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Analysis on Storytelling

The Holistic Core of the Story

We love discussing writing strategies down here at the QuestinAuthor H.Q., it’s sort of our thing. We love tearing through sentences and breaking them down to their most basic elements to see how they work. We love fretting over word choice and pondering on which literary device is best fit to convey the image of a scene. And while our love for tinkering with the finer aspects of will never wane, a series of insights have dawned upon us as of late.

You see, it is not a matter of what we said in the best being untrue, as to my knowledge, everything we have said is rather solid. But like all complex things in life, writing prime among them, we were reminded of something paramount. And that is the simple reality that context matters.

What’s that you say? Our language is still too vague? Well then, let me take you through some baby steps.

In essence, while everything we advised was true, the manner in which the QuestingAuthor team went about doing so was flawed. For an author such as yourself, it is pertinent that you know of the technical use of language, the use of proper figurative devices, and the most efficient rituals to help your writing routine. But wherein does the flaw lie? Well, it lies in the fact that we were teaching you about this in a void.

We alloted separate articles for each of these issues, and it was not from a malicious desire that we went about doing this. For the purpose of clarity, it was best that we introduce the ideas to our audience in a singular fashion, this way, we could stay concise on the subject at hand. But my personal gripe with this is that I feel I might have come off as being too absolute or preachy in how I went about this message. To the point where it might feel as though an individual author’s agency to deviate from my advice would seem moot.

And let me be clear, if you feel that there are circumstances in which my advice does not apply, you are by no means obligated to ignore your gut. The only truly constant rule when it comes to writing is that all standards are meant to be broken. Granted, perhaps some attempts breaking standards go too far, but even these have certain value to them.

But the last thing I would want to do is narrow all of this down to the idea that what constitutes a quality story is subjective, which I disagree with. What I will say, is that there are two different ways that one could go about looking at their story’s faults. Firstly one could take the traditional Western process of boiling everything down to be tackled in parts, which has its merits. But, this does not mean that it is the only method of analysis that a story should be subject to. A novel must also be examined as a holistic beast. This means we must also view it as though it were a whole.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that all problems in a book should be zoomed in on, but, they should not be viewed as though they exist only in their particular category. For example, one could look at an example of faulty word choice as though it were only an issue of grammar, which it is. But this faulty word choice is not limited to that. The kind of words that you use do not only affect grammar, but could affect the tone, the themes, and the intentions of a character or the nature of a location. Where you see one sentence, there is actually a minute aspect of the entire narrative.

We need to realize that when we tinker with any part of our stories, the effect of this tinkering always has the potential of cascading through the rest of the novel. And unfortunately, due to the very nature of this blog, I am incapable of rendering a concrete image of how you might go about doing this. As it stands, I can only tell you that you ought to do it. This is because to give you advice on how to “Holistically” approach your work, I would need to personally examine your writings. And not only am I a lazy person, but it is quite literally impossible for me to do this. However, you can.

If there was any piece of advice that I gave in this blog which I considered to be truly essential, it would be this. By all means, continue applying the advice of my posts, but know that sometimes, in the context of your story, you might have to go about it in a different way than what I described.

I hope you found something in all of this. It’s more “meta” than my usual posts, but understanding this could be the key to fixing a lot of problems that seem invisible in your manuscript.

As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep Writing, my friends.

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Three Reasons on Why I Tend to Write Young Protagonists

For some time now, I’ve been aware that the protagonists of my stories have never scraped past the age of 22. On average, I write characters whom are around my age, which means that they’re usually 18 years old. And what seemed to be one of those fleeting thoughts that pops into my head for a split-second became a detail that I’ve pondered over for a decent chunk of the week. And from the look of it, I’m not alone in this crowd. There’s a swath of individuals whom enjoy making their protagonists young.

This is isn’t necessarily a good thing…nor is it a bad thing either. At its worst, it’s just a peculiar quirk in which authors partake in often. I would think that people would get tired of seeing this kind of youthful hero portrayed so many times in media, books, and movies, but people eat it right up. And I can’t blame them!

We all have our weird quirks when it comes to the aesthetic in a work. I, for one, am not a white person. But for some reason, I tend to prefer fantasy worlds in which the majority of the population are based on the European Middle Ages, and by sheer happenstance, most of the characters happen to be of white skin! So my approach to this kind of aesthetic preference is that the author ought to create whatever world he wants to, be it whitewashed or not, and anyone whom complains about it ought to create a world of their own. I find it pointless to argue about another person’s creation based on something so arbitrary, but if I’d left it at that, I would just writing off the Young Age Factor in novels as being something based purely on aesthetics.

