The Archetypal Hero Quest In Beowulf

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Beowulf is an archetypal story known by generations around the world. Beowulf took place during Anglo-Saxon English time period. In this work, Beowulf, a young Geat man, journeys to Denmark to save the Danes from the wrath of the demonic Grendel. During Anglo-Saxon time, Beowulf was a folk song only passed around by word of mouth. Monks eventually transferred it to paper since they were the only ones capable of writing. The tale contains multiple elements that have been analyzed throughout time. One of the most renowned elements to this well known story is the Hero Quest. The mythological and archetypal Hero Quest is portrayed in Beowulf through the call, obstacles, climax, and return.
All great literary monomyths start with the Hero’s call.
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Beowulf experiences many obstacles during his time in Denmark, but these are crucial to his quest. Upon Beowulf’s arrival, Grendel had been terrorizing the Danes for twelve years. Before he stepped foot on the land of the Danes, Beowulf knew great hardships would face him. In Beowulf, the fight with Grendel was the most obvious and anticipated obstacle the young man would face. However, like any good Hero, Beowulf over came and conquered Grendel. Beowulf celebrated with Hrothgar and his kingdom, but another obstacle was soon presented. The wrath of Grendel’s mother was going to be Beowulf’s hardest challenge to face. The fight with Grendel’s mother was extremely waring on Beowulf, but he came out with another victory. In addition, the conflict between Beowulf and Unferth could be considered an obstacle in this literary work. Unferth tests Beowulf’s character and the two have a slight rivalry. However, Beowulf stays calm in his nature and bites his tongue, never allowing himself to fight Unferth. Each obstacle presented to Beowulf during his monomyth is unique to the others, but they all contribute to Beowulf’s journey, character, and aspects that later make him a great

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