The Hero Essay Research Paper English Literature — страница 2

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dragon and talk to his only loyal warrior for a few minutes before he dies. Besides doing something beyond the normal range of a human, Beowulf also gives up his life for something bigger than himself. This is another characteristic of a hero according to Campbell. Beowulf gives up his life to save his people when he is king. Since no other warrior will fight the dragon that is plundering the village Beowulf must go to defend his land. Beowulf?s shield is melted while he is fighting and the dragon takes his chance and bites Beowulf in the neck and injects poison into him. This is a fatal wound but Beowulf still kills the dragon by stabbing him. Beowulf?s wound is to great and he dies after saving his land from the horrible monster. Other than having the characteristics of a hero,

a character must also follow the path that is predefined for the hero, accourding to Campbell. The first step on this path is the hero must intentionally sets out on his or her own to complete a physical deed with a moral objective. He decides to leave his homeland and go to the land of the Danes. Beowulf plans on defending the Danes from a monster he has heard about that is attacking the mead hall. Beowulf sails off with his fellow warriors to the land of the Danes and go to visti Hrothgar, the Danes king. Once there Beowulf announces that he is going to rid the land of Grendel. The reason Beowulf gives for helping Hrothgar defeat Grendel is that long ago Hrothgar once protected Beowulf?s father, Ectheow, in a time of exile. The physical deed that Beowulf carries out is killing

Grendel. The two fight a hard battle in the mead hall the night that Beowulf arrives. Beowulf defeats the monster by ripping his arm off from the shoulder down. In the morning everyone comes and sees Beowulf?s triumph. Another step, according to Campbell, is the hero departs from his home to fulfill a deed and then return home again. Beowulf leaves the only land that he has ever know to go and fight a monster that is terrorizing another land. Beowulf goes and slays two monsters. Fist he slays Grendel. Grendel is defeated, but a second problem arrises. When Grendel?s Mother finds that her son is dead she is enraged and vows revenge on the people who did this. Beowulf then has to fight Grendel?s Mother because she attacked Herot, the mead hall, and kills Aeschere, the kings most

trusted thane. After slaying the mother Beowulf goes back home to see his own king. Another step on the path to becomming a hero, according to Campbell, is to shape a savage world out of the existing one. Beowulf does this by fighting for what is right in the world. When ever a monster threatenes to destroy something in the land he is in he goes and fights it. When Grendel threatenes the Danes, Beowulf kills Grendel by pulling off his arm. When Grendel?s Mother threatenes the Danes, Beowulf goes into a dark lake to a cave and slays her with a mystical sword. When a dragon comes and threatenes to destroy the entire land of the Geats, Beowulf goes and slayes it. Even when Beowulf is king of the Geats he is shaping a savage world into a tame one. For the fifty years that Beowulf

rules there is no type of violence happening in his land. The next step that is on the path to becomming a hero is that of the mental development through trials which transformes the heros state of consciouseness. The reader sees the transformation in Beowulf each time he prepares to go and fight a monster. At first when Beowulf is fighting Grendel he wares no helment, uses no sword and carries no shield. He goes into the battle completely unarmed and expects to win easily. The next battle that Beowulf fights is against Grendel?s Mother. For this battle Beowulf does not go in empty handed. Beowulf now barrows a sword and puts on a suit of armor and a helment. He now assumes that he is going to need more than just courage to fight the monster at the bottom of the lake. The last

battle that Beowulf fights he puts on every type of defensive device he can find. Not only does he put on a suit of armor, a helment, and take a sword, he has a shield made just for this battle. Each time the reader can see that Beowulf is becomming wiser in his decisions and his state of consciousness is transformed. Another step that a hero takes, according to Campbell, is to take care of his moral obligations. Each time that Beowulf went into battle he did so because of a moral obligation. The first obligation he has is to Hrothgar for saving his father a long time ago. Since Hrothgar did save Beowulf?s father Beowulf decides that he is obligated to help out the king when he is in trouble and being discraced. The next moral obligation that Beowulf has is to kill Grendel?s