Beowulf is an epic poem and the character Beowulf is an archetypal hero because of his archetypal characteristics. Just like in any other epic poem the archetypal hero follows the hero cycle. In Beowulf, the poet uses imagery to characterize Beowulf as a hero in order to show conflict in his battles which shows his archetypal characteristics.
The poet characterizes Beowulf by using imagery. For example, “greater and stronger than anyone anywhere in this world”. (109-110) These words come from the Geats who are barbaric people to begin with, so this shows that Beowulf does live up to his strength. Furthermore it also shows that no task is too big for Beowulf to handle. “lifted the sword that no ordinary man could lift”. The poet put this in the poem to show one of Beowulf’s archetypal characteristics, this shows how strong and determined Beowulf is. In other words this shows that Beowulf is not like any other man and is one of a kind.
The poet further characterizes Beowulf through conflict in his battles. For example, “And for the first time in his life that famous prince fought with fate against him, with glory”. (723-724) This characterizes Beowulf by showing that he is a brave and courageous warrior because he fought him for his first time with glory. Also just like in any other epic poems the hero overcomes evil which characterizes him as an archetypal hero which follows the hero cycle. “Hammered by giants, strong and blessed with their magic… and struck with all the strength he had left, caught her in the neck and cut it through.” Beowulf shows courage in all of his battles; his intelligence is far above any others. Furthermore he used the sword made by the giants to kill Grendel’s mother.
The poet’s use of conflict makes Beowulf’s archetypal characteristics. “My life was almost lost, fighting for it, struggling under water: I’d have been dead at once, and the fight finishes, if our father in heaven had not helped me.” In the poem...