Beowulf (critical analysis essay)

In each of these battles Beowulf is portrayed as a great hero (well he should be since it’s a characteristic of an epic poem to glorify the hero) and is always seen to be brave and fearless.

Beowulf's Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1984.

And that trend continues even now. Much like the Anglo-Saxons used Beowulf to look back at their forefather's history, people today use Beowulf to look back at Anglo-Saxon history.


Beowulf was famous among his people, the Geats, for his bravery.

Beowulf has captured the attention of scholars and audiences alike, becoming as well as the basis of several popular film and TV adaptations. used many elements from Beowulf as inspiration for his famous .


Beowulf fits the description of a hero.

There are many things form the epic that could be used to prove this statement, but I chose to use the section entitled "The Final Battle." In this section there are two great speeches given by both Beowulf and Wiglaf.

Beowulf is a hero to his people and his men.

Throughout the epic story Beowulf, the hero of the story encounters three monsters that are threats to society: Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon.

Beowulf was the first piece of known literature to use these ideas.

Textual evidence provides that Beowulf, although he proves himself brave and strong, expresses his ego through boasting of his epic deeds, illuminating on his strength and wit....

Beowulf, the first protagonist, chooses to fight evil.

Beowulf is at least in part a study of kingship because it discusses the qualities that produce a good king, the disadvantages during his rule and how he overcame them, and the problems that arose upon his death....

An Anglo-Saxon author wrote Beowulf about the Danes and Geats.

Beowulf uses alliteration [my italics] and accent to achieve the poetic effect which Modern English poetry achieves through the use of poetic feet, each having the same number of syllables and the same pattern of accent (Wilkie 1271)....

A squire at first Beowulf would learn from his brother Theowulf.

Although Wiglaf is by nationality Swedish, he identifies himself as Beowulf's kinsman when he says "I did begin to help my kinsman." (Chickering 64) Wiglaf, in coming to Beowulf's aid in the fight against the dragon, typifies several important heroic virtues....