Is Beowulf a Leading man?

 Essay about Is Beowulf a Hero?

Is Beowulf a leading man?

It is vital when approaching the question of whether or perhaps not Beowulf can be viewed as a hero to try to understand the concept of a ‘hero'. Joseph Campbell, the American theorist, examined mythological character types and texts in superb detail and developed the idea of the monomyth (or Hero's Journey) which he suggested all heroes undertook: " A main character ventures out from the regarding common day time into a place of great wonder: fantastic forces are there encountered and a important victory is definitely won: the hero returns from this mysterious adventure while using power to bestow boons in the fellow guys. " If we are to make use of this statement as being accurate it truly is fair to express that in least in that what actually occurs inside the poem that Beowulf is known as a hero. This individual ‘ventures forth', as Campbell puts it, via Geatland to Denmark, a global inhabited simply by monsters, which certainly matches the idea of ‘a region of supernatural wonder'. Here this individual encounters Grendel and Grendel's mother and defeats in battle, in keeping with the ‘fabulous forces' and ‘decisive victory' in the Hero's Journey theory. Eventually Beowulf returns to Geatland in addition to time becomes King of his homeland, which in turn fulfils Campbell's idea that a leading man will come back from his ‘adventure' and his fellow men will gain from his presence. In looking at the dictionary meaning of a leading man: ‘a person, typically a person, who is popular for their courage or excellent achievements '

We can see that Beowulf obviously also fits this kind of description perfectly, his bravery is undeniable and excellent achievements ultimately so numerous that he is admired almost the world over. He's strong, daring, fearless, dedicated and reveals a certain not caring to discomfort and loss of life, all attributes pointing towards fact that he possesses a heroic character.

Beowulf can certainly be seen as an Anglo-Saxon Übermensch in terms of his physical power and occurrence. He is referred to thus ‘he was the mightiest man upon earth' by poetic personality and Hrothgar, who later on becomes a mentor figure to Beowulf, recalls accounts this individual once received of him as a gentleman ‘with the strength of thirty

in the proper grip of each hand'.

Quite a few descriptions forerun; go before any of Beowulf's encounters with the various monsters and so could these heroic feats take place we are presented the sense that this individual should be looked at as being elevated above normal human beings. Beowulf makes sure these claims band true if he announces just how he programs to combat Grendel: ‘hand-to-hand

is just how it will be, a life-and-death


This individual obviously is without fear of the approaching fight, even going as long as to give up a chance to gain an advantage over the monster in what definitely seems to be an honour-driven choice to make the battle similar. This decision proves to enhance his brave reputation following the fight when he is victorious, tearing off Grendel's arm together with his bare hands and achieving what no different could before him (presumably fully armed) by eradicating the beast.

In the subsequent struggle with Grendel's mother Beowulf the actual choice to enter the struggle with a blade and armour for safety. At least as far as the sword is involved this may convey more to do with the fact it absolutely was a gift from Unferth than any notion Beowulf could have been more concerned by challenge of killing Grendel's mother. His super-human attributes here are defined not by how this individual chooses to the battle, as they had been in his first encounter, yet where he selects to confront the huge, in the ‘heaving depths with the lake'. We could told how it was ‘the best part of the day' just before he gets to his destination at the bottom with the lake. Obviously to any normal human spending this length of time underwater can be an entirely impossible process, but Beowulf is seemingly able to break natural laws in line with his leading man, or Übermensch, status. Additionally but at the conclusion of this swim he...

Bibliography: •

• ‘Grendel ' – John Gardner, Gollancz, 2004

• ‘The Enemies and the Authorities ', M. R. 3rd there�s r. Tolkien, Nicholson, Anthology of Beowulf Critique, Notre dame press, 1963

• ‘Beowulf ', Seamus Heaney, Faber and Faber, 1999


• ‘Pride and Prodigies ', Andy Orchard, Boydell & Machine, 1995

• ‘Beowulf and the Dragon ', Christine Rauer, D. S. Machine, 2000

• ‘Beowulf – An Edition ' Bruce Mitchell and Wendy C. Johnson, Blackwell Publishers, 1998

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