What Is Beowulf A Hero's Journey

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The Heroic Deeds of Beowulf In the epic poem, Beowulf, the hero’s decision to travel across the ocean to defeat the nefarious Grendel can be attributed to his compassion, faith, and humility. Beowulf’s journey, along with his bravery and courage are indicative of the heroic attributes described in The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell. Campbell defines a hero as going on a journey that consists of a departure, a fulfillment, and an end. This is an attribute Beowulf exemplifies in his departure to cross the dangerous ocean in order to defeat a monster terrorizing a foreign land. The voyage is perilous, yet Beowulf’s compassion for the Danes overshadows any fears he might have over his personal safety. Additionally, Campbell states that a hero must perform a courageous spiritual act. In his humility, Beowulf tells Hrothgar that any victory he can achieve will come from G-d, and by doing so, he …show more content…

Rather than face Grendel with his sword, Beowulf decides to face him without a weapon. Instead he takes on Grendel Mano a Mono, and has faith that G-d will decide the outcome. When speaking to Hrothgar, Beowulf tells him that he intends to take on Grendel weaponless, saying

The monster’s scorn of men is so great/ that he needs no weapon and fears none/Nor will I. My lord Higlac/ might think less of me if I let my sword go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid behind some broad linden shield: my hands/ Alone shall fight for me, fighting for life/ against the monster. G-d must decide who will be given to death’s cold grip./ (Lines 168-175).

In choosing to fight Grendel, Beowulf already placing his life in G-d's hands. Yet his fa ith takes him even further when he decides to fight without any protection, aside from his bare hands and G-d's help. In the end, G-d rewards Beowulf’s faith in him when he allows him to defeat Grendel. Beowulf achieves his goal through his immense faith in

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