at the very heart of the Scyldings. He is a descendant of the biblical Cain, the eldest son of Adam and Eve who killed his brother Abel out of jealousy (Genesis 4).Hrothgar has been a great king and won many victories for his people.As a symbol of his success, he has built a great mead-hall, called Heorot, the finest of its kind.Gold, silver, jewels, and the finest swords and armor are placed aboard with the corpse and then set afloat in the sea.The idea is to honor the king but also to provide him with objects that might prove useful in the afterlife.

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