Everything you need to understand or teach Beowulf by Gareth Hinds.
The Old English poem Beowulf follows Beowulf from heroic youth to heroic old age. He saves a neighboring people from a monster, Grendel, eventually becomes the king of his own people, and dies defending them from a dragon. It is a great adventure story, and a deeply philosophical one. Scholars differ over the poem's original purpose and audience, but Beowulf probably appealed to a wide audience and garnered a range of responses.
Beowulf survives in one manuscript, which is known as British Library Cotton Vitelhus A. 15. At least one scholar believes the manuscript is the author's original, but most scholars believe it is the last in a succession of copies. Beowulf may have been written at any time between circa 675 A.D. and the date of the manuscript, circa 1000 A.D.
No one knows where the manuscript was before it surfaced in the hands of a man named Laurence...