Discussion Questions – Beowulf

1. How does the poem implicate Beowulf for the dragon’s awakening and subsequent path of destruction?

2. The poem often juxtaposes Beowulf and the dragon in odd and powerful ways that invite us to compare the two to each other. Where do you see some of these juxtapositions, and what do they reveal?

3. How does Beowulf the king compare to Beowulf the warrior, and what does the poem suggest about the ideals of kingship if we consider Beowulf compared to Hrothgar?

4. The poem concludes with describing Beowulf as “keenest to win fame.” Is this praise or criticism?



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