Hero Archetype Essay

988 words - 4 pages

Ariana ZookMs. NassetEnglish 1211 September 2014Beowulf EssayWhat is a hero? A hero is defined as a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. Beowulf is a perfect example of the archetype of a hero. The narrator states that "he was the mightiest man of valor," (17) which tells us that Beowulf was a great warrior. Beowulf exhibits all of the characteristics of a hero throughout the poem: loyalty, courage, bravery, strength, valor, and sacrifice. These characteristics are given to Beowulf by God himself. The poem is strongly influenced by Christianity with Christian morals and values, such as loyalty, being very important to the characters. Beowulf is a great example of a hero archetype with God-given gifts that he uses to defeat many evil beings and, although he is treated like a god, I feel that he still has flaws.When we hear the word "hero" we tend to think of characters such as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. These modern heroes usually have characteristics such as superhuman strength and endurance to the point that they are nearly invincible. Beowulf, although not a "modern hero," shares many of the same characteristics. Beowulf states in the poem, "I have proved more might in the sea than any other man, and more endurance in the ocean" (27). Beowulf is speaking of a time in his youth in which he stayed at sea for five nights fighting sea monsters. This story shows Beowulf's superhuman endurance. In his battle against Grendel Beowulf shows another example of superhuman strength. "Then the master of evil saw that he was in a man's grip, stronger than any he had ever met on the whole earth" (34). Beowulf shows his bravery by fighting the monster, Grendel, with no weapons. He was able to defeat the beast using only his hands and even managed to rip off his arm. The battle against Grendel shows us Beowulf's superhuman strength. Beowulf, along with modern heroes, such as Batman, are the perfect example of the hero archetype and although Beowulf is confident in his abilities, he knows that it is God who gave him his "superhuman powers."The poem Beowulf is strongly influenced by Christian morals and values. The narrator of the poem shows the importance of religion through the characters beliefs and actions. In all of Beowulf's battles he is protected by "an invisible force" which proves true the Christian idea that believing in God will protect you from harm. In his fight against Grendel's mother, the poem states, "the Holy God, wisest Maker, wielded the victory" (56). During that battle Beowulf knows his armor saved him, but, more importantly, he had the grace of God on his side. After Beowulf defeats Grendel's mother the narrator states that "light shone forth, as when heaven's candle shines in a sky without clouds" (57).This...

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