-set in 5th century Denmark

-historical stories woven into narrative (Finn); it is assumed that the audience is already familiar with historical tales & local folklore

-as in Gilgamesh, drinking is a sign of civilization

-Heorot = Old English for hart, or male deer; from Proto-Germanic *kherut, which may be from Proto-IndoEuropean base *ker meaning “horn”; cognate of Old High Germanic hiruz, Old Norse hjörtr; possible cognate of Latin cornu (horn), cervus (deer), Welsh carw (deer, compare to Cernunnos, name of ancient Celtic horned god).

-scop, from Old English; form of verb scieppan (to create, to shape)?; now a learned word for poet or bard, but related to Old Norse skop (mocking) and Old High Germanic skof (derision)

-a boast is a pledge to action

-ring-giving symbolic of leadership and shared history; claiming place in history; material things carry meaning because of their history.

-Unferth is a moral anomaly; a man is supposed to avenge his brother’s death, but Unferth killed his brother so there is no one to avenge him. Compare to Grendel, who is thought to be a descendant of Cain.