In Quest of the Hero

In Quest of the Hero

In Quest of the Hero makes available for a new generation of readers two key works on hero myths: Otto Rank's Myth of the Birth of the Hero and the central section of Lord Raglan's The Hero. Amplifying these is Alan Dundes's fascinating contemporary inquiry, "The Hero Pattern and the Life of Jesus." Examined here are the patterns found in the lore surrounding historical or legendary figures like Gilgamesh, Moses, David, Oedipus, Odysseus, Perseus, Heracles, Aeneas, Romulus, Siegfried, Lohengrin, Arthur, and Buddha. Rank's monograph remains the classic application of Freudian theory to hero myths. In The Hero the noted English ethnologist Raglan singles out the myth-ritualist pattern in James Frazer's many-sided Golden Bough and applies that pattern to hero myths. Dundes, the eminent folklorist at the University of California at Berkeley, applies the theories of Rank, Raglan, and others to the case of Jesus. In his introduction to this selection from Rank, Raglan, and Dundes, Robert Segal, author of the major study of Joseph Campbell, charts the history of theorizing about hero myths and compares the approaches of Rank, Raglan, Dundes, and Campbell.

The Hero Journey in Literature

Parables of Poesis

The Hero Journey in Literature

This book provides an overview of the hero journey theme in literature, from antiquity to the present, with a focus on the imagery of the rites of passage in human life (initiation at adolescence, mid-life, and death). This is the only book to focus on the major works of the literary tradition, detailing discussions of the hero journey in major literary texts. Included are chapters on the literature of Antiquity (Sumerian, Egyptian, Biblical, Greek, and Roman), the Middle Ages (with emphasis on the Arthurian Romance), the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Pope, Fielding, the Arabian Nights, and Alchemical Illustration), Romanticism and Naturalism (Coleridge, Selected Grimm's Tales, Bront%, Bierce, Whitman, Twain, Hawthorne, E.T.A. Hoffman, Rabindranath Tagore), and Modernism to Contemporary (Joyce, Gilman, Alifa Rifaat, Bellow, Lessing, Pynchon, Eudora Welty).

The Myth of the Birth of the Hero

A Psychological Exploration of Myth

The Myth of the Birth of the Hero

Originally published in German in 1909, Otto Rank's The Myth of the Birth of the Hero offered psychoanalytical interpretations of mythological stories as a means of understanding the human psyche. Like his mentor Freud, Rank compared the myths of such figures as Oedipus, Moses, and Sargon with common dreams, seeing in both a symbolic fulfillment of repressed desire. Thirteen years later, Rank substantially revised this seminal work, incorporating new discoveries in psychoanalysis, mythology, and ethnology, doubling the size of the book. This expanded second edition has never before been available in English. For the second edition, Rank added anthropological considerations of primitive and civilized peoples to those of mythology; extensive discussions of birth dreams, flood legends, and rescue fantasies; and new mythological examples—among them Dionysus, Kullervo (a precursor of Hamlet), Trakhan, and Tristan—as well as fuller treatments of Sargon and Moses. Eloquently translated by Gregory C. Richter and E. James Lieberman, this volume also includes an introductory essay by Robert A. Segal and Rank's 1914 essay, "The Play in Hamlet."

The Epic Hero

The Epic Hero

The Epic Hero provides a comprehensive and provocative guide to epic heroes, and to the richly imaginative tales they inhabit.

The Hero

A Study in Tradition, Myth and Drama

The Hero

Heroic figures, all with the human desire for idealization in common, are the focus of this study — from Oedipus and King Arthur to heroes of the Trojan War and Robin Hood.

The Tragic Hero Through Ages

The Tragic Hero Through Ages

The Tragic Hero through Ages is an illuminating work on the greatest Greek and English tragedies and their heroes. The first chapter deals with the Greek tragedies and their heroes. The next three chapters study the outstanding pre-Shakespearean, Shakespearean and post-Shakespearean tragedies and their heroes. The Miltonic and the Byronic heroes have been studied in fifth and sixth chapters, respectively. The closing chapter summarizes the whole work and many undiscovered facts have been brought to light. It is genuine contribution to the whole theory of Greek and English tragic drama. It embodies the most famous speeches and best scenes from the greatest Greek and English Tragedies: their short summaries and the lifelike portraits of their heroes. It is a running commentary on the Greek and English tragic drama, spreading over a span of 2500 years with all its charm and grandeur. It is a colossal work with the finish of an exquisite piece of jewellery.

Deconstructing the Hero

Literary Theory and Children's Literature

Deconstructing the Hero

This book sets out to explore the structure and meanings within the most popular of all literary genres - the adventure story. Deconstructing the Hero offers analytical readings of some of the most widely read adventure stories such as Treasure Island , the James Bond stories and Star Wars. The book describes how adventure stories are influential in shaping children's perception and establishing values. When many of these stories define non-white, non-European people as inferior, and women as marginal or incapable, we should be worried about what they are teaching our children to think. Margery Hourihan shows how teaching children to read books critically can help to prevent the establishment of negative attitudes, discourage aggression and promote values of emotion and creativity.

