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Word Count: 1,802
Beowulf is an epic poem written most likely towards the end of the first millennium It is considered a masterpiece and is the oldest known piece of English literature Written in Old English the story tells of magnificent heroes and terrible monsters of the struggle between good and evil Beowulf follows the style of the time intended to be read aloud and one of few stories written in that manner successfully recorded Because of the time period the story was told it encompasses many different worldviews Within the epic are found ideas common in the Christian faith alongside the values of Germanic warriors of the Teutonic tradition Each of the characters in Beowulf also have importance in both lines of thinking The Anglo-Saxon poetry allows the reader to get a picture of the beliefs held by society of that time and these beliefs are exemplified through the uses of the main characters Though its a poem full of entertainment once one looks beneath the surface and past the excitement found in Beowulfs battles with mysterious monsters of the shadows many more applications can be found within Beowulfs pages Beowulf tells the tale of the Danes and how a horrible monster Grendel plagued them Upon hearing of this great and powerful creature Beowulf travels to Herot the mead-hall built by Hrothgar to ask permission to challenge Grendel Upon receiving permission and defeating the beast Beowulf must then try his hand again at the monster Grendels Mother She proves to be a more difficult battle but Beowulf is successful none-the-less After gaining the position of King of the Danes fifty years pass before Beowulf must fight again This time the country is being torn apart by a dragon who is seeking revenge for stolen treasures However this fight proves to be Beowulfs last as the dragon is able to strike the final blow Though he was able to defeat the dragon he still pays the price of
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