What evidence is there of Beowulf keeping his promises?

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Beowulf regularly promises to undertake certain missions under certain conditions, then follows these conditions to the letter. The first of these is in the first third of the poem, when Beowulf promises to slay Grendel only using his bare hands so the fight will show off his true physical prowess. In the end, he does so, proving he is not just boastful but true to what he claims about himself.

The second promise Beowulf makes is that he will track down Grendel's mother and not allow her to escape his justice. He does end up finding her lair and then killing her with an enchanted sword, so he keeps his second promise as well.

This trend of keeping his promises in the first two-thirds of the poem shows that Beowulf is trustworthy. When he becomes a king in the final third of the poem, the reader knows he is worthy because he has the integrity to keep his vows to protect the innocent.

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The first significant promise Beowulf makes is in line 675. Here, he offers some "gylpworda," or words of promise, declaring that he is no lesser a man in battle than Grendel is, and therefore he will not "deprive him of life" with his sword but will instead take on Grendel one-on-one, with his hands. He then declares that it will be up to God which of the two of them is triumphant.

Ultimately, when Beowulf later does take on Grendel, he is able to kill him without the use of his sword. This also fulfills the promise Beowulf makes in line 1671, where he promises that everyone in Heorot will be able to sleep soundly in their hall without fear of being murdered by night. By killing Grendel, Beowulf is ridding the hall of evil and making it safe again, as he promised. He also makes sure the people are fully safe by beheading Grendel's mother, as well as removing Grendel himself.

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When Beowulf comes to Heorot, he informs Hrothgar that he has heard of the destruction Grendel has caused and he promises to kill the monster. He adds that since Grendel does not use weapons, he will fight the monster alone with no weapons: 

. . . I scorn to bear sword or broad shield, yellow wood, to the battle, but with my grasp I shall grapple with this enemy and fight for life, foe against foe. 

Beowulf is also criticized by Unferth who says he lost the swimming contest with Brecca. Unferth is skeptical and thinks that tales of Beowulf's skills are exaggerated. However, Beowulf claims that he fought nine sea monsters during the race and that such a feat has never been equaled. In killing Grendel, Beowulf promises to prove himself and that tales of his accomplishments are true. 

Beowulf does fight Grendel alone with no weapons. He manages to tear the monster's arm off: Grendel's "shoulder was exposed, his sinews sprang apart, his bone-locks broke." Grendel runs off to die and Beowulf has kept his promise. 

After Grendel's mother attacks, Beowulf promises to track her down and kill her. "I promise you this: she will not be lost under cover, not in the earth's bosom nor in the mountain woods nor at the bottom of the sea, go where she will." He finds her in a lake and fights her to the death. He fights her a lone once again and manages to kill her using a sword he finds in the lake-cave. Once again, he has kept his promise. 

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