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Essay On Archetypes In Beowulf

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Mythological or Archetypal philosophy has been around for centuries and is used across numerous cultures. Carl Jung, a close colleague of Sigmund Freud, defined the word archetype as “a figure...that repeats itself in the course of history wherever creative fantasy is fully manifested.” Archetypes can come in various forms: characters, images, and situations. Though many different forms of archetypes appear in the tale of Beowulf, specifically, the archetypal character roles of the hero and the outcast are major aspects of the story. The role of the hero is a popularly recognizable element of many stories. Characters such as Thor, Harry Potter, and Katniss Everdeen are considered as prime examples of heroism. As for the story of Beowulf,…show more content…
Throughout the poem, Beowulf fights three different monsters and in each of these situations he chooses to begin the fight without their help. He enters into combat with his men by his side, but when the actual fighting begins he defeats the monsters with very little help from them. Beowulf’s strength and physical prowess was unlike any other man in comparison to his height and incredible grip. Furthermore, Beowulf can be categorized as an outcast based on his personality traits. The main character is set apart from the other warriors because of his courage and humility. The story tells of many characters who faced the same circumstances as Beowulf, yet failed to respond in a similar and valiant effort, like Beowulf. For example, when facing the dragon nearly all of his hand picked soldiers coward in fear. Beowulf then showed humility by turning down his first offer to be king. When Hrothgar died, he offered Beowulf the throne; however, he refused, which allowed the rightful heir, Hrothgar’s son to be placed into power. This decision exemplifies the value he placed on ethics and honor. The warrior defined himself as a unique character through his style of fighting, strength, and courage; which in turn caused him to be an outcast in comparison to the other
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