Finnsburg Fragment

From Academic Kids

The Finnsburg Fragment is a fragment of an Old English poem, found in the Exeter Book.

The poem describes a historical event involving a battle between the Danish prince Hnæf and several of his warriors, and Finn, lord of the Frisians and of the manorhouse (or burh) where the battle took place.

The events of the poem are also described in passing in Beowulf.

In both accounts, a fight breaks between Danes and Frisians during a visit by Hnæf and his sixty warrors to Finn's hall. The idea of a bloody battle between a host and his guests probably served as a powerful plot device to the contemporary Germanic audience, and the fact that Hnæf's sister Hildeburh was Finn's wife provides even more dramatic tension.

In the ensuing battle, both Hnæf and his nephew (Finn and Hildeburh's son, a Frisian) are killed. Grieving, Hildeburh has the bodies of her son and brother burned together on the same funeral pyre, despite their having fought on opposite sides.

Afterwards, Hnæf's lieutenant Hengest vows revenge for his lord's death and succeeds in killing Finn.Template:Poetry-stub

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