In Gilgamesh, we see several of Campbell’s stages of the heroic myth. We see Gilgamesh introduced in his ordinary world, he is called to adventure twice, he passes the first threshold, he meets several helpers and encounters tests, he reaches the innermost cave, endures the supreme ordeal, seizes the treasure, is resurrected, and returns home with the treasure. Gilgamesh begins the tale at home as the restless king (introduction of the hero in their ordinary world). He soon meets his helper Enkidu and the two of them go off on their adventure to the forest to defeat Humbaba (call to adventure). Enkidu dies. This prompts the grief stricken Gilgamesh to seek the answer to immortality (another call to adventure and passes first threshold). While in the underworld Gilgamesh passes many tests before he meets Utnapishtim and his wife (more helpers) who help him find the magical flower of everlasting life (reaches innermost cave/most dangerous part of the adventure). But Gilgamesh loses the magic plant to the trickster snake who steals immortality for itself (endures supreme ordeal). So Gilgamesh returns home with the understanding that immortality is reserved for the gods and that he is human (seizes treasure and returns home with treasure). He will experience death and he realizes that he must live his life and enjoy it (resurrection). Beowulf
In Beowulf, we see almost all of Campbell’s stages of the heroic myth. We see Beowulf called to adventure, he passes the first threshold, encounters tests and helpers, endures the supreme ordeal, seizes the treasure, takes the road back, resurrection, and returns with the treasure. Beowulf is called to adventure by the kingdom of King Hrothgar because they need his help to fight the monster Grendel, so Beowulf sets out to Denmark. Beowulf never refuses the call to adventure because he is confident that he can defeat Grendel. The first night that Beowulf arrives, he faces a test. Unferth is jealous of Beowulf and...
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