There was a king of the Danes named Hrothgar. One day the king, the queen, and the people had a party all night long in a hall called Heorot. At Heorot they drunk and sang about Hrothgar’s glory. The place was built near Grendel’s place. Grendel was a demon, an outcast from society who was angered by the singing. Grendel was described as a cursed God’s creature and was exiled like Cain.

In the night after drinking, singing, and feasting, all the people in the hall were sleeping, and Grendel came unexpectedly. He attacked, killed, and devoured many thanes while they slept. Many warriors died because they didn’t prepare for the battle except the king, Hrothgar. Grendel didn’t dare to touch him. The next day, Hrothgar and all men were surprised by the damage caused by Grendel and there was a great sorrow among them.

After twelve years they were attacked by Grendel, until Beowulf, a Geats, and the son of Ecgtheow, friend of Hrothgar heard about Grendel and offered some help to the king. So one day, he and other fourteen thanes came to Heorot and met Hrothgar. A warrior named Unferth doubted the power of Beowulf and he brought a shame on Beowulf about his lost against Becca in a swimming contest.

The night came, Beowulf planned to fight Grendel with nothing. It was a hand-to-hand combat. Finally Beowulf beat Grendel successfully, he broke Grendel’s arm until he died. The morning came; Hrothgar and all people entered the hall to celebrate Grendel’s defeat. He offered Beowulf gifts but he refused it and told the king that he fought for the glory, not for the gold. Everybody was glad for Beowulf’s victory.

The happiness happened not so long, because other disaster came soon. Grendel’s mother appeared in Heorot in the next night and attacked them in revenge for Grendel’s death. Beowulf and one of his men visited her lair under the lake and once again Beowulf won against the woman.

Beowulf became king of his own people and nothing bad happened until one day, late in his life, a slave stole a golden cup from a dragon on its lair and it became angry and burned everything. Beowulf who was young no more came with his thanes to slay the dragon. Finally the dragon died and so did Beowulf. Beowulf buried in Geatland after his cremated. Beowulf’s death brought so much pain among his people because his bravery and glory. His name will be remembered forever.

Sources:         chapter 1 : Jaman Old English, Beowulf (modern English translation) by Anonymous


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