In this epic poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats, comes to the aid of the king of the Danes whose great hall is plagued by the monster Grendel. Beowulf kills Grendel bare-handed and goes on to kill Grendel's mother with a giant’s sword that he recovers from her lair. Later, as king of the Geats, Beowulf confronts a dragon that terrorizes his kingdom. J.R.R. Tolkien said of Beowulf that it is in fact so interesting as poetry, that the poetry quite overshadows the historical content in places.