Beowulf is concerned primarily with matters of identity and ideology. It could be said that the main struggle in the poem is between individual self-determination and heritage, and the many conflicts in codes and morality that stem from this tension.
Every character in Beowulf is introduced in relation to their heritage, and the battle between individual reputation and lineage drives much of the poem. The tension between the heroic code and competing value systems also stem from this basic conflict. Additional conflicts in the poem revolve around the large differences between what makes a good king and what makes a good warrior.