Upgrade to access all content for this subject
What is the significance of the Geatish harbour guard having "watch[ed] the offing long and hard, on the lookout for" Beowulf and his men (1915-1916)?
He thought Beowulf would mess up abroad, so he was keeping watch for the resultant Danish enemies.
He thought Beowulf would die at Grendel's hands, so he was on the lookout for Beowulf's funeral ship (much like Shield's at the beginning of the poem).
Exiled from Hygelac's court, the man thought he'd regain favor by being the first to spot Beowulf along the horizon.
He knew Beowulf would bring treasures from Denmark and wanted to have his share before taxes.
He knew Beowulf would return soon, demonstrating his faith in the warrior.