Plot in Beowulf
The poem begins with Hrothgar, king of the Danes, who has recently constructed the great hall of Heorot. Hrothgar and his men celebrate the new hall, but their festivities are disrupted by Grendel, a monster who overhears the sounds of joy and grows hostile. Grendel begins killing the Danes in droves. Across the sea in Geatland—a region which corresponds to southern Sweden—the warrior Beowulf hears of Grendel and resolves to take a company of men to kill the troll. Beowulf sails to the now-abandoned Heorot and awaits Grendel’s arrival. Without the use of weapons, Beowulf delivers a mortal wound to Grendel, who returns to his lair to die. Grendel’s mother, enraged, draws Beowulf into a second battle. The poem picks up again fifty years later, after Beowulf has become king of the Geats. When a dragon emerges to attack his people, Beowulf marches off to battle one final time.