Beowulf In Joseph Campbell's The Power Of Myth

439 Words2 Pages
Beowulf has all of the characteristics of a hero. According to Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, there are eight characteristics of a hero. Beowulf easily fulfills all eight and undoubtedly should be considered a hero. He puts his life on the line for an entire kingdom and has heroic and superhuman qualities. Beowulf recognized for his strengths and power of protecting his people. Beowulf came across three insurmountable tasks and conquered all three. Beowulf embodies and demonstrates the characteristics of a hero emphasizing leadership, bravery, and strength. According to Joseph Campbell a hero must give his or her life to something greater than themselves and must perform a courageous act either physically or spiritually. In Beowulf,…show more content…
Beowulf’s courageous act during this clash with Grendel arose when Beowulf, “flooded his (Grendel) mind with fear but nothing could take his talons and himself from his (Beowulf) tight grip” (327). This shows Beowulf’s courage of facing the proclaimed “Shepard of Evil” (325) head-on. In The Power of Myth, Joseph Campbell states a hero must move out of conventional safety of their own life to undertake a journey and must have an achievement. Beowulf fulfills that trait with ease considering he was born to be extraordinary. In Beowulf, he swims out to open sea with a friend stating, “I swam in the blackness of the night, hunting monsters of the ocean, and killing them one by one; death was my errand and the fate they had earned” (251). Swimming out to sea to hunt monsters is undeniably considered moving out of conventional safety to undertake a journey. Beowulf’s achievement comes from, “I drove five great monsters into chains, chased all of the race from earth” (250). This is an accomplishment because Beowulf has taken away their capability to sabotage the earth, possibly saving many human lives. Beowulf proves through his entire life that he has all of the characteristics of a hero. Each trait according to Joseph Campbell is fulfilled by Beowulf. Overall, a hero is a person with distinguished qualities who goes against adversity to commit good deeds despite what could happen to them. A hero is a person who provides out of honor, bravery, and duty, not for

More about Beowulf In Joseph Campbell's The Power Of Myth

Open Document