DVD Clip

Excerpt from Scene 6: Beowulf and Grendel (lines 665-853)

At this point in the story, Beowulf's arrival at the Danish King Hrothgar's court has been celebrated with a big feast, and as night approaches the Danes leave the haunted drinking hall to sleep elsewhere. They know that Grendel, the monster, will come to attack the hall in the night. Beowulf and his men are left alone inside. The hero removes his weapons and armor and boasts that he will defeat Grendel with his bare hands.

The men lie down to sleep; all except Beowulf are sure they will not survive the night. And yet, the singer says, God has made a plan that Grendel will be defeated by one man's strength. The final words are (in Seamus Heaney's translation): 'The truth is clear: Almighty God rules over mankind and always has.' In total darkness, the men wait.