Beowulf the Archetypal Hero

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Beowulf is portrayed, as per the author's intentions, as the archetypal hero in order to develop the theme of the story: With God's grace, a hero is able to defeat evil. Beowulf is shown to be blessed with skills beyond that of an ordinary man, and uses his capabilities and faith in God to take him to Herot and destroy the sinister Grendel. When Beowulf is first introduced, it is declared from the outset that he is "greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world." The story continues on to talk of how Hrothgar, King of the Danes, is troubled by a monster, Grendel, who torments his mead hall nightly, slaughtering his soldiers and eating them. With all this in mind, Beowulf boards his ship along with fourteen other men and sets sail for Denmark, hoping to purge Grendel from Herot. For the duration of Beowulf's journey he doesn't once steer his ship, rather believes that his faith in God will deliver him safely to his destination. Upon arrival, Beowulf nobly requests that Hrothgar allow him the honor of slaying the beast, Grendel. Hrothgar willingly accepts his proposal, but is soon challenged by one of Hrothgar's courtiers, Unferth, questioning his ability to defeat a monster, when he himself, wasn't able to beat Brecca, a childhood friend of Beowulf's, in a swimming match long ago. Beowulf responds reassuringly, telling of how he had killed nine sea monsters and had swum faster than Brecca did from the beginning. Had a flood not swept him away, or the monsters distracted him, it would have been Beowulf who was to meet victory. Beowulf, by the end of the seventh segment, has shown confidence in his abilities to destroy Grendel, and everyone is positively convinced (besides Unferth) of his combat abilities-- a heavenly blessing from God. When the time has come for Beowulf and Grendel to battle, the author truly conveys Beowulf as the archetypal hero

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