How To Come Up With Good Essay Topics For Beowulf
Beowulf is one of the most famous novels in English history. Written hundreds of years ago, this novel is divided into three essential parts. In the first part, it focuses on Beowulf's fight with Grendel. Afterward, he fights Grendel's mother and then the dragon. To write a good essay on this epic novel, students should start by finding a good topic. Afterward, they should use quotes from the book to support their thesis.
Finding an Essay Topic
There are many different websites online that offer sample papers on this novel. Students can look through various samples to find a topic that suits their interests. In addition, students should read through the writing prompt that was provided in class. Often, the professor or teacher will provide a list of ideas that can be used for an essay.
If the student is still struggling to come up with a thesis, they can always start by brainstorming. As the student reads, they should highlight interesting information in the text. Later on, these highlighted portions can form a basis for an essay topic. Students can also try sitting down and listing all of the topic ideas that pop into their head. Although some of these brainstormed ideas may not be useful, there will be at least one or two ideas that will work. For additional help, students can check out some of the following essay topics.
Topics for an Essay
- In what was does the battle with Grendel, her mother and the dragon demonstrate a moral challenge?
- What type of role does religion play in the novel?
- How does Beowulf demonstrate the heroic code in Anglo-Saxon culture?
- How does the story of Beowulf's youth and old age demonstrate the division between these two time periods in life?
- How is the concept of revenge portrayed in the novel?
- Why does fate and reputation play such a key role in the later portion of the novel?
- What is the symbolism portrayed by the cave, Heorot or the dragon's treasure?
- How does the novel portray a patriarchal society? Is the novel entirely male-dominated?
- How do digressions in the novel add to the main action?
- How are women portrayed in the novel?
- Is the main character an ideal hero? What are some of the faults in his character?
- What is the role of gold in the novel? Do the main characters focus on accumulating treasure?
- Does the mead-hall play a key role in the warrior culture of the time? How do lords and warriors related to each other?
- What is the code of comitatus, and how does it play a role?
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...