The archetype of hero is a literary character that is all-round good. He or she will save other people, do the right thing, protect that is good and they will fight any monster that comes to his or her way. They are one of the basic paradigms in tales and mythology from across the world, but especially in European culture. For example, the hero archetype starts from Achilles until Beowulf via superheros such as Superman and other 1980s action
In the epic Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf is depicted as a heroic figure who fights monsters and defends the weak. During its time, Beowulf would be considered a great hero, however in today 's standards Beowulf would only be considered a great warrior. That’s because a hero should value the lives of the people and not seek to be rewarded. Instead, Beowulf committed heroic acts for his own selfish reasons and never shows to values the lives of the people. From fighting Grendel to slaying the dragon, Beowulf only fought because he value the fame and fortune that comes along with those accomplishments.
Beowulf, the epic tale of a Danish society plagued by evil beasts, reveals many thought-provoking and admirable character traits of the main character and hero, Beowulf. Firstly, he shows chivalry through his interactions and actions towards the king of Heorot, showing him the respect and honor he deserved. Secondly, he demonstrates bravery in all battles above and beyond the standard of the times and the standard of his fellow fighters. He owes his bravery in part to his seemingly immeasurable strength, having more power in each fist than that of thirty men. Lastly, he demonstrates a trait that applies to people for his time and ours, pride. Pride plagued his times, due to warriors’ great deeds, but it haunts modern times as well. The liberator of Heorot and the champion of the tale, Beowulf, demonstrates three admirable and relevant character traits, chivalry, bravery and pride.
“A Hero is an ordinary person who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles”, quoted by Christopher Reeve. Beowulf however, tends to be an epic hero based on the definition of one. Beowulf was definitely a hero, not because of his super strength, smartness, or even his sword. But because when everyone backed down he was the one to step up & sacrifice his life to save others. “
¨True heroism consists in being superior to the ills of life, in whatever shape they may challenge us to combat¨- Napoleon. Clearly, Napoleon is explaining that a hero will conquer any negative things in life that challenge them. For example, modern day superheroes always overcome their problems in life. Modern day superheroes such as Batman, Superman, and Spiderman fight the villains and grow superior to the negative aspects in their lives. Similarly, heroes in poems and books gain their heroic name by defeating the ills of life. For instance, in the Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, the hero defeats evil creatures and saves his people. In his battles, Beowulf displays the heroic characteristics such as bravery, confidence, and selflessness.
Beowulf’s honor and integrity can be questioned throughout the entirety of the epic poem, Beowulf. Whether or not his actions are inspired by his own pompous arrogance or confidence, one can argue that he is a hero nonetheless. Evidence and experience prove that Beowulf is more of a fearless hero than an excessively prideful man, and his hubris is more than justified due to the formidable duties he is able to execute.
1-2). Specifying Grendel as a monster immediately alerts the reader that he is an outcast of the society, evil, and threatening. Of course, Beowulf is seen as a hero who brings hope and wisdom to both the Danes and Geats. “ Danes and visiting Geats celebrated as one, drank and rejoiced” ( L.231-232). Furthermore, Beowulf rejoiced the people typically what a hero can be seen doing. Beowulf had more than one character archetype, the second one being a mentor. His ability to be valued, and showing his men what to accomplish to become somewhat like him is shown throughout the whole poem, as written “ The Geats stayed, sat sadly, watching, imagining they saw their lord but not believing they would ever see him again” ( L. 559-561). His men have been mentored by Beowulf for a long time, typically they’ve grown to think like him. Knowing how their leader is, they don’t give up on him nor put themselves into the situation of believing that Beowulf could have perished. Of course, Beowulf mentored them well into thinking and letting them know that the fight never is over. Another example of a character archetype found in “Beowulf”, is Hrothgar. His position as king genuinely symbolizes someone willing to stand for their people, and protect their kingdom. Hrothgar, although negligent, having Beowulf fight for him and his people can be seen as a sign of a “good”
Beowulf is the best epic story. Including perfectly embodies the manners and values such as:
Throughout the poem of Beowulf he shows heroism in different way, He is someone who has superhuman qualities who embodies the value of his society and who is larger than life. And also someone who defeats something that is bigger than him.
Near the end of his life as a king, Beowulf found that his citizens were being terrorized by a dragon. Although he was old and grizzled, the king took it on in battle. He showed tremendous courage even when knowing the odds were not in his favor. Previously, during his time in Denmark, Beowulf killed Grendel’s mother with the sword made for a giant. This showed his superhuman strength because as an ordinary human being Beowulf was able to handle and control the giant’s sword. In an earlier battle, Beowulf was able to once again exhibit his enormous strength by single handedly tearing off the arm of an enemy giant, Grendel. Lastly, before all of the battles, Beowulf displays his extreme intelligence. After being unjustly embarrassed by Unferth, Beowulf decided to reply in a civil manner. In his reply, he accurately refuted all of Unferth’s claims and turns the embarrassment on him. By responding cordially, he was able to dissolve any potential tension between the Geats and Danes.
Beowulf contains many different archetypal characters developing the plot. The hero and the outcast are two of those characters essential to the development of the story. The archetypal hero is a figure known to be larger than life. The hero strives his/her entire life for self-fulfillment which results in his/her own death or destruction. The outcast is a character who is physically separated from society due to a physical impairment or an emotional difference. Often, the hero can become an outcast during his/her journey. Nevertheless, the hero is typically an enemy of the outcast. In Beowulf, this situation stands true as Beowulf, the hero, has the outcasts, Grendel, Grendel’s mother, and the dragon, as enemies. Even though the hero and outcasts
In the poem Beowulf, we see the Anglo-Saxon hero. It is an epic of a hero who embodies the honor of the Anglo-Saxon culture and tradition. The poem in itself is an elegant script of Anglo-Saxon times. Composed in 8th or 9th century the epic was passed down from generation to generation orally and has no known author. In the Anglo-Saxon culture a hero was a warrior. Beowulf depicts the adventures of a remarkably brave, larger-than-life hero who demonstrates almost superhuman abilities in battling monstrous opponents. Through Beowulf’s strength, bravery, and, loyalty he exemplifies the archetype of a perfect hero.
The epic poem, Beowulf is about a hero who comes to the aid of King Hrothgar. Hrothgar’s Mead Hall was being destroyed by a demon that lurked the boundaries of the small town. Beowulf hears the news and comes to try to defeat the demon. He performs this admirable deed because he wanted to achieve immortality by being a hero. He fought the monsters with his bare hands. He had the true characteristics of a hero, strength, bravery, and courage. Nobody would dare do the things Beowulf attempted in his lifetime. I envisage during all his battles he possesses all the traits of an epic hero. So, Beowulf, travels from Geatland to save Herot from the demons that lurk about.
Beowulf was honorable throughout this epic story. Beowulf was strong, smart, one whom the town was looked up to. When he killed Grendal, the townsfolk were happy and relieved.
In the early medieval ages, the spread of Christianity greatly influenced the Germanic ideals. One can see this drastic transition in character while reading and comparing the books of Beowulf and King Arthur. Although the story archetypes remain the same for the most part, the archetypes reflect the different ideals of the different time periods. Archetypes such as the hunting group of companions and quest still hold significance, but reflect different ideals. The ideals of the Germanic peoples of Northern Europe drastically change as Christianity moves across the region, and the traditional story Archetypes reflect this change in cultural ideals.