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Beowulf Essay Examples

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Thematic Analysis - Beowulf

Assignment Write a well-crafted three-paragraph essay analyzing a universal theme you've identified in Beowulf and submit it to your teacher. 1. Your essay should have to following structure: Paragraph 1: Introduction and thesis statement (your thesis statement should state the universal theme you've identified) Paragraph 2: Evidence to support your statement of the theme Paragraph 3: Explanation of why you think this is a universal theme; conclusion and clincher Your assignment should include properly cited references from the text. Your…...

Comparison Between Beowulf the Epic and Beowulf the Film

Contrast and Similarities between Beowulf and “Beowulf” Beowulf, an epic written down in the year 1060 by the Beowulf Poet, is the epitome of what true writing is, defining the standard of the epic itself. The more modern film of “Beowulf”, produced in 2007, is an attempt to do justice to the Beowulf Poet’s masterpiece. The poem and film have several key similarities and differences which influence the reader/viewer. Important similarities between the two include the heroic characteristics of Beowulf…...

The Last Battle

Directions: Create a thoughtful, organized, and well-developed essay response to one of the following prompts. Treat your response seriously, and make sure that your response highlights your analytical skills as well as a critical understanding of the poem. You must include compelling details from the poem to support your conclusions. 1. Many critics and teachers believe that Beowulf contains themes that are relevant to modern life. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your opinions using details/lines from the poem for…...

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Analysis of Grendel’s Character in Beowulf

When Beowulf is retold from Grendel’s point of view many different assumptions can be made when evaluating and comparing Grendel to Beowulf. The sympathy, which Grendel withholds, represents his innocence and how he isn’t just a “monster.” Due to this reason, readers feel very sympathetic towards Grendel compared to Beowulf due to the fact that he is incoherent to the many actions humans perform. Readers who have read Beowulf notice the different in Grendel’s character from Beowulf to Grendel due…...

Archetypes in Beowulf

Archetypes stir profound emotions in the reader because they awaken images stored in the collective unconscious. In Seamus Haney’s translation of Beowulf this is used in the form of character types. Beowulf is a hero and encounters many triumphs with different types of people on his journey in this epic poem. There are three archetypal characters in Beowulf that are particularly effective and intriguing. These are The Creature of Nightmare Grendel, The Mentor Hrothgar, and The Loyal Retainer Wiglaf. The…...

Beowulf: A Comparison between Hrothgar and Beowulf

Throughout history, kings have been the primary figure in kingdoms and territories. People looked to these authoritative figures for many different things ranging from religion to leadership and guidance. The heroic epic Beowulf takes the concept of kingship and elaborates on it through the roles of two very different characters: King Hrothgar and Beowulf. In doing so, it reveals the differing values instilled within each man. Very early on in Beowulf, it is evident that the German and Scandinavian world…...

A close reading of Beowulf

The epic poem Beowulf contains contradictions about the heroic character of the protagonist Beowulf. Two certain passages in Beowulf, one at the beginning of the text and one near the end, offer evidence of inconsistencies within Beowulf's character. We must ask one question of the poem's protagonist: Is he really the hero he claims to be? Certain aspects of Beowulf's integrity, mainly his lies about people's perceptions of him, contradict the conventional classification of a hero. The legend of Beowulf…...

Beowulf and The 13th Warrior

Beowulf and the 13th Warrior, both are very good stories, one legibly and the other visually (unless you go to the roots of the 13th Warrior and read Eaters of the Dead). Although it is pretty obvious to anyone who has read Beowulf that the 13th Warrior was based on this great epic, there are still several differences that make for an interesting twist or two. While the two stories are very much alike in several ways, they are also…...

"Beowulf" and "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight"

Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight:The Importance of Literary Genre and Time Difference"They said that of all the kings upon earth / he was the man most gracious and fair-minded, / kindest to his people and keenest to win fame," (Beowulf 97 ln. 3180-82). This is a description of the great king Beowulf, from the epic poem of the same name. "…Sir Gawain you are, / Whom all the world worships, whereso you ride; / Your honor, your…...

Beowulf as a hero in modern society

In the historic epic Beowulf, its title character, Beowulf, is perceived as an unconventional as well as a traditional hero in current society. Beowulf, the son of Ecgtheow and Hygelac's thane, is presented as a fearless warrior to the audience. This acknowledgment of Beowulf causes the readers to instantly recognize that Beowulf is a well-respected man. Beowulf's magnitude is seen at the very beginning of the poem as the narrator states, "The man whose name was known for courage, the…...

Differences Between Beowulf and Achilles

Beowulf and Achilles are different in many ways; one of which is their character. Beowulf is a great warrior and leader who fought to protect his soldiers and to make places more peaceful. He also perfectly embodies the values of loyalty, pride, and courtesy. Achilles, on the other hand, is not as heroic as Beowulf, even thought he was also a great warrior and had superhuman strength, he mostly fought for revenge, social position, and power. He was driven by…...

"Beowulf" by Seamus Heaney and the Anglo-Saxon poem "Dream of the Rood"

Fealty is one of the greatly-recognized values of the Anglo-Saxon world. Often defined as a type of loyalty or allegiance, fealty plays a more engaging and active role in Seamus Heaneys Beowulf than in the Anglo-Saxon poem The Dream of the Rood because of the way it causes action to be taken. Understanding the use of this Anglo-Saxon value can reveal its importance in Anglo-Saxon life and literature. In Beowulf, the main character Beowulf uses fealty to empower him to…...

Epic Hero Comparison(Beowulf and The hobbit)

An epic hero is a larger than life character who has legendary skill and prowess. An epic hero has to perform heroic deeds. An epic hero is thought of having traditional charm and charisma. He has very strong ethics morals and a code of conduct. The epic hero is always thought of as a male as the tradition of the epic hero originated in the Anglo Saxon culture which was a male dominant society. A perfect example of an epic…...

Violence in the poem “Beowulf”

Throughout time civilizations have used violence as a means of creating, establishing, and maintaining their world, and it was looked at as something that was necessary and important to their way of life. The role of violence in the world of “Beowulf”, King of the Geats reflects this because we can easily see how important it is for Beowulf to use violence in his quest for respect and success. This is seen in the way that Beowulf gains his power…...

Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf

The literature of a period is often regarded as the purest manifestation of the social, political, and cultural atmosphere of a particular era. At a crossroads, often than not, these works narrate the development of a culture besieged by new ideas and influences. Considered as the earliest extant poem in a modern European language, the Germanic epic entitled Beowulf is a clear example of how two warring cultural ideologies are melded together to create a population’s own unique social identity.…...

The Funerals of Sclyd and Beowulf

The opening of the Beowulf is the funeral of Sclyd, his clan is preparing him for his funeral and sending his body to God, As they prepare him for his voyage, I use this as an important word because as we continue to read of the grief of his clan we find out that they instead of a funeral pyre as was common in some cultures of the time that his clan filled the ship with the bounty from as…...

Symbolism Associated with Beowulf

Symbolism Associated with Beowulf Beowulf is portrayed as a very loyal character in this poem. He shows his complete loyalty towards the Danes, and his willingness to fight for what his beliefs are. He fights to protect the Danes from Grendel, Grendel's mother, and Firedragon. Beowulf sides with the protagonists to fight evil monsters causing harm towards other men (Wilmot 137). Although Beowulf is a Geat, not a Dane, he still shows his loyalty to help good prevail over evil.…...

The role of religion in Beowulf

The epic poems Beowulf was first written in a pagan Saxon society, before Christianity was introduced. However, the poem was once again rewritten around the 18th centuries by a Christian poet. There is evidence of this throughout Beowulf as the author is in conflict when it comes to mix his Christian belief with the pagan society of Beowulf. When I look at the text, I see two different element of religion mixed together as one. As a result, this leads…...

Anglo-Saxon Values Demonstrated by Beowulf

In Seamus Heaney's translation of the epic Beowulf, the protagonist, Beowulf, exemplifies the values of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and king. Beowulf is a Geatish warrior who uses his super-human strength to defend the Danes, a neighboring kingdom, from a terrible monster named Grendel. Beowulf then goes on to kill Grendel's mother and become the king of the Geats. During his reign, Beowulf runs a successful kingdom and sacrifices his life to save his kingdom from a dragon. Beowulf demonstrates the…...

