Archetypes Beowulf

Battle between Good and Evil Beowulf vs all the monsters: Beowulf is a legendary hero who kills monsters that terrorize innocent people. The monsters are viewed as aggressors and heros as
The Ritual He boasts to the warriors in front of him that he is equal to his opponent, represents the battle between life and death, transition of normal experience to battle and war.
The Magic Weapon Sword – Beowulf’s sword is an “infallible” ancient iron which had never betrayed him or weakened in battle, until it snapped as Beowulf was fighting the dragon
Light vs. Darkness Once the light comes in is the only time that Beowulf sees Grendel, represents that darkness is evil and hateful and light is good and heroic
Hells All the demons live in the swamp, or in exile: All the monsters of the world reside in hell or hell-like situations
Supernatural Intervention God (religion) During his battle with Grendel’s mother, his sword fails him and he is left unable to kill her. It seems as if the situation is hopeless, but God had already decided the fate of the battle and shows Beowulf a mighty sword capable of killing her. When all hope is lost, a higher power gives the aid to the hero that lets them win. (they win based on whether or not the hero is blessed)
The Fall Falling from being powerful falling from ideals to become humbled, wounded, or more normal.
Fire Beowulf is purified by being burned, first time in battle he needs help, he loses his harmful ego
Water A source of both life and death – in water scene with grendel’s mother, there is blood in the water, which everyone thinks is Beowulf’s, but he himself walks out of the water unscathed. Also, after the battle with the dragon, Wiglaf tries to make Beowulf better by trying to revive him with water (and is unsuccessful)
Warrior beowulf – he has great physical strength and is viewed as invincible. He seeks justice for those who have been wronged and is essentially the embodiment of a warrior.
Gossip Unferth – as soon as beowulf arrived, he started spreading rumours – but nobody bought into his disparaging comments towards Beowulf because Unferth had killed his own kin and Beowulf was seen as a savior
Loyal Retainers Wiglaf tried to protect Beowulf from the dragon. Without him seeing beowulf died, it wouldn’t mean as much. The geats loyally wait for beowulf when everyone else thinks he died in the water
Creature/Monster Grendel and Grendel’s mother (who are monsters) bring out Beowulf’s darkest side / monsters bring out the dark, evil side in everyone
Innate Wisdom -Unexpected wisdom- Wiglaf’s unbreakable loyalty to king. No one expects that since it’s his first battle. Hrothgar foreshadows beowulf’s demise and he knows he’ll never see him again (innate wisdom for relationships)
Wilderness Beowulf is not safe in the lake, which represents the journey into a separate part of the world outside the town, where danger lurks in the wild and where evil quite literally resides.

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