Real Name: Beowulf (Old English meaning wolf of bees, or bear).
Identity/Class: Human (from the Geat tribe in southern Sweden)
Occupation: Errant to several Scandinavian kings (with whom he shared kinship ties), later king of the Geats
Affiliations: He is of Geatish blood, but shares a connection that was made by his father with the Danish king; Hroðgar.
Enemies: Grendel, Grendel's mother the sea hag, the Franks, a Dragon.
Known Relatives: Ecgþeow (father), Hreðel (King of the geats and Beowulf's grandfather (Mother's side)).
Base of Operations: What is now called Sweden, Norway, and Denmark.
First Appearance: Date of birth unknown, but he assumed kingship of the Geats as the last of the Hreðelingas dynasty in c. 580 AD. First written about in English by 900 AD
Powers/Abilities: Beowulf had strength sufficient to rip the arms off of trolls, swim across oceans, and could hold his breath underwater for days.
History: Beowulf's father Ecgþeow (Ecgtheow) killed a prominent man in a neighboring tribe and had to pay a substantial fine. Unable to pay it he fled to Denmark where the king generously paid the fine for him. As thanks for the king's generosity, Ecgþeow swore an oath of fealty to that king. When Beowulf reached maturity, he left Geatland for Zealand with 12 other warriors to help king Hrothgar with his Grendel problem. After Beowulf participated in a raid with his king against the Franks, he became king since his king died in the raid. Beowulf finally died fighting the dragon that terrorized his people, but killed the dragon in the process.
Comments: Although the epic poem named Beowulf deals largely with Scandinavian affairs, the legend of Beowulf is the English language's first written work of literature and most well known epic for hundreds of years, though it has declined in popularity now a days to slightly less violent stories by William Shakespeare; MacBeth, Hamlet, etc...
There have been various modern takes on Beowulf. Michael Crichton's novel, Eater of the Dead, later adapted into the movie "The 13th Warrior", is one - in these Beowulf is the Norseman Buliwyf, played in the movie by Vladimir Kulich. Christopher Lambert played him in a sci-fi version in 1999, Gerard Butler in 2005's Beowulf and Grendel, Ray Winstone in the 2007 Robert Zemeckis version, and Jayshan Jackson and Damon Lynch III share the part in 2007's Beowulf: Prince of the Geats.
Much of the above profile provided by Kyle Nesbitt.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Beowulf, Canadian take on the epic hero
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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