LINES 320 – 498 : Beowulf arrives at Heorot
Beowulf arrives at the Heorot Mead Hall and is welcomed by Wulfgar, the
King’s messenger. Wulfgar asks Beowulf what his business is in Denmark, but he wishes to speak personally with King Hrothgar. Wulfgar takes the message to the King, telling him how noble Beowulf looks.
King Hrothgar recalls that he met Beowulf when he was a child.
He was the son of Ecgtheow who married the daughter of Hrethel the Great. The King has heard of Beowulf’s heroism and the fact that he has the strength of thirty men in his handgrip.
The King welcomes Beowulf who discloses his intent to rid the King of the
He has previous experience of combat against water monsters and he intends to take the beast on in hand-to-hand combat. Hrothgar considers Beowulf’s arrival as God-sent. The King recounts to Beowulf the evil deeds that Grendel has inflicted on him.
In the evening the household sits down to a banquet discussing past glories
concerning the House of the Danes and Geats.
The two main heroes of the poem have now met, the young Beowulf and the
ageing Danish King, Hrothgar.
We again note the reference to Beowulf’s campaign as being a holy endeavour.
We also note that the outcome of the battle will be left in the hands of God
We discover Beowulf’s intention to fight Grendel without a weapon.
He does not know at this stage that his sword would be useless against the ogre. Beowulf’s intention is to be totally chivalrous, not wishing to have an unfair advantage over the ogre.