In Beowulf, what challenges of Anglo-Saxon life are represented by the monsters Beowulf faces?

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Beowulf, composed most likely a Mercian monk between 750 CE–850 CE, is an amalgam of the Scandinavian original story with its distinctly pagan references, based on an oral tradition, and the Christian monk's interpolation of Christian elements to try to conform the poem to the prevailing Christian belief system of the Anglo-Saxons. Often, we have pagan beliefs alongside or very near to Christian images, but the most distinctive pagan element left in the poem includes the supernatural beings—monsters—that Beowulf encounters and must defeat in order to either protect himself or his people, as a great warrior-king in this society must.

Although it is easy to think Beowulf as a simple story of a hero defeating a series of supernatural beings—the sea snakes in the Breca episode; Grendel; Grendel's mother; and, finally, the dragon—the significance of the monsters goes beyond their physical threat because they represent the often disastrous relationship between the Scandinavian people...

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