But as with all things I deign worthy enough to appear in this blog, once I spent a nice session thinking through it, I found that my choice to make young characters was far more utilitarian than I thought. But enough mindless exposition, let’s just dig into whatever the hell it is I found.

1. They bring the best blend of external and internal conflict to the table

As with all bullets I include here, know that there will always be exceptions to what I say. But on the whole, I find this to be true.

Specifically in adventure stories, the protagonist while undoubtedly trudge through a gallery of chases, mazes, fights, and acrobatic feats. Now, unless you’ve ever seen your 90-year old grandfather win a sword duel, it is undeniable that young people are more physically apt for whatever devilish trials you wish for him to undertake during the course of the book. Let’s face it, youthful people tend to be capable of more feats physical prowess, it’s just science. But that isn’t to say that young characters are better at everything.

While they are resilient on a physical levels, a young character is still vulnerable when it comes to the mind. Many themes such as identity and the quest for meaning just tend to mix better with young characters. This is because it is implied that their inexperience in life is the cause of their minds not being so mature, as a result, writing a young character is almost always the go-to path for stories about “Finding Oneself”.

2. They align seamlessly with the concept of a character arc

When writers say that they want a character to have an arc in their story, what they really mean is that they want the events of the story to mold the character into something new. This way, once you close the paperback you’ll know that the heroes you started reading about might be different people by the end.

“But, QuestingAuthor!” you ask. “Old folk can also be changed by the events of a story. They can have character arcs too you ageist!”

Fine, fine, I’ll concede that point. Save for one caveat. The longer that a person is alive, the more stubborn they become. This is for a number of reasons, namely because you’ll have seen so many things by that point in your life that it becomes hard for just about anything to faze you. Don’t get me wrong, it’s possible to change the perspective of an older individual, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Sure, it can be done, that doesn’t mean you have high chances of success, however.

A young character presents the author with a blank canvas that is just waiting to be painted upon. Since a young character works like a blank slate, he can fit into almost all kinds of plots and have room to grow as a human being. Kids such as the likes of me are just impressionable at this time of our lives, in a way that older folk are not. So using a young character can grant you much freedom in terms of how you wish your characters to react to the events in a story.

3. Youth Represents the Future

I know I’m beating a dead horse when I say that, but like so many fundamental truths, the value in that statement outweighs the cringe. I guess that this bullet point applies most specifically to myself, as I tend to write tales with optimistic morals, which is why youth is an invaluable tool to me. When we envision innocence and happiness, what tends to come to our minds are young people, and that’s alright!

The youth will supplant the peoples of this current generation, and then their youth will in turn supplant them. A character’s young age can be the most effective symbol for change or the path to an optimistic future. When you have an 18 year-old protagonist who can wield a sword for some reason, don’t just look at it as an attempt of the author to give himself a young avatar (although this is not uncommon). Instead, see how that character has an effect on the world.

Youth can be a powerful symbol in this regard, on that I’d be hard-pressed to see replicated in any other manner. Young heroes can serve to remind us of the joy that marks childhood–and how that joy can still have an impact in the present day.

I hope I allowed you to see that this isn’t just a mere aesthetic preference. Many of the features or tropes that we take for granted in our storytelling are actually key insights into the message or goal a story wishes to convey, despite how superficial it might seem. So if you were to ask me if young characters were becoming tired, I would answer with a definitive no. But the question remains, how would you answer that?

As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.

 

Breakup of the Century: Heroes & Protagonists

If you’ve been around my tiny corner of the internet for long enough, you know how much I poke fun at the lingo that writers share amongst themselves. Be it terms, metaphors, or similes that only we are capable of understanding, I’ve always found it joyful to peruse through the countless interpretations of these concepts. Of course, as with all glorious things in life, there is bound to be setback to all of this. What is that, you ask?

Well, to put it bluntly, language is confusing. Really, REALLY confusing.

I don’t know what’s up with the people who enjoy coining terms or metaphors that makes them careless as to how easy it is to conflate two unrelated concepts with one another. And nowhere is this semantic conundrum more visible than in the unrelated, yet popularly synonymous concepts of a Hero and a Protagonist.

