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Interesting Beowulf Thesis Statements

Beowulf is a centuries old epic poem written in the 11th. This was around the time that Christianity was being spread through Scandinavia. It is often covered in literature classes due to the various themes it contains as well as being a kind of time capsule for its time—as many stories, poems, sagas from their time are.

Below are a few quick thesis suggestions for you to consider. Some of these might even provide a spark for more thesis statements concerning Beowulf.

Thesis Suggestions

  • Grendel represents…
  • The role of women in Beowulf is different (or similar) to the role of women today.
  • As with all heroic folklore, morality is an essential theme in Beowulf.
  • Christianity and pagan traditions of Scandinavia are represented in Beowulf in many different ways.
  • The theme of retribution in Beowulf manifests itself in the following ways…
  • There are a few significant battles in Beowulf they represent…
  • The motivations for the battles in Beowulf are…
  • Beowulf is a hero in the same vein as Hercules or Perseus in that he represents the values of courage, strength, respect, and honor.
  • The women in Beowulf tend to take a secondary seat in the story as opposed to men who are in the forefront of the action and drama.
  • The theme of Good vs. Evil in Beowulf is represented in the following ways…

There are other topics that can serve as a foundation for you to establish your thesis statement for Beowulf.

These include:

  • How did the world of Beowulf reflect Anglo-Saxon life of the times?
  • What is the cultural contribution of the epic?
  • The differences and similarity between the traditional telling of Beowulf and modern interpretations in mainstream via film, music, and literature. What are some of the modern mediums of Beowulf that remain true to the original and in what ways have some taken liberties?

Other Heroes and Beowulf

A huge foundation for your thesis statement—which would be a rather easy one to work with—is relating Beowulf to other famous heroes in folklore and epics. The similarities would definitely be great if you consider heroes such as Hercules and Cuchulain and the beasts they have bested as well as the matter in which they bested them. In some cases brawn was used and in other brains.

A tougher part of this thesis statement idea would be finding differences between Beowulf and other heroes. Sure they were native to different times and different lands, but what else was different about these heroes?