October 9, 2014
British Literature – D
Shrek versus Beowulf (Hero’s Journey) Joseph Campbell dedicated his whole life researching patterns that appear in almost every hero story or movie. He discovered that there are a few basics stages that just about every hero character goes through. This cycle is called “the monomyth” or more commonly known as “the hero’s journey.” This paper will compare and contrast Beowulf and Shrek and how each fits into the monomyth. Every story that involves a hero will subsequently follow the concept of the Heroes Journey. In both Shrek and Beowulf, crossing the threshold/threshold guardian stage is quite similar. This stage is defined as the point at which the character(s) cross from …show more content…
This stage in Shrek and Beowulf is quite similar once again. Both of the heroes had to fight different enemies in order to reach the end goal. It just so happens that both of them faced a fire breathing dragon along the way. This further proves that Campbell’s monomyth is extremely accurate. The last stage of the heroes’ journey that will be analyzed using the stories Shrek and Beowulf is the “master of two
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There have been many grand stories about great warriors, and champions; those about epic heroes however, are the truly exceptional tales. One such tale, over a thousand years old, stands out from all the rest: Beowulf, the tale of a great warrior, on his quest to achieve eternal glory, defeating great opponents. Throughout the whole story, Beowulf demonstrates most –if not all- of the qualities that an archetypal hero possesses. He embodies the highest ideals of his culture, travels to find adventure, and is not emotionally connected to his followers. Beowulf undertakes his journey to achieve something of great value to himself and society, defeats monsters, yet maintains humanity. Although Beowulf experiences
Beowulf has delighted and intrigued a wide array of people for centuries. The timeless nature is visible in modern-day extensions of this epic, through heroics and battles of good versus malevolent forces. Beowulf continues to appeal to sophisticated audiences because it tells the story of a great hero prevailing over evil, a timeless theme valued by society and portrayed by his counterparts in modern media, although these new heroes display more complex qualities.
Beowulf, a legendary hero of Geatish lore, from the epic poem named after him, is the definition of a hero. There is one being who can be collated to Beowulf: the mighty Thor, god of thunder. Derived from Norse mythology, Thor is hot-headed, with an appetite for food and drink. He also is one of the strongest gods, serving as the protector of the people. Both of these characters share similar qualities in what some would define a hero, despite one being a man, and the other being a deity.
Most of us have heard of modern day heroes such as Spiderman, Superman, and the Hulk. Each is a hero to many children. Heroes are introduced to people early on in life usually as fictional characters, but as children grow older their perceptions of heroes alter. The characteristics of a hero are usually based around the ideas of a society or culture. In the epic Beowulf, the main character is thought of as a hero. Beowulf, a pagan warrior and the main character of the epic, shows certain characteristics such as bravery, loyalty, and generosity, which portray him as a hero. It is interesting how modern day heroes show the much of the same qualities as Beowulf.
Beowulf ‘s confidence in his abilities and courage to carry out his mission exhibits how he could be considered an epic hero. When he first hears of the Danes’ plight with the monster Grendel, Beowulf wastes no time in “his plan to sail the swan’s road and seek out that king” who desperately needs assistance in his troubles (Heaney 201-202). He eagerly accepts his call to action, wasting no time in ensuring King Hrothgar of his “awesome strength” and exhibiting an unwavering self-assurance as he recalls how he “battled and bound five beasts” (Heaney 418-420). In these first encounters with the hero, it is evident that Beowulf’s defining characteristics include his courage and pride. There is no fear or reluctance in his attempt for glory,
The epic poem Beowulf describes the most heroic man of the Anglo-Saxon times. The hero, Beowulf, is a seemingly invincible person with all the extraordinary traits required of an Anglo Saxon hero. He is able to use his super-human physical strength and courage to put his people before himself. He encounters many monsters and horrible beasts, but he never fears the threat of death. His leadership skills are outstanding and he is even able to boast about all his achievements. Beowulf is the ultimate epic hero who risks his life countless times for glory which to him meant eternal life.
