It is evident from the beginning of the poem that Beowulf is meant to be the hero. He is strong, brave, and courageous but is also boastful and seeks only fame and glory. These characteristics are examples of things that could be related to hyper masculinity and are not necessarily desired in a hero today. In the quote “They have seen my strength for themselves, Have watched me rise from the darkness of war, Dripping with my enemies' blood. I drove Five great giants into chains, chased All of that race from the earth.
In Beowulf, Beowulf must undergo three main trials in order to fulfill his destiny. Before Beowulf begins his quest, the unknown author drafts Beowulf as a hero whom the people of Geatland acknowledge and look up to. For example, as Beowulf recruited able warriors and prepared to set out to Denmark to save Hrothgar’s people from Grendel, no elder denied his plan. The elders’ respect for Beowulf, demonstrates his influence in society. In his past, Beowulf stated he, “Battled and bound five beasts,/ raided a troll-nest and in the night-sea/ slaughtered sea-brutes” (lns.
Everybody likes rooting for a hero. And throughout the evolution of storytelling, from stories written in stone to those in tablets, heroes have always played a huge role in the stories we tell. As literature evolved, and more legends and tales began to appear in different cultures, the idea of a traditional epic hero was established. Stories like "The Epic of Gilgamesh," and "The Odyssey," set the mold for this type of heroes, an influence that can clearly be seen when analyzing literature. In fact, most of these characters, regardless of the time and place they were created in, shared similar characteristics to the two kings.
First and foremost, Beowulf follows an epic hero archetype by passing at the end of the poem whereas Aladdin survives and lives a glorified life as the husband of a princess and future Sultan of the Arab States. This is most likely the largest difference between the two works, but there are still a relatively large amount of differences still present. For example, Aladdin has Genie’s companionship and mentor-esque factor that help him along his journey. This is an obvious difference from Beowulf and his journey as Beowulf is a one man show in his fights with the exception of fighting the dragon with Wiglaf. This leads to another difference, a sidekick type character.
In his final chapters, Beowulf faces the dragon. Through his sense of responsibility for his people, Beowulf puts his life at risk and fights the dragon disregarding his own glory. Early in the story, Gawain is hold accountable and must keep the agreement he made with the Green Knight. Knowing his reputation and his king’s is at risk, Gawain follow through with his word. Again, Macbeth is the only one who doesn’t meet the heroic qualifications, as he fails to have a sense of obligation towards his people and only focuses on his own interest.
The concept of the Hero’s journey is arguable a popular storyline for many stories ranging from Epic of Gilgamesh to modern day Harry Potter and is frequently seen in other literature and media illustrating that the concept of hero and a hero’s journey is not a new one however is still very prominent today. According the Campbell, "The first work of the hero is to retreat from the world scene of secondary effects to those causal zones of the psyche where the difficulties really reside, and there to clarify the difficulties, eradicate them in his own case”. While Gilgamesh does not have the proper morals to be a hero, his story does follow the hero’s journey and is still being told because the values are still relatable and compelling
This quote also show another trait of an epic hero which is the “fatal flaw.” In his confidence in combat he failed to recognize that he was wounded by the dragon, with a poisoness bite. In conclusion due to Beowulf’s confidence is warranted, as he possesses the strength to succeed in battle, but his confidence is also a fatal flaw because it causes him to not notice his fatal
In Beowulf, there is a couple of good examples of imagery. Whether it is in the battles that Beowulf goes through, in just the description of scenes, or in his farewell. When he said farewell to his followers in beowulf's last battle before he goes to fight against the dragon in the cave where the dragon was awaken when protecting the treasures. An example of imagery is Beowulf is “I swam/ in the blackness of night, hunting monsters/ out of the ocean, and killing them one/ By one.” In this part of beowulf i imagine the heroic beowulf swimming in darkness fighting with monsters that he hunted out of the ocean killing them each one by one. “My lord Higlac/Might think less of me if I let my sword/Go where my feet are afraid to, if I hid/Behind some broad linden shield: my hands/Alone shall fight for me, struggle for life/Against the monster”.
His main quest is to get forgiveness from the gods. A worrier tries to win just like Hercules “wins” over the gods be completing each task. His main fear was being unable to do each task. A warrior is a afraid of weakness just like how Hercules is afraid of being too weak to do each task. His main dragon is Eurystheus.
Throughout the centuries people have spoken and written of wondrous people with amazing talents. Ordinary, magical, noble, all people whom reflected the values of the time and the difficulties of inner conflict. The study of heroes fro this semester focused on the heroes, Beowulf, Sir Gaiwan, and Macbeth. Anglos Saxons were a primitive society that believed in wyrd. Their rendition of a hero destined to be great were that of an epic hero named Beowulf.