Archetypes rough draft

7 July 2016

?Archetypes are used in almost every story ever told. Some may be basic, while others can be more elaborate. The most important archetypes are those used in characters. If one was to compare characters from different tales, no matter the time period in which they were created, a strong similarity would be strikingly apparent. This is because of archetypes. An archetype sets the tone for a certain thing. The archetype of the color white, for instance, is innocence.

This causes one to associate the color white with innocence. The same goes for character archetype. The archetypes of characters effectively placed unto the plotline of Beowulf both make Beowulf stronger, and essentially destroy him as well. These influences, combined with the heroic archetype shown in the character of Beowulf, have set a model for some modern tales of a hero’s journey. An example of this is The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien.

In the hobbit, many of the character archetypes as first presented in Beowulf appear again. In Beowulf, you will see many archetypes used in characters placed into the story to move it along. Many will change the premise of stories forever. The use of archetypes in Beowulf both influence Beowulf in his quests as well as modern literature today. Out of the many archetypes shown in Beowulf, two characters show the greatest influence and biggest impact on the life and success of Beowulf. One of those characters is Wiglaf.

He becomes a faithful follower of Beowulf towards the end of the tale, and in the end sets the tone for the character of a loyal sidekick. While most sidekicks accompany a hero on all of his endeavors, Wiglaf is only there for the last. The last, however, turns out to be the most important; as it is the las t thing Beowulf will do. Wiglaf is the only one to support our hero at this point, and does not give up on him even though he is well aware that Beowulf will go down in his last battle.

He also knows that he is risking his own life as well, yet he goes without hesitation, “quote “ ( – ). This illustrates the type of character Wiglaf is, thus creating an archetype for the “sidekick” character, a common character used in most stories. An example of this is [ ] in [ ], “quote “(- ). This is an example of the sidekick archetype appearing in more modern literature, proving the impact that archetypes have. In Beowulf, Wiglaf encourages Beowulf to finish the dragon before he perishes, which he inevitably will. That is the job of a sidekick.

A sidekick’s job is not to rescue the hero, or to step in and save the day, but to support and encourage the hero that he or she is so devoted to. If it had not been for Wiglaf’s support, Beowulf may have withered away without finishing what he began, killing his legacy with him. “Begin with Grendel quote…. ” ( – ). Grendel is perhaps the most important archetypal character in the tale; his archetype being “the creature from the nightmare”, shown when he savagely destroys the men in Herot; “Grendel quote” ( – ). This shows that……

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