So, if you haven’t guessed already, I find that using these terms as though they were equivalent to one another is erroneous at its best and limiting in its worse. But before I drag you along through another one of my barely coherent rants (don’t worry, I sympathize with you), let’s first define these terms.

In a nutshell, a protagonist is any random schmuck that somehow managed to become the center of a story. It can be a dashing knight in shining armor, a slimy thief whose favorite hobby is stealing candy from children, or just a normal, and completely boring person. It might come as shocking to some of you that have never thought of it that way, but that is the simple truth.

Any character, no matter what personality, belief, ideology, or actions is fully capable of being a protagonist.

The only requisite to be a protagonist is that you are the center (at least for most of the time) of the story. Being a Hero, however, neccesitates a whole other set of parameters..

A Hero is a character that is meant to embody is certain degree of virtue or be on the moral side of a conflict. Now, a discussion with regard to which would be the moral side of a conflict or what virtues the character ought to hold is an entirely different conversation. So for the purposes of keeping things brief, let’s just say that a Hero is anything that the Author would consider to be a “Good” guy.

Assuming that most human beings are capable of achieving a basic level of moral decency (Post-Modern society has made me doubt this notion more than once), we can safely say that heroes tend to have a certain level of similarities with one another. For example, most heroes would never step on a puppy’s tail with no good reason, most heroes would not be willing to kill for an unjustified cause, and most heroes tend to be pleasant people to be around. The reason I don’t make these statements wholly categorical is because, while morality is objective, many people have different perceptions of it. Many of which are wrong, but nonetheless, this affects what they’d consider to be a hero.

The requisites to be a Hero could be a huge list of things, but to wrap it all up into one short sentence, a Hero must align with the good side of the Author’s Moral compass in order to be a hero in the story.

If you’re one of the brighter members of my audience, you may have noticed that all this time I’ve said Author’s instead of reader’s. This is because I’m talking about a character’s function within a novel, and that is solely determined by the author himself. While a reader might identify a character whom the author intended to be a hero as a villain, that does not change the fact that the created function for that character was that of a hero–whether you believe he’s a hero or not.

What is that you ask? You want me to start giving you a guide on how to identify a Hero? Well, I’m afriad that would be impossible for me to do. That is a more philosophical disscusion that is best conversed amid an intellectual atmosphere with a profuse amount of coffee, and a group of friends that would be willing to listen to your senseless drivel.

I am not that friend.

Despite my personal dislike of the Grimdark movement in fantasy, I find that this movement has been the inspiration for the resurgence of this concept in the modern fantasy community. Elric of Melnibone is the protagonist of the Elric Sequence of stories by Michael Moorecock, and to say the least, the best one could say about Elric is that he’s an anti-hero. I mean, he LITERALLY wields a blade that sucks the souls out of people. So if we were to believe the traditional narrative of the Hero only needing to be the center of the story, we would have no idea how to label Elric.

And the same could be said for the likes of Jalan from Red Queen’s War by Mark Lawrence, Jezal from the Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie, and the plethora of morally grey characters in fiction. And once again, although I don’t like the overall effect that this new brand of dark fantasy has had on the genre as a whole, I’ll give credit where credit is due.

The Grimdark Movement, for all its flaws, has opened up dialogue on what we consider to be heroes in our fiction. Even if you’re like me and believe that they took it a step too far, it goes without saying that we owe them this much to be thankful for.

So what did we learn? Quite a bit to say the least.

The terms Hero and Protagonist are not one and the same. And considering the confusing literary environment in which we currently live in, it would only complicate our lives further if we continued to believe this lie. So I repeat for one last time. A protagonist can be a Hero and vice versa, but this is not always the case.

Did this make you look at this issue from a new perspective? Do you differ with me in some of my definitions of Hero or Protagonist? Do you find my disdain for the Grimdark Movement to be immensely annoying? Then feel free to send all your love (or hate) in the comments!

As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.

From Warrior-Kings to Farmboys II

Previous Post: From Warrior-Kings to Farmboys I

***

If we want to understand how our conceptions of heroism changed in such a fleeting amount of time, we have to comprehend how drastic the changes to society have been in recent centuries. As I’ve stated previously, human beings have only just now begun to live in the way that they currently do. Having a global culture, not being at constant war with nature for survival, and not having to worry about famines is a bold exception that we live in under the gaze of history. And when you see that more than half of the globe lives in this fashion, you’ll realize even more-so how rare it is.

