The Hall of the Hart Herot, a large, majestic, fictional mead hall, is often the stage for much of the action in the medieval epic Beowulf. Built by the ever giving and wonderful King Hrothgar, it is a monument of Danish morals and ideals. Hrothgar, meaning to live up to his predecessors and to make his people happy and content, “thought of greatness and/resolved/to build a hall that would hold his mighty band and reach higher to heaven then any/thing that had ever been known to the sons of men.” (66-70).
The Danes were very proud people. They were proud of their race. They thought themselves to be one of the best, and why shouldn’t the best have a wonderful grandiose mead hall, better then any other in existence? So, Hrothgar ordered Herot built and, “..the timbers [were] tied and shaped/by the hosts that Hrothgar ruled..the most beautiful of dwellings, built/as he wanted..”(75-77). The Danes were also greatly appreciative of loyalty. They loved and obeyed their king and leader.
If Hrothgar wanted a mead hall built, they built it wonderfully and with care. Herot was built and it soon became a legend. The Danes had taken pride in their work, as they did with everything else, and it showed. It had a “gold-shining hall” (716) and the gables were “covered with hammered gold /and glowing in the sun-that most famous of all/dwellings,/towering majestic, it’s glittering roofs/visible far across the land.” (307-311). This is very reminiscent of Danish pride once again.
They take pride in what they do and they like other people to know about it. The Danes are very good warriors. They are trained well and fight till the end. They take good care of themselves and take pride in strength. This is also reflected in Herot.
During the battle with Grendel, “Herot trembled, wonderfully built/to withstand the blows, the struggling/great bodies beating at it’s beautiful walls;/shaped and fastened with iron, inside/ and out, artfully worked, the building/stood firm.” (770-775). Herot was a strong, well built structure, just like the Danes. It says that, “Hrothgar’s wise men had fashioned Herot/to stand forever; only fire,/they had planned, could shatter what such skill/had put/together..” (778-781). They had purposefully built Herot to be strong and lasting, because this is something that they admire. The Danes’ major values are courage, loyalty, pride and strength. Herot resembles all of these things.
It was built by loyal servants of a nation with much pride. And, it was built to last. Built from whole tree trunks, it’s incredible sturdy and will only perish through fire. Herot and all of it’s attributes greatly reflect Danish values and morals of the time.