Beowulf Archetypal Analysis

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Very little is known about the epic poem Beowulf besides that the story was told during the Anglo-Saxon period, specifically between the years 500-1100. The author is unknown, due to the fact that the story was originally told verbally and not documented until much later. Like many stories told throughout the ages, Beowulf consists of many archetypes. An archetype is a recurring symbol found in literature, such as the Hero archetype. In this epic poem, the hero, Beowulf, travels from his homeland to Denmark to save a kingdom from an awful beast that has been attacking men late at night for over twelve years. Accompanying Beowulf is a book told from the monster's perspective titled Grendel by John Gardner. A consistent theme throughout Beowulf and Grendel is the utilization of the heroic code, which strongly values courage, loyalty, honor and strength - all of which Beowulf demonstrates in his …show more content…

Beowulf bravely follows her back to her home, where he must find a way to slay her. She also has a spell placed on her, so Beowulf’s sword does not harm her. Just as all hope seems to be lost, Beowulf spots a giant sword on the wall that can be used against the beast. The sword is “so massive that no ordinary man could lift [it]”, but Beowulf uses what strength he has left to lift the weapon (Beowulf 54). This scene in the story represents the Magic Weapon archetype. Beowulf uses the sword to fulfill his second task of the story, which essentially saves his life but would have been useless if not for his persistence and strength. Additionally, character archetypes are also very present in Beowulf. The archetypes present help depict what kind of character Beowulf is, and establish his leadership skills over his men. In the story, Beowulf is a Hero, and he is accompanied by his Loyal Retainers, who will do anything to protect Beowulf and stay by his side in

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