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Characters

Beowulf Timeline and Summary

  • Beowulf, along with a group of Geatish warriors, sails across the sea to the land of the Danes to fight the demon Grendel.
  • Beowulf is graciously received by King Hrothgar and Queen Wealhtheow, who gratefully accept his offer of help.
  • When Grendel attacks Heorot Hall, Beowulf meets him in hand-to-hand combat. Beowulf tears Grendel's arm from his socket, mortally wounding the monster.
  • Beowulf is thanked by King Hrothgar, who bestows rich gifts on him and hosts a feast in his honor.
  • Beowulf goes to sleep after the feast, but in his absence Heorot is attacked again by Grendel's mother.
  • He tracks Grendel's mother to her lair in a cave under a lake and kills her with a sword he finds there.
  • Beowulf returns to the surface with Grendel's head and the hilt of the sword that killed Grendel's mother.
  • Beowulf receives additional gifts and thanks from King Hrothgar.
  • He and his followers return to Geatland.
  • Beowulf presents the gifts he has received from Hrothgar to Hygelac.
  • After Hygelac and his kinsmen are killed in battle, Beowulf becomes the king of the Geats and reigns for fifty years.
  • When he hears about a marauding dragon, Beowulf suspects that he will die fighting it.
  • Beowulf tracks the dragon to its lair and fights it with the help of his follower, Wiglaf.
  • Beowulf kills the dragon, but receives a mortal wound in the fight.
  • He asks Wiglaf to bring some of the dragon's treasure to the surface to show him before he dies.
  • Having gazed on the treasure and given his golden necklace to Wiglaf, Beowulf dies.
  • Beowulf's body is burned on a funeral pyre by his people and a barrow is built on the site to honor him.

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