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"Her foamy neck was fleet and buoyant, A lapped prow loping over currents, Until finally the Geats caught sight of coastline And familiar cliffs. The keel reared up, Wind lifted it home, it hit on the land."(1905-1913)
The story Beowulf does not go in a linear order when it comes to the hero's journey. In lines 1905-1913, Beowulf is experiencing part 8 of the heroes' journey: the return, in which the hero must return home. After his battle with Grendel and Grendel's mother in Denmark, he returns home to Geatland. However, Beowulf is not done with his battling.
"thus the king acted with due custom, I was paid and recompensed completely, Given full measure and the freedom to choose from Hrothgar's treasures by Hrothgar himself." (2144-2147)
In this scene (lines 2144-2147) Beowulf is describing to King Hygelac the various rewards and treasures he got from Hrothgar. Hrothgar gave him these gifts for defeating Grendel and Grendel's mother. Beowulf is describing part 7 of the heroes' journey: the ultimate gift, in which the hero receives a prize, treasure, or attainment of something.
The Ultimate Gift
"Once again the king Gathered his strength and drew a stabbing knife He carried on his belt, sharpened for battle. He stuck it deep into the dragon’s flank. Beowulf dealt it a deadly wound. They had killed the enemy, courage quelled his life; That pair of kinsmen, partners in nobility, Had destroyed the foe." (2702-2709)
In lines 2702-2709 Beowful is facing his third and final trial. In the heroes' journey, a hero typically takes a road of trails in which the hero faces 3 specific trials. In Beowulf's journey his 3 trials are Grendel, Grendel's mother, and a dragon. He beats all of them successfully, but his last battle ends up killing him. His final battle brings an end to his heroic journey.
Road of Trials
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