Beowulf Hero's Journey | Beowulf Epic Hero | Beowulf Summary activity - Create a Monomyth for Beowulf!
CALL TO ADVENTURE
MENTOR / HELPER
Beowulf's ordinary world was Geatland.
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
Beowulf heard stories of a monster known as Grendel, who was hunting the warriors of Heorot. Over twelve years, Grendel killed more than 30 of King Hrothgar’s men. The people needed a hero of epic proportions, so they called upon Beowulf.
TESTS / ALLIES / ENEMIES
(No Refusal) Beowulf could not refuse the plight of King Hrothgar, so he gathered his best men and set off for Denmark.
King Hrothgar becomes Beowulf's mentor, though his influence is not seen at first. Beowulf uses the incident with Grendel as a guide when he becomes king. Through Hrothgar, Beowulf learns that a king who cannot fight is useless to his people. Another helper is Unferth who lends the sword, Hrunting, to Beowulf to help him defeat Grendel’s mother.
Beowulf and his men cross the sea from Geatland to Denmark.
Beowulf battles Grendel, and outsmarts the monster; he takes Grendel's arm as a trophy, mortally wounding him. Later, he also battles the swamp hag and the dragon. An important ally against the dragon is Wiglaf.
Thinking he has ended the battle, the Geats throw a great feast in his honor. However, they learn there is a new foe: Grendel's mother. Beowulf’s work is not yet done.
Beowulf must defeat the evil swamp hag to save the Danes. To defeat her, he swims into the her underwater lair and stabs her with a sword made for a giant.
King Hrothgar gives Beowulf his finest horses and a massive treasure.
Upon returning home, Beowulf ascends to the throne of his homeland where he rules wisely for over 50 years.
When he first returns, he gives Hygelac gifts. Years later, his heroic deeds are again needed. When a would-be thief disturbs a dragon, it threatens his land. Knowing he has lived a full life and seeing his death before him, Beowulf charges into the action and defeats the dragon, but not before he is bitten in the neck and poisoned.
According to legend, Beowulf's body and a massive treasure were burned on a funeral pyre overlooking the sea. He dies a hero’s death, and his stories are told over generations.