The story of Beowulf opens up with Grendel, a horrendous monster terrorizing Hrothgar's kingdom. As Hrothgar's people are sleeping at night, Grendel brutally massacres them and eats them before they have a chance to wake up. Grendel carries Hrothgars murdered warriors to his dark den in the marshes and sleeps with a full belly. Grendel terrorizes Hrothgar's kingdom for twelve long winters, during those winters even the bravest of Hrothgar's warriors could not defeat the blood thirsty Grendel.
Beowulf, the strongest and bravest warrior of the Geats, who happened to be greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in the Norse World, heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and demanded a boat fitted out. Beowulf declared he would go and meet the famous Hrothgar and rid Hrothgar's kingdom of their gruesome nuisance.
Beowulf and his Geat warriors sailed upon Hrothgar's infamous shores and were greeted by Hrothgar's lieutenant whom demanded who Beowulf's warriors were and what business they had upon his lord's shores. Beowulf informed this lieutenant that they were Higlac's followers and that he was Edgetho's son and he had come on the most friendliest of terms, and had come to help.
Beowulf then is called to see The King and explains to the king on how he plans to try and defeat this monster, if the monster shall win he would like his armored mail sent to Higlac, and let fate unwind itself. Later that night at Hrothgar's men are sleeping, Beowulf lies awake eager to meet the monster who had terrorized Hrothgar's men for so many long winters and whom no other brave warrior could defeat. Beowulf was determined to slay the beast.
As the men were sleeping, Grendel came tip toeing in and laid his eyes on all those sleeping humans and relished the sight for he knew soon that his belly would be full from the warrior feast. What Grendel didn't know was that human eyes were watching him. He tore and ripped into the first Geat, ate him whole. Unsatisfied, he clutched at another still body with his powerful claws and was instantly seized himself. Beowulf bent Grendel's bloody claws back and cracked them and ripped off his whole arm and shoulder in one swift motion. Grendel would be swept groaning and helpless into Hells den where he would meet worse fiends than he could imagine.
The Danes celebrate Beowulf's courageous victory that night, however, during all the celebrating Grendel's mother kills Hrothgar's closest friend and carries off her child’s detached claw. Beowulf would not stand for this. Hrothgar informs Beowulf on the underwater lair that Grendel's mother resides in and warns Beowulf of the journey down toward the bottom of the lake.
Beowulf, greater than any other warrior in Geatland, knew the dangers of the journey into the bubbling underwater lair. Beowulf, however, decides to jump in without hearing any input from anyone else and manages to swim down to Grendel's mothers' Battle Hall. In this Battle Hall is where Grendels' mother meets her fate and is slain by Beowulf in a horrific battle where Beowulf uses the monsters' sword to decapitate her and her child. Beowulf then swims with her head up to the surface and is met by his faithful Geat warriors and is celebrated.
Beowulf and his fellow Geats return to Geatland where he is honored as a king and his rein last for fifty peaceful years before another monster come to terrorize them. Beowulf, now an elder man, is determined to slay this new monster in his kingdom. He now has a fire-breathing dragon guarding a tower full of jewels. His presence is so hot that no man can bear to be within several yards of him. Yet Beowulf, determined to still be Beowulf The Great, runs into this searing hot presence and never looks back.
Beowulf runs into the dragon’s presence and the dragon came at him, and as Beowulf falls back, he is swarmed in flame. Once as a king, now as a defeated warrior none of his comrades came to help him. His brave and noble followers ran for their lives and only one remained, Wiglaf.
Wiglaf was Wexstans’ son and a good soldier. Watching his king, he knew his lord was burning and suffering. With every last once of courage he had, he ran into the Dragons lair and him and Beowulf together defeated the dragon, although Beowulf was mortally injured. Wiglac got many jewels and treasures from that tower and showed Beowulf his wonderful treasures. Beowulf then dies but not after allowing his Brave and Noble Wiglaf to take his place as Geats new mighty King.
Geatlands' new King then denounces all those cowardly warriors who ran when their lord needed them, most and proceeded to burn the former kings body and lament his death. Since then, no other king has been worthy of as much praise and lamenting as Beowulf whom is still The Great to this day.