Hero and Hero’s Journey Essay

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“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself” (BrainyQuote). There are many characteristics that are included when talking about an archetypal hero. They include unusual circumstances of birth, leaves family and lives with others, traumatic event lead to quest, special weapon, supernatural help, and proves himself on a quest. I plan on comparing and contrasting how Beowulf and Tarzan can be viewed the same but also different when under the topic of archetypal heroes. By symbolically going where normal humans can not, both Beowulf and Tarzan teach modern audiences lessons about life.

Starting off, between the two characters mentioned, they seem to share many traits. Like Beowulf, Tarzan is also born into an unusual circumstance. Beowulf is born into royalty, while Tarzan is saved by Kala when he was a small child. Next, both Tarzan and Beowulf leave their family and live with others. Tarzan grows up with apes after his ape mother Kala rescues him and he does not know about the life of humans, while Beowulf leaves his people: the geats, to go to Denmark when hearing about Grendel. Beowulf and Tarzan are alike because they prove themselves on a quest. Beowulf defeats the monster, Grendel, and his mother when he goes on his quest to Denmark. Tarzan tries proving he is worthy and that he belongs with the apes and wants Kerchak to believe he is useful and that he is not an outcast upon their family. However, unlike Beowulf, Tarzan does not have a special weapon he uses within his quest. Beowulf has his hands and his sword that helps him through the battles. Contrary to Tarzan, Beowulf has some supernatural help when he has the power to take down the monsters with his hands.

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A Lot of lessons were learned by the hero’s throughout their tough times. Their journey taught them a lot and had some big impacts on them. Starting with Beowulf, he has multiply things happen to him to conclude the lessons of his journey. He defeats Grendel with bare hands, also defeats his mother, and lastly defeats the dragon but is killed during the process. He learns that as he gets older he is weaker and not as he was when he was a younger man. Although, he still fights to have the glory and fame he always enjoyed having. Living up to his internal expectations, while also wanting others to look up to him and think of him as a great hero is why he continues to do everything he does. Sometimes Beowulf is over confidence in the actions he does, but if he would not be he may have never been the hero he is now. The thought to him of always being remembered by the society may be what pushed him to continue to fight for the lives of the people he cares about. He does what others can not and also what the will not do so he can show his braveness and love for his people. Moving on to Tarzan, he too completes a lot of tasks that impact his results of his journey. By starting off he protected his ape family when Clayton invades their jungle and tries to take their home away. Tarzan is always wanting to keep his family safe so whenever Kerchak is in trouble he tries his hardest to save him. By showing Kerchak that he celongs, and fits in, to the family means that he needs to do whatever it takes to become one of them. When noticing then humans he realizes he is one of them and has to adjust to it. Fighting off a leappad to keep Jane safe shows he is truly a hero that will do anything to keep them all alive and safe. Tarzan puts his life before the others to show he is worthy. COming to Clayton, even though he is a human Tarzan fights against him to keep his real family safe. When Jane wants him to leave he has to make a decision. This is hard because he loves jane but would do anything go the apes. His curiosity was what lead him to his call to adventure. Both Beowulf and Tarzan figure out ways to help and defeat the monsters or people that try to hurt their own.

Hero’s journey has to end somewhere and they all have some type of lesson learned. Beowulf becomes stronger after everything happens, mentally and physically. He learns what he did was the best for his people, and by doing everything he did he knows what it feels like to have fame and glory. He finds out what it is like to sacrifice his own life. While also, has a point of no return when he is at Herot and is about to fight Grendel. When about to fight the dragon he knows that most likely it would end up killing him but does it anyways for everyone to look up to him. SHows that he is wise but also kind. Ending his journey being an epic hero , means he fought mostly alson to have all the fame. Beowulf changes from beginning to end by just watching the glory and fame to then being the king and defeats the dragon, taking his fie to keep the rest safe from then on. Tarzan also ends his journey learning a lot from his experiences. He realizes he doesn’t want to leave his family, his home is what he always has known. Tarzan shows Kerchak he is worthy enough to stay with him after he completes all his obstacles. Saving the apes from Clayton and the leopard , proves he can protect them all. He realizes they need him to stay to continue to protect them so he does not go along with Jane. Giving up finding out what it is like to be a human by staying in the jungle. Tarzan has adapted to both worlds, human and apes.

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