Beowulf: Introduction to Chapter 18

Beowulf had slain the monster Grendel, raider of King Hrothgar’s hall, and then its mother, and brought the head of Grendel and the hilt of the sword that did the deed to Hrothgar. Hrothgar considered it with wise words, warning that even the most fortunate may be laid low, as he had been by Grendel, and promising great reward to Beowulf in thanks for his aid.