LINES 1,799 – 1,913 : The Geats leave for home
Beowulf returns the sword Hrunting to Unferth, being diplomatic about the
futility of using this weapon against Grendel’s mother.
He thanks Hrothgar for his hospitality and Hrothgar embraces Beowulf warmly,
fearing they will not meet again.
Beowulf invites Hrothgar’s son, Hrethric to visit the land of the Geats.
The Geats’ boat is loaded with the treasure given by Hrothgar, and with
favorable winds they soon approach their homeland.
We see a diplomatic side to Beowulf.
He is keen for the two nations to be close allies, and so he makes the gesture of returning the famous sword Hrunting to its former owner.
Although the parting of Hrothgar and Beowulf is full of emotion, it is not
in the least romantic, as you would see in other epics, such as Homer’s ‘The Iliad’, or the Roman works, and this poem keeps its strong masculine feel.
The reader now fully appreciates the reputation of this special sword
Hrunting. Although not of the fame of Excalibur it is still a strong token of victory, and provides the warrior who wields it with great superiority.