But it goes without saying that it wasn’t always like this, and for most of our time on earth, we lived nigh identical lives. And our perception of the hero changed due to this radical process of modernization.

Yet there is one specific aspect of modernization that, I would argue, led to the shift in our view of heroism more than any other. And this is the process of industrialization that came with it. So without repeating more of the same things I’ve stated in the previous installment of this series, let’s dig deep into the other kind of hero. The one that I believe is most common amongst the folk of our generation.

The Post-Industrial Hero:

“Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.” – Robert E. Howard, Creator of Conan  

This is a snarky quote from one of my favorite authors, but it really does summarize the difference between the people of the past and those of the present. What you can gather from it is that, as society advanced, people became complacent on the whole. It turns out that when there isn’t a constant threat of invasion from foreign peoples or of starvation, that people tend to get rather cocky. Who would’ve thunk it?

robert_e_howard_suit
Rest in Peace, Robert E. Howard

And while this funny insight might seem like a mere joke that one can pass off, it might tell us much more about ourselves than we would like to acknowledge. You see, industrialization is the process by which we can mass-produce goods due to advances in technology. And while this carries a slew of benefits (Less disease, lots of food, less need for war, etc.) it carries one crucial consequence. Your society will change its priorities on a fundamental level, and as a result, the views that people have on morality will shift with those priorities.

For the first time, we actually didn’t have that many things to work for. Everything became as easy to access as just building a factory to pump out hundreds of goods per day. And before you know it, most people don’t have to worry about survival anymore! But this is by no means a solution to the ills of mankind, rather, it opens the floodgate to a slew of new problems.

People can now afford the time to start raising questions like what is the meaning of good or evil? What’s my purpose in a world that’s almost run entirely by machines? What is the meaning of life? The people of the world started to connect in ways that we had never seen before, and as a result, the world became a smaller, and less wonderful place. Our concerns were no longer external things, such as foreign enemies or hunger, but rather, they became internal.

No longer was raw physical strength valued in the same way that it was in the past, as machines could start doing much of the heavy-lifting and the role models for men ceased to be the classic heroes of the past. No longer were brawny, burly, and muscular warriors the kind of heroes that resonated with the people, as that archetype was no longer apt to deal with the concerns of modern times. So there had to be a change of some sort.

We still wanted to impart the message of heroism to the newer generations, but we had to find a way to update it. We couldn’t use heroes that were ideal examples of the kind of men that we wanted, as those were far too difficult to relate to, yet we couldn’t have an entirely hopeless coward assuming the role of hero either. So we had to find a happy medium, and I think the example of Frodo in Lord of the Rings is the best I can give for this kind of hero.

Frodo

Frodo is an example of the first majorly changed character within the realm of the hero archetype. But if you read about him without knowing this, you’d think he was some other kind of character. Frodo, is in many ways, a subversion of what the ancients would have considered to be a hero.16301942077_b0a014bf88_b

   He’s small, he’s rather scrawny, he;s pretty lazy, and at the start of the story he has very little desire to go on adventures. Did I also mention he’s rather craven? And this is all in stark contrast to the heroes of the past. Achilles, with his fearful strength, Beowulf, with his endless supply of courage, and many others hold nothing in common with Frodo. But when I say that heroes reflect the version of humanity that they were created in, I really meant it.

Frodo, as unflattering as he might be on the outset, could be seen as a portrait for the man of modernity. Despite the fact that he lives in a pastoral community, he’s immensely complacent and lazy. He’s in no way physically fit (nor does he show any drive to become that way) and he’s not exactly the kind of person that you’d rally behind if there was an invasion occurring. Tolkien had made the genius move of stripping Frodo of everything we traditionally attribute as being heroic from Frodo’s character at the beginning at the book, which aligns itself with the feelings of humanity.

People had little reason to value heroism as they didn’t have any sense of immediate danger. But what this did create was another threat at an existential level, the threat of losing what makes us valuable as people. Modern man chucked away courage, physical health, and leadership to maintain a lifestyle of comfort and relative security. And Frodo and all the hobbits mirror this exactly.

He’d rather stay in his little cottage than worry about any of the things going out on the wider world. But this is the crux of Frodo’s problem, he has to go out to the wider world either way! And the moment that he lives his comfort zone is the moment that he sees just how alien the world begins to feel for him.zkmalbork_cropped

Yet if the story just ended with Frodo going out into the world and getting his ass handed to him, there wouldn’t be much of a deep message to it now would there?

