preview

Monomyth In Hero's Journey

Better Essays
To become a hero or heroine, one must participate in a process, or transformation, known as the Hero’s Journey. Mythologist Joseph Campbell found patterns in literature, better known as archetypes, concerning the monomyth, or a prevalent aspect in folklore. In other words, most stories are made of essentially the same elements, described as the monomyth. A common outline in tales involving a hero, the Hero’s Journey begins with escaping a dull world to enter the underworld. The traveler faces barriers prior to metamorphosing into a triumphant hero. The monomyth consists of three parts: Separation, Initiation, and Return, and those three sections each comprise multiple stages. In the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, the superhero significantly…show more content…
Upon exiting a wild, stimulating world, the hero is presented the ultimate challenge in which he receives assistance, or Rescue from Without. Blood running cold at the sight of the fire-breathing dragon, Beowulf’s warriors flee, leaving the lonesome Beowulf to battle the last of his enemies. The poem reads, “He [Wiglaf] could not hold back: one hand brandished / the yellow-timbered shield, the other drew his sword” (Heaney, 368-369, 36). Before the dragon can continue harming Beowulf, the world comes to the rescue. The noble and self-sacrificing Wiglaf lends a helping hand to Beowulf by threatening the dragon with his shield and sword. Beowulf’s closest companion was not planning to join the fight but stepped in, as he could not bear the sight of Beowulf suffering; however, Beowulf only somewhat applies to the Return, specifically, when he battles the dragon, since he does not continue his reign or return to Geatland (Sweden). Due to the untimely death of a hero, the Return is unfinished and, in general, the Hero’s Journey. Excluding the fact that he does not transgress through all stages, Beowulf is relevant to the Hero’s Journey due to his persistence and heroic deeds. Frequently used in plays and movies, this template serves as a guide for storylines; additionally, the values of the people who passed on these meaningful stories are implicated in the hero’s personality and the decisions he makes. Beowulf’s heroism defines the archetypal hero and represents the cultural ideals of the Anglo-Saxons. For the most part, setting foot in a world of wonder results in a greater sense of wisdom and an improvement in one’s
Get Access