Topics for Further Study

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Explore how the rhymed lines affect the feeling of the poem. Read “Beowulf” aloud and determine how the rhyme scheme helps to create a certain atmosphere in the poem. Describe the atmosphere and explain how the rhyme contributes to it.

Research the sixth century A.D. in Europe, the period of history in which Beowulf would have existed. How did people live? What weapons and methods were used in war? Why do you think this was a time of upheaval?

Beasts and monsters have appeared in legends and literature throughout human existence. Is there any scientific basis for the idea of a monster? Trace the sources of such creatures as trolls, ogres, and dragons and try to determine how these monsters originated.

Richard Wilbur wrote a short poem, retelling the epic of Beowulf from his own point of view. Choose a novel or movie that has made an impression on you. Write a poem in which you retell the story in your own way.

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