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The Elements of Kingship in Beowulf

  1. Thesis paragraph previewing the main points
  2. The importance of being a good warrior. Shield Sheafson’s fearsome tactics. Halfdane, the “fighter prince.” Hrothgar’s fortunes in war when young but his neglectful leadership when Grendel attacks. Beowulf as a young warrior–a good and generous king who falls victim to pride in the end as an old man.
  3. Generosity: Hrothgar and Beowulf as generous kings.
  4. The importance of leaving behind a strong son to take charge. Shield, Beow, and Halfdane all did this. Hrothgar and Beowulf did not, and their kingdoms fell.
  5. Conclusion: The most successful kings in Beowulf are the ones we hear the least about: Shield, Beow, Halfdane, Offa (“the far-seeing”). What the story values is young warriors and generous old kings. Beowulf is the hero of the story even though he leaves no heir and the Geats will be killed and enslaved by their enemies after his death. What do modern leaders have in common with the kings of Beowulf.

Use no outside sources, only use the text from Beowulf.

Times New Roman font, double spaced in MLA format.

The book is Beowulf by Seamus Heaney A New Verse Translation