The prologue of the epic poem, Beowulf, which caries the name – The Rise of the Danes - introduces four generations of Danes` leaders. The prologue functions as an exposition to the following narration in terms of heroes, place, history and author’s position.
The first king was Shield Sheafson. Throughout his lifetime he went from obscurity to greatness by excelling in battles. His rule was to make foreign nations import him goods by sea. Sheafson had a legatee, his son, Beow. Beowulf ruled the tribe by with kindness and capacity because he understood the difficulties of his people. Therefore, his dead death was a huge stun for the Danes. His funeral followed the script Beowulf ordered: the body was loaded on a boat with numerous treasures. A golden flag was placed on the mast and the retinue sent the boat free to the open sea, mourning their loss because nobody could tell where the boat was going to moor.
Beowulf's son, Halfdane, inherited the throne and ruled all of his life. He had four sons: Heorogar, Hrothgar, Halga (who carried the epithet – good) and a daughter. Among them stood out Hrothger, who gained his glory as he won one battle after the other. To maintain his force he made the Danes construct a giant hall – Heorot (a symbol of royalty). But the hall did not last long. It was burned during upcoming battles.