Consistent in literature throughout every era and culture, archetypes represent a recurring image, pattern, or motif mirroring a typical human experience. An idea developed by Carl Jung, archetypes in literature exist as representations reflecting vital perceptions of the human psyche expressing the manner in which individuals experience the world. Using Jung’s concept, writers of all epochs embeds archetypes in structures, characters, and images of their narratives. John Gardner, in his novel Grendel, integrates several of Jung’s archetypes into his epic tale derived from the early story Beowulf. Gardner associates Jung’s personas of the outcast, the shadow, and the mentor-pupil relationship through the identities of Grendel, the narrator of events, and the dragon.
The outcast, an identity relating to nearly every humanistic myth or story, represents the tragic creature Grendel. A giant beast with the intellectual equivalence of a human, Grendel lives nearly half his life before realizin...
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- Grendel, Beowulf and the Relationship Between Nihilistic and Christian Archetypes The Wisdom god, Woden, went out to the king of trolls…and demanded to know how order might triumph over chaos. “Give me your left eye,” said the king of trolls, “and I’ll tell you.” Without hesitation, Woden gave up his left eye. “Now tell me.” The troll said, “The secret is, Watch with both eyes!” Woden’s left eye was the last sure hope of gods and men in their kingdom of light surrounded by darkness. All we have left is Thor’s hammer, which represents not brute force but art, or, counting both hammerheads, art and criticism… The philosophies expressed in the Beowulf epic complement the exploration of exi... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
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- Archetypes refer to the persistently recurring symbols or motifs in literature. The term itself has its origins in ancient Greek and continues to play a prominent role in analyzing literature. Archetypal images and story patterns encourage readers to participate ritualistically in basic beliefs, fears, and anxieties of their age. These archetypal features not only constitute the eloquence of the text but also tap into a level of desires and concerns of civilization. The Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf, translated by Seamus Heaney, integrates many of the common archetypes that still exist today.... [tags: literary analysis, archetypes]
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- The Meaning of Beowulf Displayed Through Archetypes There are many things in life that we do not have control over. In the majority of everyday life situations, people tend to react a certain way through human instinct. This instinct will portray one to be a wonderfully pleasant or extremely pusillanimous human being. Whether the person is viewed having a good or evil spirit strictly depends on the circumstances. Good vs. evil will always be a controversial subject that will be displayed through story telling, or just ordinary every day life.... [tags: Epic of Beowulf Essay]
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- John Gardner’s Grendel is the retelling of the heroic epic poem Beowulf; however, the viewpoint has shifted. Grendel is told from the viewpoint of one of Beowulf’s antagonists and the titular character of Gardner’s work—Grendel. In Grendel, Gardner humanizes Grendel by emphasizing parallels between Grendel’s life and human life. Through Gardner’s reflection of human feelings, human development, and human flaws in Grendel, this seemingly antagonistic, monstrous character becomes understood and made “human.” Grendel exhibits human feelings and characteristics in many ways.... [tags: Humanization, Grendel, John Gardner, ]
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- Living life as a human being is a very difficult task for us humans to accomplish, yet we are doing so. Many works of literature have a character that portrays something on or about life. Three characters of well known novels will carry on with this function. On John Gardners, Grendel the main character Grendel is very confused of the life he is living. He is in search of his purpose in life, what he doesn’t realize at the beginning is his purpose is to be the villain. The humans in the novel are terrified of Grendel because to them he is a beast.... [tags: Epic Poems, Grendel, Anglo-Saxon]
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- John Gardner's Grendel The archeologist's eyes combine the view of the telescope and the view of the microscope. He reconstructs the very distant with the help of the very small. - Thornton Wilder These words, uttered by Thornton Wilder regarding his play Our Town express the antithesis of nihilism, a philosophy which stresses the lack of objective truth. Nihilism, as well as existentialism and a host of other philosophies are boldly explored in Grendel, a novel by John Gardner.... [tags: Grendel Essays]
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