| Quote #1
Shield was still thriving when his time came
Beowulf begins with death – with the description of the lavish burial-at-sea of the Danish king, Shield Sheafson. This is the first funeral scene in the epic, but it certainly won't be the last. It lets us know right away that how a man dies (preferably when he is "still thriving") and how he is buried (preferably with a huge load of "precious gear") reflects on who he was when he was alive.
| Quote #2
Whichever one death fells
The poet of Beowulf constantly emphasizes that death comes to everyone at whatever moment God decrees; there is nothing mortal man can do to avoid this eventual fate.
| Quote #3
None of them expected he would ever see
Beowulf doesn't enter into his battle with Grendel expecting to triumph over the demon. Instead, he is able to fight Grendel with courage because he's already accepted that he will probably die in the attempt. This morbid outlook frees him from fear. After all, if you accept the worst possible outcome, there's nothing left to make you afraid.