Beowulf Research Paper Highlights: Commonly Discussed Angles

Beowulf is often classified as a story emerging from many years ago, retold and passed on through the ages. In actuality it was a poem a very long poem. It told the story of the main characters fight against dragons in Scandinavia. Beowulf comes to the aid of a neighboring kingdom as they struggle to fend off attacks from a dangerous monster, Grendel.

It has been viewed as a literary accomplishment, receiving great complements and plaudits throughout the years. Due to its stature in English literature, this poem has been studied in classrooms all over the globe, especially in the United Kingdom. There have been many treatises, papers, and presentations about the impact of the writing. As a student of literature, you may find yourself with an assignment to write a research paper about Beowulf. Here are some common angles to discuss in your paper:

  • A guiding principal of loyalty. Beowulf is a warrior. He is well known and has a great reputation in his home country of Geatland. In the beginning, we get a feeling that Beowulf is being altruistic by lending his services to the neighboring kingdom of the Danes. However, we soon n learn that Beowulf is acting out of a sense of loyalty to the Hrothgar, the king. Sure, Beowulf wants to grow in stature as a warrior, and wants to make his own King proud of his accomplishments, as well as get paid, but a deep sense of loyalty to Hrohthgar is a driving force behind his actions. In addition, when Beowulf returns to his homeland, he exhibits a loyalty to his uncle and his king though his actions. Exploring this aspect of Beowulf’s character is a good place to begin a research paper.
  • The battle between man and beast. The poem can be seen as occurring in three distinct and spatter acts, when Beowulf fights Grendel, when he fights Grendel’s mother, and when he finally battles the last dragon and succumbs to his fatal wounds. This is a classic good versus evil dichotomy, one that exists in many forms in literature and life. This angle con be extrapolated and applied to many situations throughout history,

This famous poem lends itself to many interpretations with images and symbols present in almost every line. By starting with the aforementioned ideas, you can capture many of the theses and issues raised in this poem. The discussion of Beowulf’s character, his interactions with others, and his actions will create a lot of fertile topics for discussion in your paper.