The people of the land called upon Beowulf to help. He ventured to the land willingly but was very prideful at first. After slaying Grendel, Beowulf reigned as king and still showed great leadership even into his old age. He finally was killed on his final quest to slay a dragon. Duke Theseus demonstrated leadership in a much different way.
Mythic heroes are set apart from the known and are expected to do unbelievable accomplishments while facing overwhelming odds. Throughout Campbell’s life, he noticed the same challenges heroes endured and came up with stages that a hero goes through. There are many examples of that prove that Campbell’s theory is true. Beowulf is a prime example of the stages to qualify as a mythic hero because he goes through the three main parts: departure, initiation, and the return. One way Beowulf is a mythic hero is because he goes through the departure stage.
The story of Beowulf successfully follows every step of an Archetypal Hero Quest; the hero, Beowulf, answers a call, makes a decision, prepares, faces obstacles, reaches a climax, and returns home. Beowulf is met with three large battles within Beowulf, first with Grendel, then with Grendel’s mother, and his last fatal battle, with a dragon. Each battle carries aspects that add to the Hero Quest but do not fully create one until all are together. The call is the beginning of a Hero Quest. In the story of Beowulf, the hero, Beowulf, does not know about the issue until the call.
Darian Aker Mr. Tate English IV 27 September, 2017 Beowulf Essay In this epic, the main character, Beowulf, faces many horrendous monsters. However, as the reader, and the interpreter, I am asked to explain how Beowulf portrays the qualities of an archetypal epic hero. After reading of his battles, his character displays great acts of courage, intelligence, and strength, while warriors revel as Beowulf defeats the creatures. Following his battles, Grendel and Grendel’s mother, Hrothgar and his men celebrate and thank him for his acts of bravery with many cherished gifts. Beowulf is also glorified as his people construct a barrow in his memory.
The definition of a hero has evolved over time. According to Merriam Webster Online Dictionary, the first definition of a hero is, “a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.” In The Odyssey, written by Homer, Odysseus is a hero according to this definition. Odysseus is a hero because he used his strength to overcome tough circumstances. Odysseus battles many mortals, immortals, monsters, and even gods. He has to make smart and quick decisions to save his own life and that of his crew.
Furthermore, allies are another archetypal model depicted in literature including Beowulf. When Beowulf battles the almighty dragon, “No help or backing was to be had then/from his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop/broke ranks and ran for their lives/to the safety of the wood. But within one heart/sorrow welled up: in a man of worth/the claims of kinship cannot be denied./His name was Wiglaf, a son of Weohstan’s” (Heaney 2596-2602). This replacement of Beowulf is not only a paramount figure as Wiglaf is one of the greatest allies Beowulf could ask for. A relatable example to further commentate on this topic is the character Harry Potter’s two allies Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they continuously help and save each other similar to Wiglaf and Beowulf (Rowling).
The first battle shows Beowulf’s incredible strength, he wins this battle by cutting off Grendel’s arm. Next is the second battle which is against Grendel’s mother. Grendel’s mother is defeated by a sword that is in the hands of Beowulf. Lastly, the third battle is when Beowulf is the King and also very old. During the last battle, Beowulf takes the victory however he is wounded and dies.
The approach stage is necessary to reorganize or design a plan to avenge the first test. Beowulf is unable to show the Danes the dead body of Grendel due to the creature scurrying off without a limb. The battle with Grendel prepares Beowulf for a greater challenge with Grendel's mom, after she avenges her son’s death by beheading one of Hrothgar’s dearest man. Without Grendel’s dead body and the loss of Hrothgar’s men, Beowulf sets off to kill Grendel’s mom. The battle with Grendel was much easier for Beowulf due to the location of the fight.
Evil is towering over, and no one is able to save Beowulf until Wiglaf his only warrior who stay behind helps him out. He gives Beowulf a Sword and it allows him to use everything he has left in defeating the dragon. “The king/ gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife/he carried on his belt, sharpened for battle” (Heaney 2701-2703). Even though the dragon dies so does Beowulf. This keeps the good vs evil at a balance until the next evil takes over.