The Hero Essay Research Paper English Literature

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The Hero Essay, Research Paper English Literature 261 The Hero Zorro, Lassie, Hercules, and Beowulf all have something in common, they are all considered hero?s. It does not matter if the hero is a man, woman, animal or an intimate object that springs to life. It does not matter where the hero comes from or how old he or she is. The only thing that a hero needs to do to be a hero, according to Joseph Campbell, is follows a predefined path of a hero and have some common characteristics of one, too. Joseph Campbell in one of the most knowledgeable people on the subject of a hero. According to Joseph Campbell many hero?s have completed the same deed over and over again throughout history. He points out that a hero is not limited to one particular time or place. Campbell explains

the details about what makes a hero a hero in his discussion The Hero?s Journey. The story of the hero must have a mystical quality. A hero?s characteristics should include doing something beyond the normal range of a human and giving up one?s life for something bigger. A hero?s sequence of events is began by the hero intentionally setting out on ones own to complete a physical deed for a moral objective. The hero is trying to shape a savage world out of his existing world. The hero departs from his home to fulfill his deed and then returns home again. The hero undergoes a mental development throughout the story through different trials that he or she is facing. This transforms the heroes state of consciousness. The hero learns to live in the system in which he or she is and does

not fall victim to it. Lastly whatever is accomplished by the hero is lost when he or she dies. In the story of Beowulf the main character follows Campbell?s outline of a hero. It is an Anglo-Saxon poem that recounts the life of the hero Beowulf and this poem is one of the oldest existing poems in the English language. First of all for a hero to be a hero he needs to be present in a story that has a mystical quality about it, according to Campbell. The reader can see this mystical quality in Beowulf everywhere he or she looks. First of all as the story begins it talks of a tribe of people, called the Danes, rescuing a castaway baby at sea. The baby that the tribe rescues turns out later to be their king. Another mystical quality that the story has is its monsters. Grendel,

Grendel?s Mother, and the dragon are all foes that intend on killing Beowulf in the story. Each monster possesses strength and powers beyond the range of any human. The hero himself bring a mystical quality to the story by also possessing strength beyond the range of any other human. The story even possesses a mystical because of a sword that is in it. The sword that Beowulf fights Grendel?s Mother with is stronger than any sword ever made by man because is forged by giants. For a hero to be a hero he has to possess certain characteristics which make him one. One of these characteristics is doing something beyond the normal range of a human. Beowulf does this each time that he fights a monster. When Beowulf fights Grendel it says that while the two were struggling Grendel ?Knew

at once that nowehere on earth/Had he met a man whose hands were harder?(Raffel 46). A monster that no other man could fight before with weapons and win, Beowulf fought without any weapon and won. When Beowulf fought Grendel?s Mother, he goes into a lake that no other man has ever went into before and came out alive. While in the cave under the lake Beowulf fight a battle with a sword forged by giants that no other man could lift and wins that battle, too. Beowulf carries the head of Grendel, which was in the cave with his mother, back to his men by himself. It takes four of his fellow warriors to carry the head of Grendel that Beowulf carried by himself. Finally when Beowulf is fighting the dragon after being bitten in the neck and filled with poison he still manages to kill the