Find some poems on dating problems
Beowulf is a classic tale of the triumph of good over evil, and divides neatly into three acts.
The poem opens in Denmark, where Grendel is terrorising the kingdom.
Now king of the Geats, his own realm is faced with a rampaging dragon, which had been guarding a treasure-hoard.
Beowulf enters the dragon’s mound and kills his foe, but not before he himself has been fatally wounded.
Apart from Beowulf, the manuscript contains several other medieval texts.
These comprise a homily on St Christopher; the 'Marvels of the East', illustrated with wondrous beasts and deformed monsters; the 'Letter of Alexander to Aristotle'; and an imperfect copy of another Old English poem, 'Judith'.
Beowulf is the longest epic poem in Old English, the language spoken in Anglo-Saxon England before the Norman Conquest.
The poem has provided the catalyst for films, plays, operas, graphic novels and computer games.
Beowulf is the penultimate item in this collection, the whole of which was copied by two Anglo-Saxon scribes, working in collaboration.
The first-recorded owner of Beowulf is Laurence Nowell (died c.1570), a pioneer of the study of Old English, who inscribed his name (dated 1563) at the top of the manuscript’s first page.
Among the more notable recent versions are the films (2007), starring Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins and Angelina Jolie.
Beowulf has also been translated into numerous languages, including modern English, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Telugu (a Dravidian language spoken in India).
Once more there is much rejoicing, and Beowulf is rewarded with many gifts.