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Beowulf Essay Writing Guide With Topics

beowulf essay

Did you just receive your very first Beowulf essay assignment? We know that this poem looks terrifying, especially since it’s written in a strange dialect. However, you are not alone. Most students struggle with writing their first Beowulf essay. To make things as simple as possible, we have written this blog post. You will find some interesting facts about the poem, a list of all the major themes, 20 interesting Beowulf essay prompts, as well as a quick guide that should help you write the paper faster.

Beowulf Essay: Things To Know Before Writing

Before you even attempt to write an essay about Beowulf, it’s important to get a few key facts about the poem. Of course, you can use these interesting facts to write an essay about the poem itself – if you so desire. Here is what you should know about this ancient poem:

  • The Beowulf manuscript was published sometime between 975 and 1025. The exact publishing date is unknown.
  • The first print version appeared in 1815.
  • The poem is written in Anglian and West Saxon dialects, which makes it particularly difficult to understand.
  • You will almost definitely need to write at least one Beowulf epic hero essay in high school or college.
  • Beowulf is considered one of the greatest ancient English poems of all time.
  • In total, the poem has 3,182 alliterative lines.
  • Writing Beowulf literary analysis can take days. There are 36 different words for “hero” alone.

Beowulf Essay Themes

To write an excellent essay on Beowulf, you should first know the major themes. Many of these themes make great candidates for academic papers, of course. So, without further ado, here are the themes that are most prevalent in Beowulf:

  • The Heroic Code (honor and good manners are present throughout Anglo-Saxon culture)
  • Reputation (Beowulf is concerned with how the world perceives him)
  • Good vs. Evil (this is a theme encountered in almost every epic)
  • Bravery (the hero goes on to fight the dragon even though he knows it will lead to his demise)
  • Loyalty (it is the virtue that guides Beowulf’s every move)
  • Revenge (this is what drives Grendel and his mother)
  • Generosity and Hospitality (King Hrothgar and Queen Wealhtheow are symbols of generosity and hospitality)
  • Death (death in Beowulf represents the death of a kingdom)

Excellent Beowulf Essay Prompts

Now, we know you want some Beowulf essay topics. After all, getting unique topics has become increasingly difficult over the years. Most websites and publications use the same old topics. Nobody is bothering to come up with some new Beowulf essay questions or Beowulf project ideas. Our experienced writers, however, managed to put together a list of interesting topics that are 100% original (at the time of writing). Here are some ideas that should put you on the right track:

  1. Contrast and compare the Beowulf poem with the movie.
  2. The value of ancestry in Beowulf.
  3. Describe Beowulf as a good/bad hero. (this makes for an excellent Beowulf good vs evil essay)
  4. Discuss the characters’ reactions to gold.
  5. Discuss the qualities of the three monsters.
  6. What is lacking in Beowulf’s character?
  7. Analyze the mead-hall in Anglo-Saxon writings.
  8. The role of digressions in the poem Beowulf. (a great idea if you need to discuss literary devices in Beowulf)
  9. Analyze the role of women in the poem.
  10. Can Beowulf be considered a good leader?
  11. What are the elements of heroic poetry?
  12. Elements of style and tone: the fens, marches and meres effect.
  13. Compare and contrast modern day society with the society in Beowulf. (this can make for an awesome Beowulf compare and contrast essay)
  14. Discuss Grendel and the characteristics that make her evil.
  15. Analyze the attitude of the hero towards each enemy he faces.
  16. Discuss the religious symbolism in Beowulf.
  17. Why is it considered that Beowulf glorifies violence?
  18. Pick an interesting passage and discuss it.
  19. Analyze the role played by the monsters in the poem.
  20. Write an Anglo Saxon values in Beowulf essay

And remember, if you need more topics for Beowulf essays, you can always get in touch with us directly. We can make a list of original topics from scratch for you in no time. You’ll have plenty of options to pick from.

