how does he intend to fight the beast?
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Beowulf goes to fight Grendel to help the people of Herot, but more importantly to gain glory for himself. He intends to fight the beast with his bare hands, and he does, and wins by doing so. By the end of the story, this is in great contrast to his last battle, in which he fights in search of treasure instead of fame and honor.
In Section 8: Lines 499-558, Unferth challenges Beowulf's reputation after he relates them to Hrothgar in the hall.
In Section 9: Lines 559-661, Beowulf continues with stories of his exploits, namely the swimming match with Breca and his defeat of the sea monsters. He also boasts that he will go after Grendel, and the final result will be one of their deaths. He will either kill Grendel or be killed by him.
In Section 10: Lines 662-709, Beowulf says that he intends to fight the beast without weapons. He then sets himself down and waits.