Beowulf (probably composed in the 8th century A.D.) is our only native English heroic epic. It is written by a Christian poet addressing a Christian audience, but in the figure of Beowulf, the Scandinavian warrior, and his struggles against Monsters, he depicts the life and outlook of a pagan age. The poem is a subtle blending of themes - the conflict of good and evil, and an examination of heroism. Its skillful arrangement of incidents and use of contrst and parallel show it to be the product of a highly sophisticated culture. David Wright's idiomatic translation is designed for both the student and the general reader.