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The Hero Quest.

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Presentation on theme: "The Hero Quest."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Hero Quest

2 Heroic Search as Life Process
Birth Maturation Death Rebirth Thetis dipping Achilles in the river Styx. Thomas Banks ( ) English; about 1788 Victoria and Albert museum

3 Rites of Passage Birth Puberty Coming of Age Death
Question: What are some modern examples of such rites of passage?

4 The Psychological Quest
Sigmund Freud, c. 1921 ( ) Carl Jung ( )

5 Hero Quest in the Individual Mind
dream world of the individual importance of subconscious in determining human behavior and belief psychoanalysis a method of therapeutic analysis based on theory that abnormal mental states result from the repression of desires that the conscious mind rejects but which persist in the unconscious id / ego / superego Oedipus complex Sigmund Freud, c. 1921 ( )

6 Freud on Achilles Relationship with parents Mortal vs. Divine
Thetis, his mother Peleus, his father Mortal vs. Divine Attic red figure kylix, signed by Peithinos 500 BC Antikenmuseen, Berlin

7 Achilles and His Mother

8 Achilles and Peleus Peleus marries Thetis
Mortal Peleus makes Achilles mortal Peleus gives Achilles to centaur Chiron to be raised. Peleus consigns Achilles to Chiron's care, white-ground lekythos by the Edimburg Painter, ca. 500 BC, National Archaeological Museum of Athens Joachim Wtewael The Marriage Feast of Peleus and Thetis ca oil on copper, .75 x 8.75 in., t Feigen

9 Hero Quest in the Collective Mind
dream world of society collective unconscious archetypes: recurring myths characters, situations and events archetype as primal form or pattern from which all other versions are derived More on Jung: Carl Jung ( )

10 Achilles as an Jungian Archetype
Mortal Yearning for Immortality Achilles’ Choice (Immortal Fame)

11 Students of Jung Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) Victor Turner (1920-1983)
Ernst Cassirer ( ) Mircea Eliade ( ) Victor Turner ( ) Joseph Campbell ( )

12 Ernst Cassirer ( ) German philosopher and historian of ideas one of the leading exponents of neo-Kantian thought in the 20th century Emphasized the inevitable relationship of myth and language The great symbol systems from science to mythology are not modeled on reality but model it. Myth as mind's spontaneous creation of an emotionally satisfying cosmos. More on Cassirer:

13 Marcia Eliade ( ) Eliade's analysis of religion assumes the existence of "the sacred" as the object of worship of religious humanity. Myths reflect a creative era, a sacred time, a vanished epoch of unique holiness. More on Eliade:

14 Victor Turner (1920-1983) Anthropologist at Stanford
developed a unique ritual approach stressing the processual nature of ritual among the Ndembu and of ritual activity in complex societies. myths serve a combined psychological and social purpose in the present and promote a liminal or threshold experience Myths ease people through life's difficult transitions Rituals as symbolic actions. PROCESSUAL SYMBOLIC ANALYSIS Ritual analyses are dominated by myth, speech, and thought analysis. More on Turner:

15 Joseph Campbell 1904-1987 Hero's rite of passage journey of maturation
Growth into true selfhood (Jung's individuation) More on Campbell:

16 Five Stages of the Hero Quest
Call to Adventure Struggle or Crossing the Threshold Tests of Will, Endurance and Ability The Ordeal and Its Reward The Return

17 Call to Adventure Each hero receives a call to his task--either through some inner voice of feeling of through outside circumstances. he may eagerly accept of bluntly refuse his task. (If he refuses, he is usually forced through trickery or violence to accept.)

18 Struggle or Crossing the Threshold
These are the steps into the world of conflict and danger, which may be conceive in human terms (e.g. a war) or in religious and mythological symbolism (e.g. monsters the lower world). The hero often has a helper (human or divine) who aids him with extra knowledge and strength. At times the hero must seem to die to his old life in order to enter the world of the quest (e.g. disappearance for years, descent to the underworld).

19 Tests of Will and Endurance
These test (whether only one or a series) usually take the form of conflict or battle with monsters, natural forces, or hostile humans. Again, the hero may have help, but he must successfully overcome the obstacles himself.

20 Ordeal and Its Reward This is the supreme test of everything the hero is and represents, and ultimately decides his fitness to be a hero. It ends in his triumphant reward which may be expressed in terms of human love (marriage), triumph in battle, reunion, possession of some treasure or precious substance, or deification.

21 The Return If the successful accomplishment of the heroic task is to be truly beneficial, then the hero must return to the world he left, bringing the princess, gift, treasure knowledge, of whatever it is with him. If he is the symbol of a group, then he is bringing a benefit to them all. Sometimes his return is aided by the gods or other forces; sometimes he must flee hostile forces that resent his seizure of the reward. This is a theme of renewal and rebirth, the way the old individual, nation, and/or world can be restored and live again.

22 Five Stages of the Hero Quest
Call to Adventure Struggle or Crossing the Threshold Tests of Will, Endurance and Ability The Ordeal and Its Reward The Return

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