Heroism In The Godfather

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In The Godfather, it is Michael Corleone’s vengeance to the fatal attack on his father, Don Vito, and the murder of his brother, Sonny, that makes the ending plot of the novel an epic version. As both works’ ending plots suggest an extreme desire for vengeance on the part of the hero, The Godfather is indebted to the The Iliad only in view of revenge in its literal meaning, but also in the dangers it might bring, and the honour it might establish. In light of this, Christopher Vogler stated that real heroism is represented in stories where heroes may risk their lives by venturing into dangerous adventures. (The Writer’s Journey, 2007). Since Vogler’s book concentrates on aspects that heroes universally share, In The Godfather, too, the peril…show more content…
In simple terms, Mario Puzo has kept the image of the epic hero, especially, when considering the relationship that is apparent in the heroes’ thirstiness for revenge, and ultimately their passion for glory and pride. Under revenge, both Achilles and Michael Corleone restore their pride through murder, one among his army and the other among the famous New York families. As modern audience, we cannot afford but to remark that in a modern world where Mario Puzo’s masterpiece is chronicled revenge by murder is unacceptable by law, it is the concern of the police forces. However, we see that law and order is absent in Puzo’s novel, it is instead a world driven by chaos and social disobedience. This reminds us of the epic atmosphere, where man battles against man, and where stable institutions that are supposed to regulate their actions are absent. However, despite their presence in modern American world, Mario Puzo denies their role or importance in the lives of his characters. In his book The Godfather and American Culture (2002), Chris Messenger drew a connection between Puzo’s The Godfather and ancient epics in terms of themes and characters. His study was based on critics and psychoanalysts that have attempted to bridge the novel and the epic together. To name few, the critic George Lukacs, for instance, “sees the survival of the epic in the personalized tradition of the ‘epic individual’, the hero of the novel, driven to an ‘autonomous life of interiority’ when an ‘unbridgeable chasm’ has been created between world and consciousness.” (233). Differently speaking,
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