Heorot Camelot

Updated May 14, 2022

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Heorot Camelot essay

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Both Heorot and Camelot hold the similar functions of a gathering place for the respective kings of both mead halls. Both halls serve for merriment and festivities. However, the inner details and atmospheres of the halls both differ in several ways.

Heorot is a large hall, instructed to be built “higher than humankind had ever heard of.” It has “raised rafters,” and its gables are large. (Sullivan & Murphy 5, lines 63-75) At Heorot, the king Hrothgar and his men gathered for feasting, where there were music and tales recounted by the scop. ( 5, lines 81-83) The atmosphere is loud and raucous as the men “make merry with mead.” But, nearby Grendel, that “evil dweller in darkness” looms, which gives the otherwise festive atmosphere an underlying ominous feel. (5, lines 79-81)

Heorot hosts only the king and his men, but Camelot is filled with many noble guests. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight details not only the king and his knights, but also lords, ladies, figures of the Church, and Queen Guinevere. (Tolkien 30, lines 62-69; 31, line74.) At Camelot, there is more than mere feasting and music. There are tournaments, jousting, carols, and “dancing by night.” (30, lines 41-46) While “favor and fortune” are bestowed at Heorot, gifts are also presented at Camelot. (Sullivan & Murphy 5, line 81; Tolkien 30, line 11) Also, Heorot is large and functional, but Camelot features an “adorned dias,” fit with silks and tapestries set with precious gems. (31, lines 75-78) Lastly, Heorot awaits impending gloom and doom, but King Arthur anticipates elements of romance and adventure to enter his courts. He looks forward to some “strange story or stirring adventure,” a “moving marvel,” or a “challenger” to enter his hall. Because Arthur is in the habit of not eating until one comes to amuse him, it is presumable that such occurrences take place in Camelot often, adding to the jolly, adventurous mood. (30, lines 91-99)

Both mead halls are loud and full of revelry. However, Camelot has a more romantic and elegant atmosphere. There is more to entertain, and a greater variety of lords and ladies present. Within Camelot are more ornate details, while Heorot seems to be built with less intricate design and more function and size in mind. And lastly, those at Camelot look forward to lighthearted adventures and challenges seen as games- where the atmosphere of Heorot is made considerably less appealing by the impending gloom and doom of an evil creature lurking about.

Heorot Camelot essay

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Heorot Camelot. (2022, May 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/heorot-camelot/


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