Examples Of Archetypes In Beowulf

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Deeper Analysis of Beowulf Many works of literature undoubtedly contain a surface story often attempting to lure readers into completing the work. Concealed beneath the story can be many connections to other literature. The widely known, ancient epic poem Beowulf is no exception, many archetypes are constantly displayed along with the traits of an epic hero and epic poem.…show more content…
First and foremost, an archetype can essentially be described as a perfect example of something else. Notable examples include the heroes or main figures such as Beowulf in his own story or his successor Wiglaf who conceives a myth out of himself. Heroes are included in just about every story and are commonly a central figure as well. As literary professor and guru Thomas Foster magnificently states that: “There’s only one story” (Foster 27), in this “one story” it is more common for there to be major heroes that are the main attraction of the piece of literature. Furthermore, allies are another archetypal model depicted in literature including Beowulf. When Beowulf battles the almighty dragon, “No help or backing was to be had then/from his high-born comrades; that hand-picked troop/broke ranks and ran for their lives/to the safety of the wood. But within one heart/sorrow welled up: in a man of worth/the claims of kinship cannot be denied./His name was Wiglaf, a son of Weohstan’s” (Heaney 2596-2602). This replacement of Beowulf is not only a paramount figure as Wiglaf is one of the greatest allies Beowulf could ask for. A relatable example to further commentate on this topic is the character Harry Potter’s two allies Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley as they continuously help and save each other similar to Wiglaf and Beowulf (Rowling). The third and final example includes the threshold guardians or enemies that…show more content…
The best place to begin is the departure of the hero where the hero is called to adventure. More often than not, the hero will receive supernatural aid along with a mentor. Throughout Beowulf, the protagonist is summoned to a trinity of adventures. Generally Beowulf is requested due to terrorization from an evil entity and is given supernatural strength and mentoring from his internal self and God. Second and even more importantly is the initiation into the new world containing this evil entity. The hero will cross over to this new world, meet allies, generate enemies, experience trials, possibly die, and ultimately return to the ordinary world. This sector consists of the majority of the epic poem being the considerable core of the epic poem. As mentioned, Beowulf undergoes three different journeys while the most notable of them being the initiation to Grendel’s mother’s underwater lair. “He (Beowulf) dived into the heaving/depths of the lake. It was a best part of a day/before he could see the bottom” (1492-1495). The belly of the whale, or climax of each adventure, consists of the killing of the entity followed up with Beowulf escaping from the new world. The final example to note is the hero’s return to the ordinary world. Beowulf does not contain any uncommon happenings when returning to his home world. Examples include Beowulf leaving Denmark, swimming to

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