There is no evidence of a historical Beowulf, but some characters, sites, and events in the poem can be historically verified. It is preserved in a single manuscript that dates to circa 1000 and is known as the Beowulf manuscript (Cotton MS Vitellius A XV) .
It is significant that his three battles are not against men, which would entail the retaliation of the blood feud, but against evil monsters, enemies of the whole community and of civilization itself. Tolkien suggests that its total effect is more like a long, lyrical elegy than an epic.
Many critics have seen the poem as a Christian allegory, with Beowulf the champion of goodness and light against the forces of evil and darkness. Even the earlier, happier section in Denmark is filled with ominous allusions that were well understood by contemporary audiences.
However, the essay "A Secret Vice" contains a final section of Notes by Christopher Tolkien, where he points to references to The Book of Lost Tales and also reprints a later version of one of the Elvish poems, being "one of the major pieces of Quenya" The seven 'essays' by J. Two of them are concerned with Beowulf, including the well-known lecture whose title is taken for this book, and one with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, given in the University of Glasgow in 1953.
Also included in this volume is the lecture English and Welsh; the Valedictory Address to the University of Oxford in 1959; and a paper on Invented Languages delivered in 1931, with exemplification from poems in the Elvish tongues.