The Literary Hero

1555 Words7 Pages
The figure of the literary hero has been around from ancient Greece to modern worldwide literature. It first appeared in Greek myths and it was the figure that would stand between the laymen and the Gods. He would be the descendant of those gods and would encompass traits such as prestige and integrity. He was considered a special kind of man that could not be compared to the rest. Every individual has their own reading of what a hero entails but as a collective encounter the hero personifies the ideals and expectation of the community in which he is created. Heroes function as symbols of the values and ideal of a community. The fact that he is considered as part of a community makes the figure of the hero an archetype. The hero archetype has been widely studied from psychological, philosophical, anthropological and sociological points of view. Among the authors that have studied it we can find Otto Rank, Lord Raglan and Joseph Campbell, each of them from a very different perspective. Rank analyzed the hero archetype with strong Freudian influences, has its focus on what could be understood as the hero’s back story, that is, their birth. Campbell focused on what he named ‘the hero’s journey’ taking into account Jung’s hero archetype theory. Lord Ragland on the other hand focused on the hero’s downfall and later death. Although different we can consider all these studies complementary to one another. According to a study carried out by George R. Goethels and Scott T.
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