Instead, over the course of the story, we see that Frodo grows. Unlike the heroes of the past, that had already begun their tales with courage and dare-do embedded into their hearts, Frodo is part of a generation that has to reclaim those old values that had been lost. Throughout the journey, Frodo’s personal arc revolves around him recovering his own heroism (among other things) which had been lost among all those years wasted on his pastoral lands.

Tolkien manages to acknowledge that modern man has grown far too complacent, but he would never say that problem cannot be fixed. By transporting us to the past, he uses Frodo as a metaphor for modern man. We have lost much of our courage, but there is nothing to stop us from regaining it.

***

The modern hero is not about the bringing forward the courage that is inherent in men, the modern hero places a focus on regaining that same courage that had been lost over years of technological advancement. Yet in all cases, the hero was viewed as having courage as an innate trait to them. It was just a matter of whether he had to bring it out, or if he had to search deeper within himself to find it.

As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.

From Warrior-Kings to Farmboys I

History and literature are two subjects that are intertwined to one another through links that are tighter than steel. I’ve said in the past that history is in its essence one massive novel with a slew of characters from all over the world. One could argue that the very idea of creating stories arose from a desire to know one’s history, and this has been the case with nearly every civilization in earth. The ancients understood this better than anyone else, and the epic poem, the first brand of fiction to have crossed history, is an example of how the creation of stories is used to define the morals of a society. And what better place to see this in action than in the enigmatic figure of the hero.

To watch the transition of what people have considered to be a hero over the course of
thousands of years is to watch the transition of human thought, morality, emotion, and problems as our civilizations advanced. The hero is not a figure that is set in stone, but download-38rather one that molds itself according to the needs of humanity.

The characteristics of a hero might entail the characteristics that we wish to see in other individuals. We inject their personas with ideals and desires that we would wish to see fulfilled on the temporal span of our existence. And there’s a very recent (in historical terms) trend that has altered the concept of what we consider to be the traditional hero. And much of this is due to the industrialization of humanity, which is why I’d like to tackle this article from two different perspectives. The Agrarian Hero and the Post-Industrial Hero.

Industrialization, as irrelevant as it might seem, really changed the dynamic of what we consider to be heroic, a role model, and strength. But I do you no favors by continuing with this introduction, so allow me to dive deep into one of these heroes today.

The Agrarian Hero:

“The ancient Greeks had their children learn the Homeric epics in order to teach them virtue. In modern times, we read these classics to understand the human condition. What is worth dying for? What is worth killing for? What is the use of altruism? What is the importance of moderation? How do we deal with imperfect knowledge and the ambiguities of life? In reading these classics we avail ourselves at the opportunity to see how people, humans just like us, dealt with such problems, and we can learn both their solutions and their mistakes.”

– Stephanie Lynn Budin, PhD, Introduction to the Iliad and Odyssey

For much of human history, we lived off the very soil that we walk upon. We led simple lives which consisted of toiling in the fields, dealing with cattle, preparing for harvest, and spending time with our families when we could. It was a harsh life by our standards, but by the standards of the ancients it was just a day like any other. And in many respects, it was also a simple way of living.

It was not as today, in which we have a global culture that only keeps expanding its horizons. People were regional and the ties that were brought with blood were sacred, and one had a sense of belonging.

The routine of every day was one that was labor-intensive. And it was not a mere matter of only doing the things that you wished to do, as such labor was necessary to eek out your Wrath_of_Achilles2.jpgexistence. The wheat that you grew was the same bread that you fed to the children at your table, the cows you milked were the same cows you sought to drink from, and so on and so forth. And when individuals are busy enough in the process of just keeping themselves alive, there is little room for abstract thinking.

What use is the study of philosophy if it cannot pay taxes to your sovereign? What good is knowing the difference between right and wrong when your children starve in the face of famine? What good is there in examining a life that consists of the same routine over and over and over again?

When you have these concepts that need so much mental rigor in pondering, the common ancient farmer would walk away at even the pretense of holding a debate. And who could blame him? Every moment of one’s day was dedicated to putting food on the plate for tomorrow, and wasting mental energy on such trivialities was only time that you could spend on raising your crop. So you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone whom discussed these important issues–much less someone whom understood them!

