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Beowulf  is an Old English heroic epic poem consisting of 3182 alliterative long lines, written in England and set in Scandinavia, commonly cited as one of the most important works of Anglo-Saxon literature. Beowulf survives in a single manuscript dated on paleographical grounds to the late tenth or early eleventh century during the reign of Canute the Great.

In the poem, Beowulf, a hero of the Geats in Scandinavia, comes to the help of Hroðgar, the king of the Danes, whose mead hall (Heorot) has been under attack by a being known as Grendel. After Beowulf slays him, Grendel's mother attacks the hall and is then also defeated.

Victorious, Beowulf goes home to Geatland in Sweden and later becomes king of the Geats. After a period of fifty years has passed, Beowulf defeats a dragon, but is fatally wounded in the battle. After his death, his attendants bury him in a tumulus, a burial mound, in Geatland.

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