Search Menu

Characters

Beowulf
The protagonist of the poem. Beowulf is a Geatish hero who fights the monster Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a fire-breathing dragon. Beowulf’s exploits prove him to be the strongest, ablest warrior of his time. In his youth, he personifies the values of the heroic culture. In his old age, he proves a wise and effective ruler.

Grendel
A demon descended from Cain. Grendel preys on Hrothgar’s warriors in the king’s mead-hall, Heorot. Because Grendel’s ruthless and miserable existence is part of the retribution exacted by God for Cain’s murder of Abel, Grendel fits solidly within the ethos of vengeance that governs the world of the poem.

Grendel’s Mother
A demon even more monstrous than Grendel. Grendel’s mother seeks revenge on Hrothgar’s men for the death of her son. Beowulf journeys to her magical, creature-filled lair beneath the swamp in order to defeat her.

King Hrothgar
The king of the Danes. Hrothgar enjoys military success and prosperity until Grendel comes to terrorize his realm. Hrothgar is a wise and aged ruler, and he represents a different kind of leadership from that exhibited by the youthful warrior Beowulf. He is a father figure to Beowulf and a model for the kind of king that Beowulf becomes.

Unferth
A Danish warrior who is jealous of Beowulf. Unferth is unable or unwilling to fight Grendel, thus proving himself inferior to Beowulf.

Hygelac
Beowulf’s uncle, king of the Geats, and husband of Hygd. Hygelac heartily welcomes Beowulf upon his return from Denmark.

Ecgtheow
Beowulf’s father, Hygelac’s brother-in-law, and Hrothgar’s friend. Ecgtheow is dead by the time the story begins, but he lives on through the noble reputation that he made for himself and in his dutiful son’s remembrances.

King Hrethel
The Geatish king who took Beowulf in as a ward after the death of Ecgtheow, Beowulf’s father.

The dragon
An ancient, powerful serpent that guards a horde of treasure. Beowulf fights the dragon in the third and final part of the epic.

Wiglaf
A young kinsman and retainer of Beowulf. Wiglaf helps Beowulf in the fight against the dragon after the other warriors run away. Wiglaf adheres to the heroic code, thereby proving himself a suitable successor to Beowulf.

  • 7844181855 2018-02-23
  • 2782711854 2018-02-23
  • 8938951853 2018-02-23
  • 9692991852 2018-02-23
  • 8581071851 2018-02-23
  • 2414311850 2018-02-23
  • 8198591849 2018-02-22
  • 6006081848 2018-02-22
  • 2303111847 2018-02-22
  • 2603511846 2018-02-22
  • 8893581845 2018-02-22
  • 5149081844 2018-02-22
  • 155561843 2018-02-22
  • 2961621842 2018-02-22
  • 9872891841 2018-02-22
  • 8292021840 2018-02-22
  • 207811839 2018-02-22
  • 9792821838 2018-02-22
  • 4542301837 2018-02-22
  • 151461836 2018-02-22