Examples Of Archetypes In Beowulf

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In the epic poem Beowulf, the theme good vs. evil guides Beowulf through his many endeavors and conquests. This theme shows the different values of Beowulf and helps supplement the reasons for Beowulf’s actions throughout the poem. The author uses situational, symbolic, and character archetypes to enhance the plot of the poem and to provide justification for the themes of the epic poem. The situational archetype and theme good vs. evil is a major driving force behind Beowulf’s actions in the poem. In the beginning of the poem, the narrator clearly illustrates what a good king is like by saying, “In the end each clan on the outlying coasts beyond the whale-road had to yield to him and began to pay tribute. That was good king.”(9-11). This …show more content…

In this poem, Beowulf is the tragic hero and the protagonist. Beowulf says, “As I sat in the boat with my band of men, I meant to preform to the uttermost what your people wanted or perish in the attempt, in the fiend’s clutches. And I shall fulfill that purpose, prove myself with a proud deed or meet my death here in the mead-hall”(632-638) expressing the danger of the quest. This means the hero must endure through the many life-threatening obstacles and dangerous enemies or die trying. The narrator shows the courageousness of Beowulf saying “the prince of the rings was too proud to line up with a large army against the sky-plague. He had scant regard for the dragon as a threat, no dread at all of its courage or strength, for he had kept going often in the past…”(2345-2352). Beowulf was heroic and faced the dragon alone because that was the way he had fought when he was young. In addition, this shows that the hero archetype is both courageous and honorable and must be undaunted when facing even the darkest of evils. Another archetype used by the author is the symbolic light vs. darkness. The author uses these symbols to demonstrate the presence of good and evil throughout the poem. The author uses the archetype light to describe “that gold-shining hall” that Grendel entered “hoping to kill”(285-295). The light embodies hope and renewal while its

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