As every literature, Anglo-Saxon literature beggin when the stories that was transmitted orally was wriiting for the first time. One of those stories is named Beowulf and is a part of the older texts that you can find about Anglo-Saxon history. It is an epic poem about the adventures of the warrior Beowulf that came to help the king Hrothgar to get rid of a monster who eat villager: Grendel. So he became a hero and went through many danger. He finaly succed to the king and lost his last fight against a dragon. The poem is named according to the name of the main character and take the same kind of place in the Anglo-saxon culture that Ulysse’s story take in general european culture. Thus this epopee inspire many tales and stories and give birth to many adaptation especially cinematographic.
Tolkien is the perfect exemple of writter that inspire himself from Beowulf, as he done with many ledgend to build this monument of literature that is the entire world he create through the adventures of Bilbo, Frodo and so many others. In fact, we owe him the recognition that is today awarded to 0thanks to his conference Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. Indeed the poem interested for studyingthe language but Tolkien was the first to notice the beauty of the text. Thereby Tolkien used this tale to create his own one, giving to Gollum the same kind of appearance than Grendel, etc…
Even translate in a modern english, it is a difficult text, hard to read and understand but there is an extract about Grendel, join with a pictures take from the film of Robert Zemekicksreleased in 2007 :
« That grim spirit was called Grendel,
Famous waste-wanderer that held the moors
Fen and fastness; the land of the race of monsters
The unhappy creature occupied for a while
After the Creator had condemned them. »