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Beowulf Essay Topics
“Beowulf” Essay Topics | 40 Great Topics to Spur Your Essay
“Beowulf” is one of the most translated works of Old English literature. It’s a good material for an essay.
It is an allegorical Anglo-Saxon poem about a Scandinavian-Geatish warrior who travels far from his land to battle evil. He battles 3 major superhuman forces: a demon named Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and a dragon. The predominant theme is classical heroism.
It is best to learn a bit more about this poem before writing an essay. We’ll help you with it.
So, we have provided you with a comprehensive list of essay topics.
How to Select the Best “Beowulf” Essay Topic? Start with These Topics
Because of so many questions arising from this classic text, there are many essay topics to write on. We have provided a collection of some of these essay topics to get you started on the right track.
Need a List of “Beowulf” Essay Topics? 30 Great Topics for Your Essay
Here are 30 essay topics to start building your foundation for writing on this subject.
- Explain how “in medias re” as a characteristic of literary epics from antiquity is showcased in the text.
- Demonstrate the use of alliteration as a stylistic device in the text and its effectiveness.
- Demonstrate how this poem showcases elements of poetry as a stylistic device.
- Compare the style used in this poem with Latin text.
Topics on specific themes covered:
- Can Beowulf’s pursuit of superhuman and rather impossible feats be thought of as a pursuit of pride?
- Demonstrate how Christian influences are dominant in the text.
- Explain the “good versus evil” narrative found in this poem.
- Discuss literary themes as showcased by the 3 different classes of evil that Beowulf fought.
- Is Beowulf’s eventual triumph over the dragon despite his mortal wounds an allegory that good ultimately triumphs over evil?
Topics on the major characters:
- The translation of Wiglaf’s name is “remnant of valor.” Explain how the character showcases this throughout the setting.
- Showcase examples of Beowulf’s generosity and compassion.
- Can it be said that Beowulf felt an obligation to serve the rest of humanity?
- In “Beowulf,” the protagonist faces Grendel without any cloth or armor. Explain the reasoning behind this move.
- Compare Grendel’s character in the 2005 film adaptation “Beowulf and Grendel” to the original manuscript.
- Compare the person of Beowulf in the literary classic to Beowulf in the adaptation of the film of 2007.
Topics on Norse culture and politics:
- Explain the significance of swords and their exchange in the Anglo-Saxon-Gothic cultures as showcased.
- Explain why it is highly unlikely that the sword Hrunting failed because it was a fake supplied by Unferth.
- Explain how Norse culture may have influenced English writing.
- Debate on the probability of transmission of “Beowulf” by oral tradition.
- Discuss the influence of Norse mythology on Old English literature.
Topics covering “Beowulf” influence on cinema and literature:
- Explain the influence of “Beowulf” on R.R Tolkien’s “The Lord of The Rings.”
- Demonstrate the influence of this text on modern English film and literature.
- “That man, each man, and all men and all their works shall die.” Analyze this statement by J.R.R Tolkien.
- Can it be argued that no film adaptation has managed to capture the essence of “Beowulf”?
- Explore the influence of the poem on the modern superhero film genre.
General topics on “Beowulf”:
- Provide an assessment of the parallels between the story of David and Goliath and the giant-fashioned sword that killed Grendel’s mother.
- Comment on the main propositions of the date of authorship put forward.
- Compare the archetypal hero character to characters in Greek and Roman mythology.
- How does the poem portray the archetypal hero in Norse culture?
- Regarding “Beowulf,” how can facts be established about the author or the writing period?
Find more essay topics on “Beowulf” in the next section.
“Beowulf” Essay Ideas | 10 Great Essay Topics if You Can’t Find Anything to Write About
Since “Beowulf” is the first piece of Old English literature, its importance cannot be understated.
Here are 10 more contextualized essay topics for you:
- Discuss the influence J.R.R Tolkien had on how the poem “Beowulf” is perceived today.
- Describe the plot and setting of “Beowulf.”
- How has “Beowulf” being translated by two different scribes influence the text pace and narrative?
- Explain why “Beowulf” is useful when it comes to placing Anglo-Saxon migration across the English Isles.
- Discuss how paganism and elements of Christianity pervade “Beowulf.”
- Discuss the assessment of the character and poem of “Beowulf” in J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Monster and The Critics.”
- Do you think modern assessments and portrayals of “Beowulf” focus too much on Norse mythology instead of its poetic standard?
- Discuss omniscience as a literary device as used for narration.
- How does this text portray the historical narrative of Scandinavia at the time?
- How has the legacy of “Beowulf” as a literary work been preserved in other media and literature?
We have plenty of more essay topics about “Beowulf!” Head on to our blog page for great examples on tackling specific essay sections and other topics.
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