Research Paper: Theme of the poem Beowulf

Sample Research Paper

The first half of the poem deals with Beowulf’s defense of the mead hall Heorot, which is a very important element of the civilization at the time.  It is under attack once again by Grendel, who is a monstrous descendant of Cain that has appeared out of the marshes.  Grendel cannot be destroyed by weapons, so the technology of Beowulf is of no advantage in this fight.  In Beowulf we read:

Beowulf’s band brandished their ancestral swords,

they longed to save the life, if they

so could, of their lord, the mighty leader.

When they did battle on Beowulf’s behalf,

struck at the monster from every side,

eager for his end, those courageous warriors

against every kind of weapon, every battle blade. (Beowulf 783-794)


When the men of Beowulf had failed to harm the monster, there was a need for a heroic warrior like Beowulf to defeat the enemy nevertheless with his bare hands.  The civilization required a hero at this point; thankfully Beowulf volunteered.  He had to fight without the consideration that he was fighting a supernatural force.  All that was required of him was to win the battle.

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