How to Write an Analysis Essay on Beowulf


How to Write an Analysis Essay on Beowulf (

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As a student, you probably have some idea of what an analysis essay is. You’ve probably seen them in your classes—essay questions that ask students to examine a piece of literature and analyze it in some way. Though they might seem like they’re difficult to write, the analysis essay is actually quite simple when you break down the different components that makeup one. The analysis essay is a type of literary study that asks readers to examine a text with critical intelligence. It requires you to think about the author’s purpose, how the writer accomplishes their goal, and what implications this has on the reader as well as society as a whole. However, it’s not always easy writing an analysis essay on Beowulf. Read on for tips on how to master this challenging task!

What Is an Analysis Essay?

An analysis essay is a prose-based composition that takes a piece of literature and examines it from multiple angles. From the author’s purpose to their writing style and even the plot, the analysis essay traces the significance of the text to its intended audience. This can be done through the author’s intentions, the social implications of the text, the plot, and characters, the style and tone of the piece, or any combination of these. An analysis essay can be a great way to improve your writing skills and sharpen your critical eye. You can explore a piece of literature to learn more about the author’s intentions and explore the text from different angles to see what you can learn about the author and the text as well. This is a good way to challenge yourself with a type of writing that’s a little more in-depth than the typical essay question.

What is the analysis of Beowulf?

No one, not even Tolkien fans, read Beowulf as a straightforward tale of fierce conflict between man and monster. Instead, the story holds more complex meanings and allegories. For example, the poem is often seen as a cautionary tale, with the greedy dragon representing man’s greed for power and riches. The final battle between Beowulf and Grendel is also interpreted as a symbolic fight between the old ways and the new, with Beowulf representing the old culture and the Danes the new. While not every reader will agree with all of these meanings, there’s no doubt that the poem is steeped in symbolism and allusions.

The analysis of Beowulf is often conducted by breaking down the poem into smaller parts and examining them from different angles to see what the author is trying to get across. The purpose of the poem is often the first thing to look at, as well as how the author used language to achieve it. Next, you might examine how the plot and the characters are used to tell the story, the style and tone of the piece, and any other aspects that might add to your understanding of the work.

Analysis Essay on Beowulf (

How to Write an Analysis Essay on Beowulf

The first step to writing an analysis essay on Beowulf is understanding what an analysis is—and what it isn’t. Like any essay question, the analysis essay is not an empirical examination of a subject; it’s a critical analysis of a piece of literature. That means that you’ll need to think about what the author’s intentions were and how they were achieved in the piece. The type of analysis essay you ultimately write will be determined by how you approach it.

There are two main categories of Beowulf analysis essays: literary analysis essays, which focus on the text itself and how it functions as a whole, and cultural analysis essays, which focus on the implications of Beowulf in the context of the times. To write an analysis essay on Beowulf, start by breaking the poem down into smaller parts. It’s best to start by reading the poem straight through and then breaking it down into parts. Once you’ve got a feel for the poem, you can move onto the next step: analysis.

Break Down the Parts of the Beowulf Essay

Now that you’ve got a general overview of the poem, you can move onto the components of an essay. The first part is to break down each part of the poem in more detail and examine it from multiple angles. This will help you to better understand the implications of the poem and the author’s intent. The next step is to figure out the components of each part. For example, in the first part, Scyld is looking for a wife, and Beowulf is the man who comes to his attention. To write an analysis essay on Beowulf, you’ll want to break down these two parts in detail. Take a look at how these two parts fit into the whole poem.

Summarize the Major Points in a Conclusion

When you’ve broken down each part of the poem, the first major component of an analysis essay is to sum up each part in a conclusion. This is where you want to recap the major points of each part so that you don’t forget them in the next step. Remember that the analysis essay is supposed to be an inside look at the poem, so you don’t need to use many big words or go into too much depth.

You just want to summarize each part and its relevance to the whole so that you don’t forget anything in the next step. For example, if one part is about Scyld and his desire for wealth, you might summarize this by saying something like, “Scyld is an old king who is looking for a wife. He comes across Beowulf, who is willing to fight a dragon in return for a great reward.” You might also include a few examples of how the poem shows that this part is relevant to the whole.

Add Sources and References

Now that you’ve broken down each part of the poem, it’s time to add sources and references. This is where you want to go to your sources and do some research so that you can accurately describe how each part is relevant to the whole. Remember that the sources you choose should be relevant to the poem, and not the topic of Beowulf in particular. For example, if one part of the poem is about Scyld and his desire for wealth, you might reference an economist who discusses the issue of greed and how it leads people to make poor decisions. The next part is about Beowulf and how he goes to fight the dragon, and you can reference a historian who discusses how this act is seen as a symbolic fight between tradition and modernity.


As you can see, the analysis essay is a great way to make sense of a piece of literature. To write an analysis essay on Beowulf, you’ll want to break down each part of the poem and examine it from multiple angles. After you’ve done that, you can add sources and references to back up your claims and make them accurate. An analysis essay on Beowulf will take some time, but when you’ve finished, you’ll have a thoughtful and detailed essay on the poem. This is a great way to challenge yourself and sharpen your critical intelligence.


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