“He knows he can trample down you Danes / to his hearts content, humiliate and murder / without fear of reprisal. But he will find me different. / I will show him how Geats shape to kill / in the heat of battle. Then whoever wants to / may go bravely to mead, when morning light, / scarfed in sun-dazzle, shines forth from the south / and brings another daybreak to the world.” (599-606)
The Danes fall plagued with Grendel, a terrible fiend who kills Danes for twelve years without fear of consequences. Beowulf travels over seas to repay an inherited debt to Hrothgar, the Dane ring-giver. Beowulf boasts of how he will end the devastation Grendel brings by doing a service to the Danes. Beowulf intends to kill Grendel. The heroic code focuses heavily on assisting allies from enemies. Attempting to take Grendel’s life demonstrates Beowulf’s resolve to the heroic code. The quotes spoken by Beowulf: “he will find me different” and “I will show him how Geats shape to kill” point towards a more self-centered motive for following the code. Beowulf’s commitment to the heroic code formed not through a belief in righteousness, but rather, through a desire for glory. Glory attracted Beowulf to the values found in the heroic code because if he killed Grendel, Beowulf’s achievement would give him a spot in history as a legendary warrior.