Quick Guide to Writing an Essay on Beowulf

Do you need to write a Beowulf summary essay? Or perhaps you are struggling with your first Beowulf descriptive essay. No matter what type of paper you need to write, you can use one structure: the five paragraph essay structure. It works well, no matter which prompt you choose.

However, you need to keep one important thing in mind: always start with a Beowulf essay outline. This outline will be like a table of contents and will keep you on topic. Simply create the outline while you research the topic; it’s that easy.

Now, let’s see how you can write essays about Beowulf without spending more than a couple of hours. We assure you’ve already read the poem. If you haven’t, it’s a good idea to start on it right away. Don’t rely on summaries you find on the Internet; they’re not enough for most students. After you read the poem, here is what you need to do:

  1. Pick a great topic and come up with an interesting Beowulf essay thesis. We’ve already provided you with a list of topics, so choosing the good one shouldn’t be difficult at this point.
  2. Do the research and make sure you include each important idea or talking point as a heading in your outline. Remember, even professional writers start their projects with an outline. It’s important!
  3. Write the Beowulf essay introduction. This is the first section of the 5 paragraph essay and should contain some background information about the topic, as well as the thesis statement. Don’t forget to use a connecting sentence to transition to the first body paragraph.
  4. Write three body paragraphs. Keep in mind that each paragraph should discuss a single important idea. Of course, you will start the paragraph with the idea in the first sentence and then use the rest of the paragraph to support it.
  5. Write the Beowulf essay conclusion. It’s not difficult. Just summarize everything, remind your readers what the thesis statement is, and demonstrate how your writing has supported your thesis. Although usually not necessary, you can end the conclusion with a call to action.
  6. Edit your essay. Make sure your writing flows well. Your ideas should be presented in a logical manner and your writing needs to be objective.
  7. Proofread your work. This is very important because you definitely don’t want to lose points because of a few typos. If you need some Beowulf essay help, we have editors and proofreaders on staff that can help you with this.

This is how you write a Beowulf epic hero essay using the five paragraph essay structure in just 7 easy steps. It doesn’t look too difficult, does it? Well, we can assure you that it can be – depending on the topic you choose.

Is It Difficult to Write Beowulf Essays?

The general consensus is that writing an essay on Beowulf is difficult, especially for high school students. Let’s take a look at the common mistakes students make when trying to write a Beowulf essay:

  • Students forget to cite and reference the various parts of the poem they are discussing. This is a sure way to lose valuable points.
  • Not starting your project with an outline will negatively impact the end result of your work, guaranteed.
  • Many students forget to address the question. Remember the writing prompt or the thesis statement and focus your writing on it.
  • Many students are describing facts instead of analyzing them.
  • Don’t write a long introduction full of unnecessary information because you will get penalized.
  • Another mistake is the overuse of quotes.
  • There is no clear introduction and/or no clear conclusion. The paper needs to be formatted correctly and written in an organized manner.
  • Many students make assumptions in their academic paper. This should always be avoided.
  • Be careful about wordiness. We know you may need to write a minimum number of words, but using more words than necessary to convey meaning will usually get your essay penalized.

Many people struggle to read the paper because of the dialects used. And if you are required to write a Beowulf character analysis essay, you will quickly find that the characters are not easy to define or analyze. The characters are complex and the poems if overall difficult to comprehend. To help you as much as possible with your Beowulf analysis essay, we have some topics for you below. You will also find a quick guide that should prove invaluable.

Yes, essays on Beowulf can be pretty difficult to write. However, the good news is that our ENL writers have extensive experience writing academic papers on this epic poem. Not only can we give you a list of amazing essay topics for Beowulf, we can also help you with any kind of writing prompt – including the dreaded Beowulf character analysis. Getting the assistance you need from our essay writer service is simple. Just get in touch with us, tell us what you need and we will write an essay for you in no time. We are online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as you notice you need some help!

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