Ingeld’s Rival: Beowulf and Aeneas
This chapter looks at Ingeld's marriage with Freawaru in the Scylding background of Beowulf. It is argued that Beowulf's victory over Grendel commends him to Danish nobles as the next king of Denmark, and that Hrothgar's offer to cherish Beowulf as a son offers him this through betrothal to Freawaru. Wealhtheow is discussed as prime mover of Freawaru's earlier betrothal to Ingeld, one which she forces Hrothgar to reaffirm. It is argued that the poet's model for his new story of Beowulf's place between Ingeld and Freawaru, against the initial disagreement between Hrothgar and Wealhtheow, is Aeneas' rivalry with Turnus over Lavinia against the division between Latinus and Amata in Vergil's Aeneid VII and IX. From this creation of rivalry in the bridal quest it is held that the poet of Beowulf thought himself no less a rival to the poet on Ingeld whose work he took as his source.
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