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Transcript of Mead-hall
Sarah Ly The Mead-Hall "Heorot" CA-IV
8-29-12 A mead-hall is a gathering place for the warriors of the Anglo-Saxon culture. The warriors would drink mead, a honey based alcoholic drink, celebrate victories, and listen to stories that had been passed down.
The mead-hall was also off-guard to women. Only men were allowed to gather there. This is when the warriors would share their stories and boast of what they have done.
In literature the mead hall represented more than just a gathering place. It was a place of security and safety, it represented the light in the darkness of their culture. What is a mead-hall? Mead halls were built as early as the 400's (CE). They were built narrow and long with two doors, one on each end. This style of architecture is now referred to as "bow-sided". Within the halls there would long benches, often glossed in fine woods or sometimes even gold, and matching tables. The men would use these benches for feasts and drinking. Sometimes, the men would even sleep there. Architecture and Purpose The mead hall in Beowulf is symbolic to the culture of the Anglo-Saxons.
Heorot is the majestic mead hall in the epic of Beowulf. It represents the center and strength of the Danish kingdom. The King, Hrothgar, builds this to represent how good of a king he is and all the good things that he has done. Then when Grendel shows up and terrorizes the mead-hall, it threatens the image of the king. Since the mead-hall is an image of the king it makes the him look weak. He cannot keep up his own center, so how is he going to look after his entire kingdom. Heorot http://ingeld.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/the-building-of-heorot/ Works Cited Page The mead-hall can be seen as the heart of Hrothgar's Kingdom, this is so because it offers warmth to the villagers and warriors of that period. Because of this, it's value is inexpressible. Often, the mead halls would be decked in fine materials and gold, since it is the most important building in the culture The Heart of Hrothgar's Kingdom Further Architecture In the middle of the Mead Hall there would be a fire pit made for roasting and warmth. In the story Heorot is describe with high towers
and gables. Because of this Heorot is often compared to
Scandinavian Stave Churches! The picture shown is that of a Stave Church, demonstrating possible inspiration for the design of the Heorot. Insight The mead hall could almost be compared to a church. Take, for example a deeply religious community, the center of that community would be a church. Likewise, for the vikings, a mead hall would be the center. This is because their entire culture is placed in the building. They tell stories, sing songs, praise. They worship triumphs. The mead hall is their house of faith in that manner.