Beowulf is never named in the novel, but his identity can be inferred from context. He is the leader of the Geats and brings a band of men to come to Hrothgar and defeat Grendel for him. Beowulf's strength and commanding presence frighten Grendel when he first arrives. When he fights and defeats Grendel, he attempts to force his radical ideas upon him, telling Grendel that his mind makes the world what it is. After showing his physical and intellectual mastery over Grendel, he tears off Grendel’s arm, causing his death. While Grendel dies denying that Beowulf is a real hero (since he defeated Grendel through chance and trickery), Beowulf is the best example of a hero that the novel offers.
Beowulf Quotes in Grendel
The Grendel quotes below are all either spoken by Beowulf or refer to Beowulf. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Grendel published in 1989.).
Chapter 11 Quotes
I am mad with joy. –At least I think it’s joy. Strangers have come, and it’s a whole new game.
Beowulf Character Timeline in Grendel
The timeline below shows where the character Beowulf appears in Grendel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.