An epic poem, “Beowulf,” extols the heroic feats of a king
The fact that many old fictions deal with dragons
does not mean that the origin of the concept of dragons is from the human imagination.
The story of Little Red Riding Hood is fictional but wolves are living animals.
Beowulf defeats, in battle, Grendel and other monsters
About fifteen centuries ago, in Western Europe, a famous warrior fought
off a grotesque monster named "Grendel," at least according to the account in the epic poem. Two other monsters were said
to have been killed by Beowulf, but the fight with Grendel was the only one witnessed by other men.
In the first battle,
Beowulf kills Grendel; in the second, he kills Grendel's mother; in the third, he defeats a dragon or giant flying creature
(but he himself later dies from his wounds).
The account of the second and third battles contains superhero exploits of Beowulf,
miraculous or nearly so. The first battle seems devoid of anything suggesting the man is anything other than brave and strong.
One theory suggests there is true history within these tales, at least some truth. Consider one explanation for why the
first of these battles may be a more accurate account of real history: