Beowulf, in his quest for glory, is reminiscent of a specific group of modern young executives who place their careers above all other aspects of their lives. How can this be validated from the poem?
I. Thesis Statement: In his single-minded quest for glory, Beowulf is reminiscent of a specific group of modern young executives in that they place their careers above all other aspects of their lives as he placed the quest for glory above all other aspects of his life.
II. Quest for glory
A. Slaying Grendel
B. Slaying Grendel’s mother
C. Slaying the dragon
III. Solitary life
A. Lack of wife
B. Lack of children
C. Lack of close friends
IV. Military life
A. Travel at lord’s orders
B. Live with other soldiers
C. Place lord over self
V. Comparison with a specific group of modern young executives
A. Quest for great success quickly
B. Lack of social life or family life
C. Spend whatever little non-working time is available with co-workers
D. Place company values above personal values
The poem divides itself into three segments, each dealing with a different battle between Beowulf and a monster or dragon. Compare the three battles.
I. Thesis Statement: In his quest for glory, Beowulf fights three important battles—two with monsters and one with a dragon. These battles have both similarities and differences.
II. Battle with Grendel
A. Hrothgar sends for Beowulf
B. Grendel attacks Herot, killing Hondshew
C. Barehanded combat between Beowulf and Grendel
D. Beowulf kills Grendel by tearing off his claw, arm, and shoulder
E. Grendel escapes to his lair to die
III. Battle with Grendel’s mother
A. She attacks the sleeping Danes in Herot in revenge for the murder of her son
B. The monster kills Esher, carrying off his body and her son’s body parts
C. Hrothgar’s soldiers track her for Beowulf
D. Barehanded battle until Beowulf uses the giants’ magical sword which he finds in the battlehall
E. Beowulf kills her by slicing...
Beowulf Thesis Writing Prompts for College
Beowulf is a classic epic usually assigned in high school and college. It’s a complex poem with many themes and hidden meanings for you to address. We’ll provide you with a few question prompts to help you get started in handling your thesis in case you haven’t read Beowulf or have read it but it didn’t sink in the first time.
The prompts will also assist in structuring your draft and plotting out what you would like to touch upon in your thesis. These prompts may even be used to establish the overall theme of your thesis.
Prompts and Themes Suggestions
- Good vs. Evil. This is a common theme in epics, folklore, mainstream television, movies, books, and comics. How does the battle between the two forces manifest in Beowulf?
- Who is Beowulf? Tell the reader about this hero’s character. Not just physical description, but his personality. What motivates him to be just? How has Beowulf’s society around him sculpted him into the man he is?
- What is the Grendel and what does it represent?
- Explain the role of women in Beowulf. How the women in the poem are similar to women today and how are they different? How are the represented to the reader?
- The battles in Beowulf. Describe them and the motivation on both sides of the conflicts. Was there revenge? Defending one’s lands and people? Rescuing someone?
- The role of Christianity and Paganism in Beowulf. This poem was written in the 11th Century at a time when Christianity was spreading through Scandinavia. How would Christianity influence the culture of the Geats in Beowulf and did the Geats have any pagan rites they held on to?
- The theme of retribution in Beowulf.
- The role of morality in the poem.
There are a great deal of themes and topics in Beowulf to look into. Morality and religion is one of the main themes to explore and could actually make for a sole paper on its own.
Compare Beowulf to Other Heroes
Throughout history and cultures there are many heroes who could fit the mold—or a similar mold--of Beowulf. Roughly every culture has at least one hero or demigod of tremendous strength or character.
- John Henry