Death In Joseph Campbell's The Emergence Of Mankind

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Everyone knows that death is inevitable, yet strangely, when the subject of death emerges, fear is evident in people’s faces and tone of voice. When deeply examining works of art, such as Gladiator, Myths to Live By, and world tragedies such as the horrific event that took place on September 11, 2001, the reality of death is a prime focus of human culture. Death is an event that everyone in the world will endure; however, human beings can’t live in fear with the thought of one day staring death in its face. Joseph Campbell focuses on the aspect of life that frightens people the most: death. The straightforwardness of “The Emergence of Mankind” motivates people to think about the phenomenon of death itself. Humans have the most advanced brains that have created a “realization unknown to the other primates,” a knowledge that death happens (Campbell 22). The occurrence of death is much like a natural disaster or a tragic event that no one can prevent; one day everything is well, then within the blink of an eye, poof. All gone! Knowing that everyone and everything you love and care for…show more content…
Although Gladiator was released in 2000, it was loosely based on true events allowing people to grasp the idea that humans have always known that they’ll die, so people should learn to accept death. Moreover, Gladiator, in a time of constant war between different countries and people fighting, the society understood that “death smiles at all of us” and all people can “do is smile back” as Marcus Aurelius said, meaning that no matter what, people can never run from death (Gladiator). Dying is a mysterious event that may sneak up on anyone at any moment, but people usually don’t sense it creeping around the corner ready to strike. People live to ultimately die and it truly is sad that “we cannot choose how we decide how we meet that end”

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