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Hero Cycle: Beowulf

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David Milburn

on 5 May 2014

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Transcript of Hero Cycle: Beowulf

Accepting the Call
Beowulf decides to help the people of Herot!
The Descent
The hero descends into the monster's lair and defeats them or makes peace with them
Test & Trials
The Hero overcomes a medley of life threatening events becoming a stronger person overall.
The Call!
Beowulf is called to help Herot and its people
Crossing the Threshold
The hero leaves their familiar home and sets out towards foreign shores.
Hero Cycle: Beowulf
"...strongest of the Geats - greater and stronger than anyone in this world - Heard how Grendel filled nights with horror"
(Beowulf 43 lines 110-112).
"proclaiming that he'd go to that famous king. Would sail across the sea to Hrothgar"
(Beowulf 45 lines 114-115).
"Straight to that Danish shore, set their ship out on the waves under the cliffs"
(Beowulf 43 lines 124-125).
"Snapped muscle and bone split and broke. The battle was over, Beowulf had been granted new glory"
(Beowulf 49 lines 391-393).
However, in the text it does mention that twelve winters pass during Grendel's attacking. So, is Beowulf truly this super heroic icon we are supposed to believe? That's twelve years! Twelve years of terror from a monster during the night!
"He leaped into the lake would not wait for anyone's answer, the heaving water covered him over"
(Beowulf 51 lines 467-469).
The amount of force required to actively rip a man's arm off is somewhere around 26,000 N of force. In layman's terms that's more force generated by a horse at a dead sprint. The average force of a punch by a full grown man is 3,300 N of force. This means that Beowulf is over ten times stronger than the average man, while only moving inches compared to nearly two feet.
Selecting of Arms
The hero acquires a weapon or skill set to wield against the evil monster/forces.
"My hands alone shall fight for me, struggle for life against the monster"
(Beowulf 46 lines 267-269).
Beowulf swims for hours! The longest time anyone has stayed underwater holding their breath was twenty-two minutes by a German man! Even if we decide that hours only means two, that is almost six times longer than ever recorded! Sounds like a bunch of hogwash to me.
So, exactly how far down does Beowulf get? Well, in order to calculate that we need to know how much he weighs, and his total volume. So according to Newton's second law: F=m*a we can find his acceleration by dividing the total force by his mass. However, in water, there are two forces acting on a person: gravity, and buoyancy. So really, we need the force of gravity minus the buoyancy force divided by his mass.
So if we say that Beowulf weights only 84.5 kilograms and his chainmail is only an extra 50, then his total weight is 134.5 kilograms. Therefore, the force of gravity is 1318 N downward. His buoyancy force would be the total volume of water displaced by his body multiplied by the weight of water per liter which is around 1.000028. So his buoyancy force is 66.402 N upward. So, his total downward acceleration is 9.31 meters per second per second. Alright! Now how far would he fall in two hours? Well, that would be 67005.39 meters. That's around 1/100th of the distance to Earth's core. This is past the point where the blood in the human body would start to freeze. Way past. However, how much pressure is on him at this level? It's around 6648.2 atmospheres worth of pressure. The average human actively falls apart at 10 atmospheres worth
The Change
The hero stops being selfish and becomes selfless instead
"I sold my life for this treasure, and I sold it well. Take what I leave Wiglaf, lead my people"
(Beowulf 60 lines 820-822).
The Return
The hero returns back to his home. Not rocket science. He goes home.
"After being honored by Hrothgar; Beowulf and his fellow Geats return home"
(Beowulf 54 intro).
I am aware that Beowulf fights a dragon. Let it go, it's just too much. He is the epitome of anti-physics man. He's already dead from just ripping off Grendel's arm, the suffocation, the pressure alone, the boiling water, the freezing water, a blast of dragon fire and an unhealthy dosage of acidic monster blood. Beowulf - you're worse than superman.
The hero lets go of his adventures and accepts the slow moving simple life.
"Beowulf rules Geatland for fifty years"
(Beowulf 54 intro).
Full transcript