Win of Wunderfatum: The Significance of Wine in Beowulf

“Win of Wunderfatum: The Significance of Wine in Beowulf” at Kalamazoo 48th Medieval Congress
Sharon E. Rhodes, U of Rochester

hall as mead hall, a particular sort of hall in time, place
alcoholic beverages mentioned
mead 13x
ale 7x
beor 3x
win 3x, 5x with compounds—always with something wrong or about to go wrong

win of wunderfatum = feast after Grendel’s fight
3rd describing Beowulf before heading into the mere

win compound only when it has failed…

beowulf by MicahBerger brickshelf dot commany sources attest to mead and ale in
baptismal beers, wedding beers, funeral beers

evocation of the good life for the Geats = mead, ale
wunderfatum = word with no inherently positive connotations
happens when they celebrate a false victory, false sense of security

in Beowulf mead and ale are joys of hall life, wine represents negative images of hall

illustrate the distinctions between wine and native drinks
There are benches and seats. No wine benches or seats.
25 in all for mead and beer, ordinariness

beowulf14x beowulfandgrendelmen drink alcohol every night
foreshadowing of disaster is only related to wine
Grendel’s death does not get rid of the old
Grendel’s mother has a legitimate grievance. both familiar and foreign, like wine

final use of wine, before Beo makes his speech
Unferth did not remember what he said before when he was drunk with wine

beo slave stealing gareth hindsunnamed halls fail in society
mutual “great mead building”
Heorot referred to as mead hall
but poet calls it a Wine Hall when Grendel is on his way
also later when celebratory peace is celebrated too soon (before G’s mother attacks)
Wine Hall… part of dragon
deserted wine hall…
wine hall of the lament (failed)
mead hall is successful

part of other nouns and compounds; usual for the society
(in English con pan –with bread- gives us companion)

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