Heroes in Literature

Heroes in Literature

Heroes in Literature And The Quests That Make Them Famous What is a hero? Two Types of Heroes Folktale Hero Mythic Hero

An ordinary person, lowly or abused No powers; they are generally very smart, kind, or resourceful. Helped by animals or magic Their quest is

personal Usually some sort of remarkable birth Often half-immortal (or the equivalent) superhuman strength or supernatural powers

Helped by deities (or equivalent) Their quest is cosmic What makes a hero great? They undertake a quest of great importance. They search for something of value.

They risk great loss or pay a terrible cost for indifference Their greatness is usually due, in part, to the help they receive. They transcend themselves. Their actions

usually benefit others perhaps their family or society. The Quest Joseph Campbell established the quest as an archetype called the monomyth. He broke this monomythic quest into three major

stages: separation, initiation, and restoration Separation --the point when a hero accepts the quest Acceptance sets heroes apart from their community, friends, or society. Heroes overcome their fear

in order to accept their fate. They realize a greater fear if they fail. Initiation The hero may encounter many trials, tasks, and temptations. He is called to slay monsters and achieve new skills. During this stage, the

character gains insight or abilities that allow him to continue with his quest In this stage, the character achieves greatness. Return/

Restoration The character returns from his journey, sometimes in a wondrous or "magical" flight or escape. The character becomes a recognized and respected individual in the community. Return/

Restoration In this stage, the hero or possibly his entire society receives a boon, a reward or a new skill The character returns to his status as an ordinary person, but with a

greater wisdom enabling him to live in both worlds.

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