Archetypes In Beowulf's Heroic Hero

604 Words3 Pages
In a present day, many people define the hero, as a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. The definition of hero can be changed depend on culture or people’s belief. Anglo-Saxon is one of tribe who has well developed warrior culture. Anglo-Saxon hero has several archetypes such as courage, responsibility, blood relationship. An epic poem Beowulf reveals Anglo-Saxon’s heroic archetype through the protagonist Beowulf . In Anglo-Saxon period, “Heroes should display the heroic ideal and known for an extraordinary and courageous for success in war, all preceded by some boasting” (Delahoyde). During this era, there are much wars between European countries. They consider the…show more content…
“The strongest ties in Anglo-Saxon society were to kin and lord” (Ross). In addition, John Hill states that the major areas for Anglo-Saxon’ political reform are kinship ties and obligations, especially regarding the feud; the transferable nature of retainer loyalty. In Beowulf, Beowulf's loyalty and honor saved Dane and Hrothgar’s citizens from Grendel. Beowulf has no ulterior motives, he has no desire for the Danish throne; he simply wants to help Hrothgar and do what is right. When Beowulf gets victory from fight and brings Grendel’s arm, Beowulf does not become arrogant about his achievement. Beowulf instead praises up for God and regrets about missing Grendel’s death (Beowulf 471-484). Beowulf’s loyalty makes him humble and being a real hero of Dane. This Beowulf’s trait also fits adequately to Anglo-Saxon’s hero archetype as…show more content…
Because there is no way to prove identity, and kinsmanship also identify a social-class. “The Anglo-Saxons strongly valued familial ties—the kinless man was an object of pity” ("Anglo-Saxon Culture"). Most of heroes are noble birth, who already have honor and may have relationship with King somehow. In Beowulf, When Beowulf arrives to Dane, many citizens may not indicate Beowulf, and think that he is a stranger. However, Hrothgar states that “...His father was Ecgtheow; Hrethel the Geat; Gave him in wedlock his only daughter. Now is their son come, keen for adventure, Finding his way to a faithful friend” (Beowulf 112-115). Hrothgar and Beowulf actually have Uncle and nephew relationship. This relationship proves that Beowulf is the noble birth, and Beowulf also has a family connection with King. Also, family connection helps Beowulf to get fame and honor in the society, so people will notice him as hero, who tries to save them from the danger of

More about Archetypes In Beowulf's Heroic Hero

Open Document