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Word Count: 3,046
Beowulf begins with the story of the first king in the Danish dynasty Scyld Sceafing The king was abandoned as a baby and later went on become a successful powerful leader of the Danish people Following the death of Scyld Sceafing his son Beowulf not the Beowulf of this story becomes ruler of the Spear-Danes and much like his father Beowulf is respected and beloved by his subjects After a reign of many years Beowulf dies and his son Healfdene inherits the throne Healfdene fathers four children including Heorogar Hrothgar and Halfga Hrothgar succeeds his father and after achieving much glory and fame as ruler of the Danes he decides to build a great mead hall as a monument to his success and symbol of his greatness He names it Heorot After the completion of Heorot Hrothgar holds a banquet for his subjects where scops sing of the creation of the Earth by God and the Danes celebrate the peaceful festive times in which they live After the festivities continue for many years the singing and music awakens an evil part-human monster named Grendel who is a descendant of the biblical Cain Angered by the noise and apparent happiness of the Danes Grendel travels to Heorot at night when the soldiers within are sound asleep after their day celebrations Grendel kills thirty warriors and escapes into the night satisfied with his evil deed Hrothgar is deeply saddened by the deaths and fears the attack may be the beginning of a long war with the monster Grendel continues his murderous rampage the following night and a war with Grendel ensues which lasts twelve years Stories of the Danes suffering at the hands of Grendel spread to foreign lands The Danes exhaust all means of defense against Grendel and attempts to pay the monster to cease his harassment are useless The Danes desperation becomes so great they abandon their Christian beliefs and begin worshipping ancient deities from
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