The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film

The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film

In contemporary America, myths find expression primarily in film. What's more, many of the highest-grossing American movies of the past several decades have been rooted in one of the most fundamental mythic narratives, the hero quest. Why is the hero quest so persistently renewed and retold? In what ways does this universal myth manifest itself in American cinema? And what is the significance of the popularity of these modern myths? The Hero and the Perennial Journey Home in American Film by Susan Mackey-Kallis is an exploration of the appeal of films that recreate and reinterpret this mythic structure. She closely analyzes such films as E.T., the Star Wars trilogy, It's a Wonderful Life, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, Field of Dreams, The Piano, Thelma and Louise, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Elements of the quest mythology made popular by Joseph Campbell, Homer's Odyssey, the perennial philosophy of Aldous Huxley, and Jungian psychology all contribute to the compelling interpretive framework in which Mackey-Kallis crafts her study. She argues that the purpose of the hero quest is not limited to the discovery of some boon or Holy Grail, but also involves finding oneself and finding a home in the universe. The home that is sought is simultaneously the literal home from which the hero sets out and the terminus of the personal growth he or she undergoes during the journey back. Thus the quest, Mackey-Kallis asserts, is an outward journey into the world of action and events which eventually requires a journey inward if the hero is to grow, and ultimately necessitates a journey homeward if the hero is to understand the grail and share it with the culture at large. Finally, she examines the value of mythic criticism and addresses questions about myth currently being debated in the field of communication studies.

The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television

The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television

The Byronic Hero in Film, Fiction, and Television bridges nineteenth- and twentieth-century studies in pursuit of an ambitious, antisocial, arrogant, and aggressively individualistic mode of hero from his inception in Byron’s Manfred, Childe Harold, and Cain, through his incarnations as the protagonists of Westerns, action films, space odysseys, vampire novels, neo-Gothic comics, and sci-fi television. Such a hero exhibits supernatural abilities, adherence to a personal moral code, ineptitude at human interaction (muddled even further by self-absorbed egotism), and an ingrained defiance of oppressive authority. He is typically an outlaw, most certainly an outcast or outsider, and more often than not, he is a he. Given his superhuman status, this hero offers no potential for sympathetic identification from his audience. At best, he provides an outlet for vicarious expressions of power and independence. While audiences may not seek to emulate the Byronic hero, Stein notes that he desires to emulate them; recent texts plot to “rehumanize” the hero or to voice through him approbation and admiration of ordinary human values and experiences. Tracing the influence of Lord Byron’s Manfred as outcast hero on a pantheon of his contemporary progenies—including characters from Pale Rider, Unforgiven, The Terminator, Alien, The Crow, Sandman, Star Trek: The Next Generation,and Angel—Atara Stein tempers her academic acumen with the insights of a devoted aficionado in this first comprehensive study of the Romantic hero type and his modern kindred. Atara Stein was a professor of English at California State University, Fullerton. Her articles on the development of the Byronic hero have appeared in Popular Culture Review, Romantic Circles Praxis Series, Genders, and Philological Quarterly.

Odysseus, Hero of Practical Intelligence

Deliberation and Signs in Homer's Odyssey

Odysseus, Hero of Practical Intelligence

In dramatic representations and narrative reports of inner deliberation the Odyssey displays the workings of the human mind and its hero's practical intelligence, epitomized by anticipating consequences and controlling his actions accordingly. Once his hope of returning home as husband, father and king is renewed on Calypso's isle, Odysseus shows a consistent will to focus on this purpose and subordinate other impulses to it. His fabled cleverness is now fully engaged in a gradually emerging plan, as he thinks back from that final goal through a network of means to achieve it. He relies on "signs"--inferences in the form "if this, then that" as defined by the Stoic Chrysippus--and the nature of his intelligence is thematically underscored through contrast with others' recklessness, that is, failure to heed signs or reckon consequences. In Homeric deliberation, the mind is torn between competing options or intentions, not between "reason" and "desire." The lack of distinct opposing faculties and hierarchical organization in the Homeric mind, far from archaic simplicity, prefigures the psychology of Chrysippus, who cites deliberation scenes from the Odyssey against Plato's hierarchical tri-partite model. From the Stoics, there follows a psychological tradition leading through Hobbes and Leibniz, to Peirce and Dewey. These thinkers are drawn upon to show the significance of the conception of "thinking" first articulated in the Odyssey. Homer's work inaugurates an approach that has provoked philosophical conflict persisting into the present, and opposition to pragmatism and Pragmatism can be discerned in prominent critiques of Homer and his hero which are analyzed and countered in this study.