Throughout the ages the tale of the epic hero has been subject to change, as writers found new inspiration and allowed the art of storytelling to evolve. With it, there was the change of the portrayal of the epic hero, and I will be illustrating this through an analysis of the epic heroes from Beowulf, suggested to have been first composed between the 8th and 11th century, and Macbeth, composed early in the 17th century. It is important to note the time difference, and all the change that time would have brought to social structures in written fiction. The tales of epic heroes are a good way of researching historic civilizations, as they play a role in reflecting the ethics and morals of civilizations and always have. Beowulf and Macbeth play a similar role as the works of the Greek poet Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey or tales from other cultures. It is partially through the differences in character portrayals and roles within the plot that someone can understand the morals of those before us and
It is vital when approaching the question of whether or not Beowulf can be viewed as a hero to attempt to understand the concept of a hero'. Joseph Campbell, the American theorist, studied mythological characters and texts in great detail and developed the concept of the monomyth (or Hero's Journey) which he suggested all heroes undertook:
Beowulf was a book composed during the Anglo-Saxon period of the world. It is a fictional about an epic hero know as Beowulf who kills mighty creatures and saves kingdoms from opposing armies and demons. This hero was from part of a tribe of a tribe known as the Gaets. In this story he comes to the aid of the Danes and their king Hrothgar. He battles multiple creatures for the Danish king and his helpless people during his time in the kingdom. He was seen as a hero their and feared throughout the surrounding kingdoms. In this essay i will compare and contrast the Beowulf movie and the book. I will discuss the differences in the setting, theme, and characters between the two. I will also discuss the differences of the fights he had with the
Life is a precious gift, as you only get one chance to become your best self. In life everyone has hopes and dreams to find their calling to potentially make a difference in the world. In literature we are presented with an abundance of epic hero stories, referring to fictional or non-fictional characters that have made a difference in their world. These characters grant the reader with entertaining stories pertaining to historical or fictional events that reflect the hero’s journey to making a triumphant change. Joseph Campbell’s theory that every hero has a similar journey to becoming their best self commences with a call to an adventure. The call to adventure is the first and most important step in Joseph Campbell’s hero monomyth, “A hero with a Thousand Faces.”
Epic heroes are brave and noble characters who people admire for their great achievements. In John Gardner’s Grendel, Gardner portrays Beowulf as a stranger who defeats Grendel by ripping off his arm, whereas in Seamus Heaney’s translation of the epic poem Beowulf, he is characterized as hero because of his overall strength and courage. The first person point of view in Grendel emphasizes how Beowulf is superior, yet he shares some characteristics with Grendel. The third person point of view in Beowulf commends Beowulf for being a hero, but neglects to emphasize how his actions falsely represent his true selfishness. After considering the tone and point of view in Grendel by John Gardner and the Anglo-Saxon values showed in the translation of Beowulf by Seamus Heaney, Beowulf is not an epic hero because he sacrifices other Danes lives in order to kill Grendel and results to use of revenge.
Beware! This is not the poem of Beowulf, nor about realistic heroes today. In fact, this isn’t a story at all! I will say, however, Beowulf and realistic heroes are great to know and hear about. Although, learning more about realistic heroes and Beowulf is enjoyable, they do have their differences, including types of good deeds, when it occurred, and the strength of the hero.
Usually, when people think of the word ‘hero’, their mind conjures up several images of Superman, Batman, or Spiderman. Most people think of a hero as a steroid-riddled man in a tight suit and a cape, capable of flying, shooting lasers out of their eyes, or using some other kind of superhuman abilities. But a hero in a classic story is a completely different kind of archetype. Archetypal heroes are far from perfect – receiving supernatural help and making fatal flaws. A hero also embarks on an epic journey in which they face many issues, and are often honored after their death.
Even in the middle ages of literature, a story such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight had many aspects of Joseph Campbell’s view of the hero’s journey. In the story of our character Sir Gawain accepts a “Call to adventure” (Campbell 45) and goes on a quest that will go through many of the archetypes. Likewise, there lies one character, The Green Knight, that can be many of the archetypal characters in the cycle of the hero’s journey. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight dramatically demonstrates how a single character can play many archetypal roles.
Beowulf and Sir Gawain and The Green Knight are British mythological stories whose authors are unknown. The stories paint the picture of brave and selfless heroes who put the lives of their fellow men before their own. Though the stories differ in their narration, they are built on the same ideas and principles. This essay compares and contrasts the various themes in these two stories and their development. The issues discussed are the role of women, strength and courage and afterlife.