Epic of Beowulf Essay - Beowulf as Heroic Archetype

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Beowulf as Heroic Archetype Monsters, their mothers, and dragons! The epic poem Beowulf, author unknown, includes all these mystical creatures and an impervious protagonist after which the poem is named. As the main character in the poem, Beowulf exemplifies the heroic archetype physically, spiritually, and ethically. Beowulf is superior to the average person in many areas, among them physical strength. Throughout the poem, Beowulf accomplishes feats that no other man would be able to survive and proves his boundless might. Beowulf is described to Hrothgar, king of the Danes, by a messenger as "...a mighty warrior, powerful and wise" (line 370). Beowulf himself challenges the insults of Unferth by saying, "...no strength…show more content…
Upon entering the Danes' hall, Herot, Grendel is confronted by Beowulf, who immediately seizes Grendel's arms and drives fear into the monster's heart, "... [Grendel] knew at once that nowhere on earth/ Had he met a man whose hands were harder..." (lines 751-752). Through his slaughter of Grendel, Grendel's mom, the dragon, and other monsters, Beowulf proves his amazing strength to the other characters and to the readers. Beowulf also appears to be very religious and, unlike other proud warriors, he always puts his faith in God and gives Him the credit of his victories. Before facing Grendel, Beowulf exclaims to the others in the hall, "... Let God in his wisdom/ Extend his hand where he wills, reward/ Whom he chooses" (lines 685-687). In addition, after his fight with Grendel's mother, Beowulf returns and tells Hrothgar that he would have died if God had not helped him, "...I'd have been dead at once/ And the fight finished, the she-devil victorious,/ If our Father in Heaven had not helped me" (lines 1656-1658). Even at the very end of his life, Beowulf proclaims to Wiglaf that everything he had acquired had been through the will of God, "For this, this gold, these jewels, I thank/ Our Father in Heaven, Ruler of the Earth--/ For all of this, that His grace has given me..." (lines 2794-2796). Up until the end, Beowulf demonstrates

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