Identify one symbol in the passage below. If you are not familiar with symbolism, you should look it up in a
handbook of literary terms. Note that a symbol is anything of concrete value that can be used to represent an
abstract idea. After selecting a symbol, you should use it to establish a claim (thesis) that will enable you to do
a focused interpretation (analysis) of Beowulf. Use your chosen symbol as a starting point for a close-reading
analysis of Beowulf. The aim of your essay is to select one symbol from the below passage and explain how
this symbol magnifies an understanding of Beowulf as an e epic poem. In other words, you are interpreting the
significance of the chosen symbol in Beowulf. Your thesis statement (claim), therefore, should serve as an
organizing principle for the essay.
Essay length: At least 2 pages
“ His parting from life
hardly seemed sad to any man
who examined the trail of that inglorious one,
how he went on his weary way,
defeated by force, to a pool of sea monsters,
doomed, put to flight, and left a fatal trail.
The water was welling with blood there–
the terrible swirling waves, all mingled together
with hot gore, heaved with the blood of battle,
concealed that doomed one when deprived of joys,
he laid down his life in his lair in the fen,
his heathen soul–and Hell took him” (Beowulf, lines 841-852).
You must resist the temptation to use secondary sources. In other words, you cannot use secondary sources
except for the definition of terms. Any material traced to a secondary source would be considered plagiarism
and may lead to a grade of zero on the assignment. This is a close-reading analysis of Beowulf. All your
supporting textual evidence should be drawn from Beowulf only. Highlight your thesis in the introductory
paragraph and highlight all supporting quotes in the body paragraphs. No block quotes; only short quotes
(one or two lines per quote).
Your critical analysis should:
_____ Provide a suitable and inviting title;
____ Perform insightful syntheses, unveiling connotative value of chosen symbol;
____ Construct body paragraphs that enhance the thesis (begin each paragraph with a topic sentence);
____ Draw and analyze specific examples from the text to validate general statements (include and highlight
one quote–not more than a line– in each paragraph);
____ Use attributive phrases to introduce quoted lines (provide line number in parenthesis);
_____ Use concise and grammatically correct sentences;
_____Adhere to MLA protocol.
Format: You should double-space, use 1-inch margins, and Times New Roman 12 point font. Save your file as
a .doc or .docx or as an RTF file type.