But the fact remains, that somehow, humanity started to find these issues to be relevant to their experience. There was no sudden increase in debates among the common folk, nor was there an influx of literacy either. But there was one thing that was more effective in communicating these morals than simple conversation, and that was the story.

The Noble Lie is a concept from Plato in which he wishes to posit a way in which peopleplato-raphael could accept living in a stratified society. Without getting too deep into the example that he uses, as it can be found in the link I sent, Plato uses a story to convey the moral that he wishes to assert. He argues that getting people to believe in the truth of a story is infinitely easier than getting them to understand the concepts portrayed in the tale without embellishments. And this is the trend that started the art of storytelling in general.

But it would do us better if we zoned in on one character and did a brief deconstruction to see how this concept of a noble lie worked out:


“There was no one else like him alive.

In his day, he was the mightiest man on earth,

highborn and powerful.”

                                          – Beowulf (line 196-198)

Right here, this bit of description already tells us the kind of motif that they were going for with Beowulf. Beowulf was circulated at a tumultuous time during medieval history, were all kind of seafarers came plundering to the British Isles in search of gold, land, and a desire to found kingdoms. During such dangerous times, people valued strength and courage above all things, as those were the traits necessary for one to remain alive. In this quote, we see that Beowulf is already set up as a role model to follow. When they tell you he is the mightiest man on earth, it is the equivalent of telling you that you ought to strive to be like him. And don’t forget the last line, which intertwines the concept of nobility with that of power, a characteristic of medieval society as a whole.

But there’s more to be learned from this iconic hero:

“I was Hygelac’s kinsman,

one of his hall-troop. When I was younger,

I had great triumphs…

[My Kinsmen] seen me boltered in the blood of enemies

When I battled and bound five beasts,

raided a troll nest and in the night-sea

slaughtered sea-brutes. I have suffered extremes

and avenged the Geats (their enemies brought it upon themselves: I devastated them).

Now I mean to be a match for Grendel.” lines (407-409)

Here you see this glorification of Beowulf’s deeds, as we can see, he’s very fond of bragging about the things he’s killed. In modern society, if we did that, we’d be put on an FBI watchlist. But we need to remember that context matters, and we need to see this in the eyes of the olden ones.

Much of the enemies that Beowulf has slain are monsters from the look of his description and this can be a key symbol within the tale. Monsters carry a connotation of being feral creatures whose motives are both vile and incomprehensible to a certain extent. And in each battle he has worked not for his own sake, but for the sake of his lord and his people, the Geats. And we can liken this to the situation that the peoples in the British Isles faced at the time.beowulf_fighting_the_dragon

Invaders from across the sea whom have come to pillage and destroy can be seen as the monsters of the story. From the perspective of the invaded peoples, the pillagers might not have even been seen as human beings themselves. In every sense they are alien, foreign, and you could almost say…incomprehensible. Just like the usual monster, we don’t why they’re here and we don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing. All we know is that we need to rise up against them.

When Beowulf brings up his list of killings as a way to show how worthy he is, it is in extension giving a message to the listener that they too should strive to protect their homeland in the face of invaders. The act of defending one’s home was seen as virtuous, and at a time in which life was so dangerous, these heroes often resembled ideals more than they resembled actual characters. In modern standards, this would be considered poor writing, but in the eyes of people in the Early Middle Ages, there could not have been a more ingenious use of literature.

In times of danger, the willingness to fight for something other than yourself was something that would take a great deal of convincing other people to do on its own. But when you tell people that a past hero whom did the same thing is a worthy role model, and you have a good story to boot, people will begin to adopt the ideas for better or worse.

In the end, Beowulf dies at the hand of a Dragon he sought to slay. yet he still did it in the name of his people, the Geats. Ultimately telling the listener, that there was no greater honor than to die for the sake of one’s kind, of one’s home, and for one’s society.

Examination of the heroes of the past might seem archaic, as these characters would be classified as Mary Sues in today’s day and age, but back then, the philosophy behind writing was different. A character was often overshadowed by those lofty ideals that he represented, as that character was not only meant to relate to one strand of the tribe, but rather, the entirety of it. And seeing how the ancients composed their stories can invariably help us in composing our own.

If you enjoyed this analysis, please feel free to like and comment. I had a lot of fun typing this down, and I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did. As always, this has been the QuestingAuthor. Keep writing, my friends.

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