Summary and Analysis by Chapter

Different translations of Beowulf break down the poem into different chapter divisions, different epics, and even different line numbers, so that any division in content is somewhat arbitrary. Therefore, this summary will divide the poem into subsections based on the action as it is presented in the poem. First, it will describe the beginning of the poem and how Grendel is terrorizing Heorot. Second, it will describe Beowulf’s arrival in Denmark and will introduce Beowulf as a hero. Third, it will describe the battle between Beowulf and Grendel. Fourth, it will describe Beowulf’s battle with Grendel’s mother. Fifth, it will describe Beowulf’s return to Geatland. Sixth, it will describe Beowulf’s battle with the Dragon. Finally, it will conclude with a description of Beowulf’s death and burial.

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