As I know, you shall be pleased to hear, I am fine and well. My journey has beenquite splendid and a breath of fresh air. Truly, I did need this time away. I pen this letter to you to tell you of the remarkable mead hall I stumbled in which I attended a lively banquet. The hall was built by the king of the Danes. He is named Hrothgar and he named it Heorot, the great Hall of the Hart. I have heard in my travels that it is famous far and wide.
Here, Hrothgar holds great feasts and distributes his wealth among his people. He is infamous because of his courage and his success in battle. His band of warriors has increased as his reputation for success and fairness continues to grow throughout the land. He has amassed quite a formidable army, indeed.
From the outside, the hall is rectangular in shape. The hall has opposite doors,mainly east and west. Upon entering the hall through the east doorway, ones eyes befall upon the hearth in the middle of the single room. Usually a roaring fire blazes out of the hearth, no only providing warmth to the patrons but casting an eerie glow against the brick walls of the hall. A row of pillars run down each side, at some distance from the walls, making a space which is raised a little above the main floor, and is furnished with two rows of seats. On the south side, there is a high-seat midway between the doors. Opposite this, on the other raised space is another seat of honor.
On the night of the banquet, Hrothgar took his place on the south seat midway between the doors and a man named Beowulf sat opposite him in the other seat of honor. Planks on trestles formed the tables just in front of the long row of seats.. These planks are taken away after the banquets , when the retainers are ready to stretch themselves out for sleep on the benches after a long night of festivities. The walls were decorated with tapestries of gold.
I must say the mead flowed freely that night. The ale cups were passed around as if they had no ending. The scop, who is the singer, or the bard, for the mead hall told tales as if he was a tribal historian who remembered stories from the past and retold and recited them time after time. The lord and the thanes listened and smiled as their own sense of pride was strengthened. The hall resounded with noise and laughter. It was indeed a festive occasion. The celebration continued for hours as the men drank deeply. When the last man could drink no more, all remained as usual in the hall to sleep the night away.
On the night of the banquet, I overheard some sad news. It is rumored that a monster named, Grendel, intends to destroy the hall. Such a shame to hear of someone wanting to cause destruction to this magnificent hall. Life at Heorot seemed so joyful and untroubled until the word of this monster, Grendel. Hrothgar believes that Grendel’s attacks are Gods’ punishment for his pride in power and wealth, thus causing him to fail to be an inspiration for his warriors.
But my friend, enough of the sadness that may overhang the eaves of this great hall. My main purpose in penning this letter to you is to ask you if you’d like to journey out and meet me at this great hall. I know the journey is hot and long, but I am sure once you arrive and witness first-hand this magnificent hall, you will feel as captivated by it as I have been.