King Hrothgar and Danish Army

King Hrothgar and his Danish army celebrated their victory in battles in a lavish hall called Heorot. Grendel is angered by the celebration and killed thirty soldiers while sleeping in the hall. For more than a decade, the King could not stop the monster. Beowulf, prince of Geats, arrived in the kingdom one day and helped Hrothgar’s army fight Grendel in exchange for treasures. In a battle that ensued one night, Beowulf defeated Grendel. Unknown to the warriors, Grendel’s mother…...

Characteristics of Beowulf as a Tragic Hero

Beowulf and Macbeth Beowulf, identified as an epic hero and Macbeth, identified as a tragic hero both are very similar and different in their own ways. The epic poem, Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney and the tragic play, Macbeth, written by William Shakespeare both have heroes as the protagonist of the story. The stories written in two different time periods, still can be seen with many similarities and differences. A tragic hero is of high ranking and unfortunately has a…...

Essay about Beowulf is an Epic Hero

Epic heroes usually exemplify traits most admire in their societies, and Beowulf is no exception. Beowulf is set in the Anglo-Saxon society, a time when war was common between people trying to conquer different kingdoms in England. Also, during that time Christianity and pagan views were popular. There were various Christian references and elements that can be interpreted within the text. An example of this is the reference to the biblical figure Cain being a related figure to a despise…...

Beowulf: Sigemund Episode

One of the best literary devices the author of Beowulf uses is the use of episodes and digressions. Each of these episodes and digressions tell another story apart from the main plot of Beowulf, but sets up an introduction to the main plot. One such episode, the Sigemund episode, tells of valiant King Sigemund who received glory and honor through his killing of the dragon and possession of the hoard. Sigemund became a noble and experienced king, only to be…...

The Role of Fame, Fate, and Destiny in Beowulf

Beowulf dedicated his last breath to save his people from the ravages of a deadly monster.  Despite the frailties of old age, he hastened once more to save the day.  Unfortunately, the terrible earth dragon was too much for him.  Beowulf succumbed to his wounds and died.  The last lines of this great Anglo Saxon epic was a tribute to him, “Thus the men of Geatland, his hearth-companions, mourned their hero's passing, and said that of all the kings of…...

Explore the Construction of Identiy in Hamlet and Beowulf

“’Identity has been increasingly used to refer to the social and historical make-up of a person, personality as a construct. Sometimes such identities are conceived narrowly psychological, individualist terms, as the cumulative result of personal experience and family history” This is seen particularly in Beowulf where all men are referred to as their fathers’ sons’. Family history was massively important in those times and men well often well respected because of the heroic things their ancestors had done. Warriors also…...

Themes in Beowulf

From the beginning of Beowulf we are able to understand and see the central themes and points that are being focused on. From the assigned readings of Beowulf and after finishing the entire piece I found it stuck with its major theme in which we are given from the prologue of the story. From the start of the story we are able to identify with Scyld Scefing and his role as king and leader. Power plays a major role and…...

Beowulf Comprehension Questions

Please make sure that you address in complete sentences utilizing quotes from the text to support your reactions. After reading Area 1: 1. What role does Hrothgar play in the legendary? -The function that Hrothgar played in the epic was the role of the king. 2. Who/what is causing so much sorrow in Hrothgar's kingdom? -Grendel, the beast, was causing a great deal of grief in the kingdom. "How Grendel wasn't ready to stop, or pay damages." 3. The number…...

The Battle with Grendel in Beowulf

As the Danes slumber, another sinister monster trudges toward Heorot. It is Grendel's mother, who is also dammed to spend eternity in the dark moors. She has passed the day mourning for her dead son, and she comes to Heorot seeking vengeance for his death. When she bursts into Heorot, the warriors awake and grab their weapons. She is not as strong as her son is, but she still is strong enough to devour one warrior and snatch the arm…...

Nobility and Beowulf

Epics have been written and told orally for hundreds of years. A typical epic usually contains challenges, journeys, adventures and most importantly, a hero. An epic hero has several characteristics that make him unique. First of all, he or she usually comes from a noble family, which means, a noble birth. Also, they tend to have superhuman strength and accomplish beyond human deeds. A must in all Epic stories is that this hero must go on a quest in search…...

