A stirring tale of heroism, monsters and battle, 'Beowulf' is famous as the first epic poem in English literature. Written down sometime in the 7th century, an oral version of the poem was probably recited by bards several hundred years earlier. Beowulf battles the ogre Grendl for fame and reward, but has then to cope with the vengeance of an even greater fiend - the monster's mother. In his final battle, abandoned by his warriors, he must face the wrath of a fearsome dragon alone. This poem opens a door on the world-view of the Dark Ages, with its code of hour between warriors, its belief in Magic, and the implacable power of Fate.