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Beyond the desolate moors and marshes is Hrothgar's lighted hall, holding out against the encroaching dark. A mead-hall revered by all Norsemen, until one night Grendel, the fen-demon, bursts through the door.Beowulf is an epic Anglo-Saxon poem which is both subtle and savage. For many English speakers it is the first great epic, one that brings vividly to life their forefathers and their love of adventure.This abridged version of the epic poem is based upon two authoritative translations of the Nowell Codex manuscript. Digressions and genealogies (apart from Hrothgar's) have been removed, leaving a clear narrative that focuses on the character of Beowulf and the events surrounding him.The translation has been written for the classroom and for the would-be Anglo-Saxon scholar wanting an accessible introduction to the poem. It includes a guide to the characters, the history of the poem, a brief summary, a simplified prose version and activities for the classroom.