In Beowulf, Beowulf fights three different monsters. The first monster he fights is Grendel, the second is Grendel’s mom, and the third is a dragon. Each fight shows an important part of Beowulf. The fight with Grendel shows his power, the fight with Grendel’s mom shows his weakness and the fight with the dragon shows his death, as well as the birth of a new hero.
The fight with Grendel shows Beowulf’s power. Grendel is a demon that has killed many people and many people attempted to kill him. Everyone that attempted to kill Grendel always wore armor and used weapons. Beowulf said that he would not use weapons. He is bragging that he is stronger than anyone else. During the fight, Beowulf was described as the strongest man ever. “The captain of evil discovered himself in a handgrip harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man on the face of the earth” (749-752).“He was overwhelmed, manacled tight by the man who of all men was foremost and strongest in the days of his life.”(787-789). Both of those quotes show how powerful Beowulf is. They say how Grendel never encountered someone that strong. The fight is a perfect example of Beowulf’s strength and power.
In the second fight, Beowulf struggles against Grendel’s mom. Before he goes out to slay her, he puts on his armor and gets his sword. This is telling us that this fight will be a lot harder than the one with Grendel, as there was no need for armor and weapons during his previous fight. As soon as he gets to Grendel’s mom’s lair, it is immediately described as a “hellish turn-hole”(1513). The fight with Grendel was in a great hall. The location went from a place of joy to hell. Grendel’s mom “lunged and clutched and managed to catch him in her brutal grip”(1501-1502) and Beowulf struggled to escape. Grendel’s mom grabs Beowulf a lot and Beowulf struggles to escape every time. When he hit her with his sword, it bounced off and did nothing. In the fight with Grendel, Beowulf was grabbing Grendel and he was struggling to escape. In the end, Beowulf finds a giant sword and kills Grendel’s mom with it. Beowulf didn’t need to use a weapon to defeat Grendel. This fight shows Beowulf’s weaknesses and struggles.
In the third and final fight, Beowulf and a small army fight a dragon. This happens nearly fifty years after the fight with Grendel and his mom. Once again, he wears armor and weapons, but he claims this is because a dragon has natural armor and weapons – its hide and fire. “That final day was the first time when Beowulf fought and fate denied him of glory in battle” (2571-2573) This was the first battle Beowulf had ever lost. A new hero named Wiglaf protects Beowulf and defeats the dragon. In the end, Beowulf dies.