First, bare-handed. He grabs the beast by

First, as an epic hero, Beowulf exhibits superior, superhuman strength in the deeds he performs in Denmark and in Geatland.

Three different times Beowulf battles a seemingly undefeatable enemy and proves his significance and his glory. In his first encounter, Beowulf comes to Denmark to help Hrothgar when he hears that a terrible monster, Grendel, has been terrorizing the land for many years. Beowulf sees the chance to kill Grendel as a challenge and boasts of his own greatness. When Grendel arrives at Hrothgar’s banquet hall, Beowulf shows his superhuman strength by fighting the monster bare-handed. He grabs the beast by the arm and rips it from his body. Grendel shrieks in pain, a terrifying sound, and runs away.

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In Beowulf’s second battle, he fights Grendel’s mother at the bottom of a swampy lake. He tries to stab her Scudder 2with his sword, and tries to fight her with his bare hands, but her scaly skin is too thick. Luckily, Beowulf sees a giant sword hanging on the wall in Grendel’s mother’s cave, and summoning all of his strength, he uses the sword to slice through the neck of the sea hag and kills her. Not only does he defeat Grendel’s mother, he also chops off the head of her son when he sees Grendel’s body lying nearby. Beowulf’s third show of strength arrives when he is forced, later in life, to fight a dragon in his own kingdom of Geatland. The dragon is awakened by a thief who wants to steal the treasure it is guarding.

So that the dragon does not destroy his kingdom, Beowulf must go to slay him, even if he must die. Beowulf has no help, except his friend Wiglaf, to kill the dragon. Again, his sword is not strong enough, but Beowulf pulls a knife from his belt and stabs the dragon, showing again his superior strength.


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