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Beowulf's birth
10-12-2011, 11:33 AM
Post: #1
Beowulf's birth
In the hero's journey, it is said that the hero is brought on from a supernatural birth. In Beowulf's case, there was no specific details about his birth. Rather, there were details about his childhood living with Hrethel. The way I took the "birth" stage was that he was born into the persona of a warrior/heroic figure. Hrethel trained him along with his other sons. Maybe this stage was not literal, but meant to show Beowulf's beginnings of being a hero.
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10-12-2011, 11:48 AM
Post: #2
RE: Beowulf's birth
That's a great theory Carlos. I agree that Beowulf's birth had more meaning to it then portrayed in the text. Throughout "Beowulf" I felt that as the readers we were required to read into the text and create our own interpretations in order to justify what was occurring in relation to the Hero's Journey (Campbell's monomyth criteria). At the same time, we also had to justify to ourselves why Beowulf would be considered a relevant "hero" stereotype.
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10-12-2011, 11:53 AM
Post: #3
RE: Beowulf's birth
Thanks Courtney. Beowulf also does a half-and-half type representation of the hero's journey too. There are the stages that are obvious like the battles with Grendel, and the Dragon, and then like you said, there are the symbolic stages that require you to read between the lines to discover what stage is occurring.
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10-12-2011, 11:55 AM
Post: #4
RE: Beowulf's birth
I agree with Carlos too. Beowulf's birth is not meant to be taken literal. I believe that Beowulf's birth was into adventure, and courage. The story describes how when he was little, he was not seen as a strong figure, yet when he grew older he stepped into the life of adventure, especially when racing another warrior in the ocean.
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10-12-2011, 11:56 AM
Post: #5
RE: Beowulf's birth
I agree. I found it hard to find similarities between some of Campbell's stages of monomyth. For example, it was easy to see how Beowulf might follow monomyth for stages such as call to adventure or crossing the threshold, yet for others, such as the flight, it was more difficult to identify. It seemed like creativity played a role in determining how Beowulf followed these stages.
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10-12-2011, 01:54 PM
Post: #6
RE: Beowulf's birth
(10-12-2011 11:33 AM)CarlosSosa Wrote:  In the hero's journey, it is said that the hero is brought on from a supernatural birth. In Beowulf's case, there was no specific details about his birth. Rather, there were details about his childhood living with Hrethel. The way I took the "birth" stage was that he was born into the persona of a warrior/heroic figure. Hrethel trained him along with his other sons. Maybe this stage was not literal, but meant to show Beowulf's beginnings of being a hero.

While his birth wasn't miraculous his childhood was different from a normal child's. He was orphaned as raised by a king it seems that even though he didn't fulfill it to the fullest extent, a person could see it as some "fabulous circumstances surrounding" his childhood, at least partially satisfying the birth stage. Even if someone didn't t think he fullfilled the step he is no less of a hero then if his mother was a virigin.
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