Beowulf: The Man, the Legend, the Hero

Beowulf is an epic poem whose earliest surviving copy was written in 1000 A.D. The story consists of three thousand one hundred and eighty two lines that follow the life of the title character. The original author of the epic poem is unknown mainly because it started as a verbal tale passed down orally through the ages. Finally someone wrote it down in a document now called the Nowell Codex. The epic tale is centered on Beowulf and his actions…...

Good and Evil in Beowulf

The story of Beowulf was probably composed in England sometime in the Eighth Century AD, and written down circa 1000 AD, by a literate scop (bard) or perhaps a Christian scribe who was possibly educated in a monastery. The poem was created in oral tradition and was transferred to writing over time. It had its roots in folk tales and traditional stories until some very talented poet put it in something very near to its current form. The poem was…...

The Relationship Between Good and Evil in Beowulf

Throughout Beowulf I have been intrigued by the theme of good and evil and their relationship. Primarily how there are a number of different ways to think of the relationship between the two. I think that in Beowulf there are many interesting ways that evil and good are portrayed. For the most part Beowulf represents good/ heroes and then there are three main representations of evil that Beowulf faces. One thing I realized about the relationship between the two is…...

Grendel Character as Evil in Beowulf

In a world of chaos, he who lives, lives by his own laws and values. Who is to say that the death of millions is any worse or better, for that matter, than injuring a cockroach. And in the case of an existing power in the form of God, who is presumed to be all which is good, presiding and ruling an organized universe, why then does evil exist? The prosaic response of "without evil, there is no good" no…...

An Epic Hero: Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic from the Anglo-Saxon period about a hero who takes on extreme challenges. The main character, Beowulf, embodies the virtues of the Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs. He also embodies the traits of the Anglo-Saxon society: strength, bravery, honor, and the want and need to help others around them. Beowulf is faithful to his word and shares any and all of his winnings and gifts that he has received. His being faithful to his oaths links him to…...

Beowulf Questions

1. Realize that this prologue introduces the Danes, not Beowulf or his people the Geats. What was unusual about the way Shield came to be ruler of the Danes? What was his funeral like? What relation is Hrothgar to Shield? Unlike Hrothgar, Shield became king because he had the ability to take down the enemies. Hrothgar became king through wealth. When Shield died the Danes buried him and his treasures in the sea. Hrothgar happens to be Shield’s grandson [Heorot…...

Virtue and Beowulf

Beowulf is an epic poem that tells the saga of a brave hero, Beowulf. Beowulf displays his superhuman, brave abilities in the legendary battle between Beowulf and Grendel, a monster who is quite powerful and malicious in his own way. Beowulf is personified as a perfect hero who fought for his people and defeated evil with his immortal powers that he used to bring peace and justice. He constantly showed virtues admirable of any man during the Anglo-Saxon time period;…...

Major Themes in Beowulf

Directions: Create a thoughtful, organized, and well-developed essay response to one of the following prompts. Treat your response seriously, and make sure that your response highlights your analytical skills as well as a critical understanding of the poem. You must include compelling details from the poem to support your conclusions. Many critics and teachers believe that Beowulf contains themes that are relevant to modern life. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your opinions using details/lines from the poem for support.…...

Beowulf: An Epic Hero

“I resolved when I set out on the sea, sat down in the sea- boat with my band of men, which should altogether fulfill the will of your people or else fall in slaughter, fast in the foe’s grasp. I shall achieve a deed of manly courage or else have lived to see in this mead-hall my ending day” (Garcia) Beowulf was from a far away world to seek the challenges with the beasts and show his great courage and…...

Compare and Contrast Beowulf Book and Movie

In the movie and poem Beowulf there were many differences and similarities that stood out to me. Usually when a book or poem gets made into a movie there are many differences and similarities. This is why I was not surprised that Beowulf the movie was no true to the original poem. I enjoyed the poem a lot more than the movie. The movie seemed artificial and not believable in comparison to the poem. One difference between the poem and…...

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