Monomyth In Beowulf

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“The standard path of the mythological adventure of the hero is a magnification of the formula represented in the rites of passage: separation – initiation – return: which might be named the nuclear unit of the monomyth” (Campbell 23). Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, claims that all heroes in myths and stories are essentially the same, the title itself reflecting that. This theory he called a monomyth, the myth that in which all myths fall under, describing the hero’s journey. Campbell created a sort of formula and cycle consisting of seventeen steps, categorized into three sections; departure, initiative, and return. Campbell's theory drew off of ideologies like that of Freud. Though not all stories follow Campbell’s pattern, Beowulf does. Beowulf is an epic poem translated from old english dating back to somewhere around 900 AD. The main character Beowulf follows the hero cycle while in a constant good vs evil conflict.. The epic Beowulf follows Campbell’s monomyth structure due to similarities between the hero cycle’s departure, initiative, and return to that of Beowulf’s.…show more content…
Campbell’s seventeen stages of the cycle can be seen in one way or another throughout Beowulf. From Beowulf’s birth to his death, each event is significantly connected and similar to those written out in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The hero cycle allows readers to understand the steps a hero takes, especially in the case of Beowulf. Readers can grasp and comprehend the steps and phases that he goes through. Also proving as a useful tool in comparing pieces of literature to others. “This will help us to understand not only the meaning of those images for contemporary life, but also the singleness of the human spirit in its aspirations, powers, vicissitudes, and wisdom (Campbell
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