The action of the poem is well-known. It has three major sections: Beowulf’s encounter with Grendel, Beowulf’s encounter with Grendel’s mother, and Beowulf’s encounter with the dragon, bringing about his death. The first two encounters take place when Beowulf is a young man and in the land of the Scyldings, headed by Hrothgar. The fatal encounter takes place after Beowulf has ruled the Geats for fifty years and is an old man.

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