Beowulf As An Archetypical Hero

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Beowulf, translated by Burton Raffel, portrays Beowulf as an archetypical hero. Beowulf goes on an epic quest risking death for glory which is a definite trait of Archetypical heroes. Other traits furthering this claim include his inhuman strength and compassion for other humans feeling the need to save them. Beowulf is a brave fearless leader and has inhuman strength, “greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world” (lines 110-111). “Death was my errand and the fate they had earned” (lines 168-169), meaning Beowulf believed it to be his duty to kill and rid the world of evil, and that the evil he faced got what they deserve, which is death by him. Beowulf believed it was meant for him to come to Hrothgar…show more content…
Grendel feared Beowulf, “Grendel’s one thought was to run from Beowulf” (lines 437-438). Once again Beowulf’s archetypical hero inhuman strength is shown and mentioned. “hell’s captive caught in the arms of him who of all men on earth was the strongest” (lines 470-472). The evidence of Beowulf being portrayed as an archetypal hero is endless, as he yet again goes on another perilous journey to the underground depths of Grendel’s mother’s layer. A place in which, “no one knows its bottom, no wisdom reaches such depths” (lines 553-554). Beowulf travels such lengths to rid Herot once again of evil. He risks no one else life but his own, traveling alone to the unknown depths of Grendel’s Mother’s lair, to ensure the safety of the Danes. Most enemies of archetypical heroes are very ugly and evil. Grendel and Grendel’s mother are both very ugly and very…show more content…
After fifty years pass Beowulf still feels the passion to help those in trouble from terrible monsters. He then vows to kill an angry dragon. “I mean to stand, not run from his shooting flames, stand till fate decides which of us wins” (lines 675-677), meaning Beowulf is unwilling to flee from harms way for the betterment of his people letting fate decide whether it is his time or not to die. With his last dying breaths he is only thinking of his people, “For this, this gold, these jewels, I thank Our Father in Heaven…I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well. Take what I leave, Wiglaf, lead my people, help them” (lines 802-809). Beowulf embodies the values of a particular society and proves his tremendous power throughout the poem. He is brave, honest, inhumanly strong, and holds other’s lives in higher regards than his own. He is an archetypal hero for showing no fear in facing creatures that seemed to be from hell, to bring peace and safety to others. He believed this life of war and glory to be his calling. God gave him the job to rid the earth of its demons, and he took it knowing it was his fate and duty to own up to the

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