We know Beowulf is of a noble birth because when he comes to Herot he tells the watchman about his father and his name. (Lines 157-163) “My father was a famous soldier, known far and wide as a leader of men. His name was Edegtho. His life lasted many winters; wise men all over the earth surely remember him still.”
Beowulf has experience as a warrior from fighting monsters, dragons, wars, giants ect… and we learn this when he first meets Hrothgar because he pretty much lists his entire “resume.” (Lines 230-237)“They have seen my strength for themselves, have watched me rise from the darkness of war, dripping with my enemies’ blood. I drove five great giants into chains, chased all of that race from the earth. I swam in the blackness of night, hunting monsters out of the ocean, and killing them one by one…”
in his own country/world he is not seen as much of a hero (This quote was not included in the version of the story we read) “He had been long despised, as the sons of the Geats considered him no good… The lord of the Weders assumed that he was slothful, a cowardly nobleman”
Even though this quote was not included in the version of the story we read, it shows that back home he is not viewed as a hero. It brings clarity to the idea that Beowulf is desperately seeking fame, and he want to become a hero so the Geats would find him to be important (because he wasn't favored by the Geats). After his success he finally becomes accepted when he returns home with all of the treasures from Hrothgar and will later become even more accepted when Hygelac gives him more treasures.
What is Beowulf's "Station in life?"
What is Beowulf's experience as a warrior?
How do the people in Beowulf's home country treat/feel about him? What is his reputation in his own country?