Throughout the narrative, he measures his success by his ability to make life better for those he serves.
The idea of fatalism that permeated northern European religions is transformed into a version of divine providence that stresses God’s control over human events.
The idea of gift giving, a holdover from pre-Christian tradition, figures prominently in the poem, as evidenced by Hrothgar’s sharing of valuable treasures with Beowulf to honor his bravery and Beowulf’s sharing of the gifts he receives from the Danish king with his own sovereign, Hygelac.
The hero of the poem is venerated not simply for his bravery, but also for his concern for those whose welfare has been entrusted to him.
Beowulf does not believe he can conquer these forces on his own; rather, he recognizes that he will succeed only as long as God allows him to do so.
He also knows that he will eventually die, and he accepts that knowledge stoically.
He fights against the monsters not to gain personal favor but to first to rid Hrothgar’s kingdom of the monsters menacing it, and then to save his own people from the threat of the dragon.
The audiences that would have listened to the poem in the eleventh century would have accepted the notion that violent behavior was compatible with Christian principles.
The cave is intimidating, helping the readers to believe that the upcoming battle will be a real challenge for Beowulf.
And it turns out to be so as the powerful dragon ultimately causes the hero’s death.