In the first battle it is obvious that Grendel is the main antagonist because he is a demon and he kills Hrothgar’s men. The second battle puts Beowulf up against Grendel’s mother, who is said to be much worse than Grendel himself. But once again, it is obvious that Grendel’s mother is evil. However, in the third act of the poem the dragon isn’t shown to be necessarily evil. The dragon is guarding his treasure when suddenly someone comes in and steals some of it. This awakens and angers the dragon, causing him to go on a hunt for the thief. But another major factor in the final battle is that Beowulf is much older than when he was fighting Grendel. This makes him less ready to battle the dragon and only serves to give Beowulf overconfidence in his abilities which leads to his downfall.
Beowulf is a great example of a epic hero, from his courageousness to his self sacrifice he embodies all the characteristics of an epic hero; he is built upon in the first two acts of the poem before succumbing to his tragic flaw in the final battle,