Beowulf Essay - help!I need help writing a paper. It's on Beowulf, the epic, I need to write a character sketch of him which doesn't have plot retelling. I'm completely stuck and need to get a good...

Beowulf Essay - help!

I need help writing a paper. It's on Beowulf, the epic, I need to write a character sketch of him which doesn't have plot retelling. I'm completely stuck and need to get a good grade. Thank you for any help!

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auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

As the post above says, there is no one way to approach a character sketch.  Especially if you want to avoid much plot summary, I might consider choosing some other recognizable hero (from books, comic books, TV, or movies) and comparing him to Beowulf.  What characteristics do they share, what actions do they both take, what motivates both of them, etc.  Or perhaps take a villain who is nothing like Beowulf and contrast the two of them.  Again, there is no one correct way, so be creative!

jk180's profile pic

James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted on

There's no one way to go about doing a character sketch,.

You may want to start by describing his appearance, to the extent that the epic gives us a few hints, at least. We get glimpses of him toward the beginning of the epic. Check the description of his first arrival before Hrothgar, for example. The main point of this paragraph may be that the epic seems to say little about his physical appearance but, as the following paragraphs show, the epic has a great deal to say about his behaviors and motivations.

You may then want to go on to describe his behavior as a young warrior. His main goal at this stage in his life may be to gain lasting fame. (Gold presents are good, too, of course! But fame seems to be what he's most after.)

Finally, you may want to describe him as an old king, toward the end of the epic. His main goal at this later stage in his life may be one of duty to his people rather than to himself.

Enotes has a resource that may prove helpful: http://www.enotes.com/beowulf/character-analysis

If you use that source for specific ideas or statements, be sure to cite it!

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