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Elements of the Epic Hero- Beowulf

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by

Tori Kager

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Elements of the Epic Hero- Beowulf

Beowulf- An Epic Hero The cycle must reach a low point where the hero nearly gives up his quest or appears defeated. Beowulf escapes Grendel’s mother’s attack and drives a sword into her neck. A resurrection. Beowulf becomes famous, gains what is rightfully his and later receives the throne. Restitution. Often this takes the form of the hero regaining his rightful place on the throne. Beowulf possesses superior strength that is evidenced in the way that he brutally destroys the monsters that have burdened the people of Heorot. The main character is a hero, who often possesses supernatural abilities or qualities. “he thirty men’s grapple has in his hand” (VII. 9-10) http://thumbs.gograph.com/gg5215201.jpg Beowulf decides upon his mission to help the people of Heorot by killing Grendel and offers his services to King Hrothgar. The hero is charged with a quest. Beowulf says,
“I may unaided, my earlmen assisting me,
This brave-mooded war-band, purify Heorot.” (VII. 59-60) http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_sZNGuiG8Uz4/TJ-9ri0KBkI/AAAAAAAAAAk/dXr2GzAW8Mc/S748/grendel.gif “Then a proud-mooded hero
Asked of the champions questions of lineage” (VI. 13-14) The hero is tested, often to prove the worthiness of himself and his quest. Unferth is jealous of Beowulf and taunts, “Art thou that Beowulf with Breca did struggle,On the wide sea-currents at swimming contended” (IX. 8-9) Beowulf jests that Unferth cannot talk coherently because he has the story all wrong. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-DUXvisnqBrU/TnYcA-SXUGI/AAAAAAAABCU/CREYz9ku54c/s1600/Gerard_Butler_as_Beowulf.jpg Beowulf encounters many creatures on his quest. The presence of numerous mythical beings, magical and helpful animals,and human helpers and companions. “Many a serpent, mere-dragons wondrous
Trying the waters, nickers a-lying” (XXII. 42-43) Beowulf stole from a dragon’s hoard...
“Then the day was done as the dragon would have it,
He no longer would wait on the wall, but departed
Fire-impelled, flaming.” (XXXII. 85-87) http://www.fantasy-workshop.com/faw/image-files/sanke-clip-art-1.jpg Beowulf is pulled into Grendel’s mother’s underwater lair. The hero’s travels take him to a

supernatural world, often one that

normal human beings are barred

from entering. “Forth did she grab them, grappled the warriorWith horrible clutches” (XXIII. 28-29) "There ever at night one an ill-meaning portent
A fire-flood may see” (XXI. 43-44) http://www.pinkraygun.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/09/keeping-beowulfgrendlesma-e.jpg Grendel’s mother bears a knife on Beowulf. “Then she sat on the hall-guestAnd wielded her war-knife wide-bladed, flashing” (XXIII. 70-71) In making advances on Beowulf, the dragon tears the hero’s neck and he starts to bleed. “Fierce-raging fire-drake, of feud-hate was mindful,Charged on the strong one, when chance was afforded,Heated and war-grim, seized on his neckWith teeth that were bitter; he bloody did wax withSoul-gore seething” (XXXVI. 84-89) http://csis.pace.edu/grendel/projf984b/Fight%20with%20dragon.gif “He grasped then the sword-hilt, knight of the Scyldings,
Bold and battle-grim, brandished his ring-sword,
Hopeless of living, hotly he smote her” (XXIV 7-9) http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/data/media/93/BeowulfGrendelsMom-port.jpg “Turned there in time extensive dominions:
He fittingly ruled them a fifty of winters” (XXXI 61-62) “So Ecgtheow’s bairn brave did prove him,
War-famous man, by deeds that were valiant,
He lived in honor” (XXXI 32-34) http://images.sharefaith.com/images/3/1227651467997_36/img_1227651467997_361.jpg
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