The heroic code required equal terms in a battle for warriors. Beowulf knew that Grendel’s only weapon was his hands. For this reason, the warrior took off his armor and put away his sword. He caught Grendel by his hand and tore it off. The monster died from this mortal wound after it escaped to the swamps.
King Hrothgar had been successfully ruling the Danes for fifty years, when a demon named Grendel started killing his people. Every night, the monster attacked Heorot, the king’s mead-hall. He killed Danish warriors, tore them into pieces, and ate them. This lasted for twelve years.
In his time, Hrothgar used to be a great warrior, but he had grown old and could not protect his people anymore. Fortunately, Beowulf, a young Geat warrior, comes to lend a helping hand. He owed King Hrothgar a favor, so it was an issue of honor to repay with a good deed.
The next time the monster came to Heorot, Beowulf was waiting for him. He chose to fight without any armor or weapons because the monster did not use any of that. The heroic code required an equal position for both combatants, so it was a hand-to-hand fight.
Beowulf caught Grendel by his hand with such strength that the monster could not escape. They fought all around the mead-hall, breaking everything on their path. Finally, Beowulf tore off his arm at the shoulder. Grendel was mortally wounded. He ran away to his swampland and died. So, Hrothgar arranged a celebration for Beowulf and his warriors.