Beowulf | Study Guide


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Learn about the characters in the epic poem Beowulf with Course Hero's video study guide.

Beowulf | Characters

Character Description
Beowulf Beowulf is the poem's brave hero. Read More
King Hrothgar King Hrothgar is the ruler of the Danes and Beowulf's loyal friend. Read More
Grendel Grendel is the evil beast that terrorizes King Hrothgar's men, and whom Beowulf kills. Read More
Wealhtheow Wealhtheow is King Hrothgar's queen and an ambassador of peace. Read More
Dragon The dragon is an evil, fire-breathing creature that fatally wounds Beowulf before his own death. Read More
Grendel's Mother Grendel's mother is a beast that seeks to avenge her son's death and is killed by Beowulf. Read More
Wiglaf Wiglaf is Beowulf's cousin and companion who helps him defeat the dragon. Read More
Aeschere Aeschere is Hrothgar's adviser; he is killed by Grendel's mother.
Beow Beow is Hrothgar's grandfather.
Breca Breca is Beowulf's childhood friend.
Ecgtheow Ecgtheow is Beowulf's father.
Finn Finn is the king of the Frisians.
Halfdane Halfdane is Hrothgar's father.
Heardred Heardred is the son of Hygelac and Hygd.
Hildeburh Hildeburh is King Finn's queen.
Hnaef Hnaef is a Danish ruler; brother of Hildeburh; killed by King Finn.
Hrethric Hrethric is Hrothgar's oldest son and heir until his cousin steals the crown.
Hrothulf Hrothulf is Hrothgar's nephew who Wealhtheow suggests should inherit the crown.
Hrothmund Hrothmund is Hrothgar's second son.
Hygd Hygd is Beowulf's aunt; queen of the Geats.
Hygelac Hygelac is Beowulf's uncle and mentor; king of the Geats.
King Heremod King Heremod is an ancient king who eventually betrayed his subjects.
King Hrethel King Hrethel is the previous king of the Geats; Beowulf's great-uncle and foster father.
King Onela King Onela is a nobleman who seized the Swedish throne; killed by Beowulf.
King Ongentheow King Ongentheow is the Swedish king killed by Eofor; one of Hygelac's thanes.
Queen Modthryth Queen Modthryth is a cruel queen whose behavior sets her up as a foil to Queen Hygd.
Shield Sheafson Shield Sheafson is Hrothgar's great-grandfather, and the founder of his tribe.
Sigemund Sigemund is an ancient warrior and dragon-slayer.
Unferth Unferth is one of Hrothgar's men whose spite for Beowulf grows into admiration.
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