One of the highest-ranking nobles from Geatland (Southern Sweden), he comes
to the aid of the King of the Danes, Hrothgar, who is plagued by an ogre. He is described as a mighty warrior whose grip is superhuman. He becomes King of the Geats.
He is the son of Hygelac and Hygd, and is unfortunately killed in a feud,
despite Beowulf’s support. On his death Beowulf becomes King of the Geats.
King of the Geats at the start of the poem, he is Beowulf’s uncle.
There was a King Hygelac who died in battle around 520 A.D.
Hygelac’s Queen, she is a perfect hostess and demonstrates the entire royal
The only Knight who stands firm with Beowulf against the dragon, he succeeds
Beowulf as King of the Geats.
THE DANES (SCYLDINGS):-
The ageing King of the Danes who is menaced by Grendel the ogre, he regards
Beowulf as being sent by God to rid him of this evil. He is characterized as a civilized monarch.
The epic poem starts with the ship funeral of this mythical figure who is
the founder of the tribe called the Scyldings.
One of King Hrothgar’s top Thanes, he insults Beowulf when he is drunk, but
later gives crucial aid to Beowulf in the thick of battle.
The Queen of the Danes, she along with her husband Hrothgar, gives a warm
welcome to Beowulf and his party.
Described in the poem as a descendent of Cain in the Book of Genesis,
Grendel is the epitome of evil. Translating Cain back into Hebrew, we have the word “Qayin” which means “creature”. It is a common part of folklore that all such monsters and freaks that roam the earth
are descended from Cain. He resents Hrothgar and the Danes enjoying themselves, and subjects them to twelve years of terror before Beowulf arrives.
She lives with her son in a dry cave beneath a lake.
Although not as powerful as her son, she is still a formidable adversary.
This monstrous beast lives in Geatland and is angered when a fugitive steals
a gold flagon from his hoard. Beowulf slays the dragon with the help of Wiglaf, but is mortally wounded.