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Baldur “Shadow” Moon Analysis Essay

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Updated: Sep 8th, 2022

Shadow is presented as a strong young man who turns out to be a demigod. Gaiman (2005) manages to make Shadow a multi-sided character that demonstrates his almost mutually exclusive features in different situations, being violent and fearless with enemies and gentle and caring with Laura. His journey across Europe and Africa reveals that Shadow possesses a commitment to his ideas and enough internal energy to search for meaning even if he does not have a clear picture of what he is looking for.

In The Monarch of the Glen, Gaiman makes extensive use of character archetypes. Jennie, one of the most frequently mentioned characters, represents an ally that warns Shadow about rich guests’ plans to hurt him (Gaiman, 2005). As for Shadow, he does not always act like a typical hero who is relatable, and Gaiman manages to depart from the ideal hero archetype to do new interesting things with Shadow. For instance, in some situations, Shadow’s intentions and internal dialogue are not fully clear since he is presented as a person that keeps all on the inside (Gaiman, 2005). It might affect the degree to which Shadow is relatable and add some mystery to the character’s actions and spiritual torments.

Due to the use of Norse mythology, Gaiman adds new meaning to Shadow’s adventures. In the novella, because of his birth name, Shadow is referred to as “sun-bringer,” which chimes with Baldr’s role in Norse mythology as the god of the summer sun (Gaiman, 2005, p. 2). In the myth about Baldr’s death, the god is killed due to Loki’s artfulness, whereas in the novella, Shadow Moon reveals that he has been tricked into battling against monsters but manages to survive again (Gaiman, 2005). Shadow’s journey through life, death, the underworld, and the world behind the curtain after dying on the tree demonstrate that his positive and negative traits are in perfect balance, so he is allowed to choose between hell and heaven and determine his future. Thus, the means of his journey can be presented by Shadow’s adaptability stemming from his neutrality and the ability to act as an intermediary.

Reference

Gaiman, N. (2005). Web.

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