Two views of the hero myth

I reblogged the first one. This the second: one correction though – I said that the Hero is an archetype – but really I meant to say that it is an archetypal journey through which the “hero” of the “story” passes through a version of the myth: the king, magician, prince, lover / queen, priestess, lover – etc. The “hero” in these cases is simply the person around whom the story revolves.  It really has nothing to do with doing ‘good’ or ‘bad’ deeds. These posts, I imagine are not about the hero’s doing but rather the attitude with which they do it… Did I understand correctly?

The First Gate

In a recent post, I discussed heroes and anti-heroes in spy movies and westerns.  This is the followup post I promised, but I’m going to leave the realm of popular heroes – those of fiction, entertainment, sports, and all who wear masks and tights.  I’m going to discuss the heroes of myth, especially the “monomyth” as Joseph Campbell summarized it in The Hero With a Thousand Faces:

“A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.”

Here is a graphic that makes the elements of this type of story clearer:

Heroesjourney

I can’t think of heroes without remembering James Hillman, (1926-2011), the father of archetypal psychology and one of the most creative thinkers…

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