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The Hero with a Thousand Faces---Transformations of the Hero

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Nancy Ren

on 7 September 2012

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Transcript of The Hero with a Thousand Faces---Transformations of the Hero

Presented by Nancy Ren and Katherine Robinson Main Idea The Hero with a Thousand Faces Transformations of the Hero Part Two, Chapter Three The life of a hero consists of a sequence of transformations, shaping the hero in order to fulfill his destiny. Supporting Ideas Perseus, son of Zeus and Danaë and conqueror of the Gorgon sisters
Simba, King of the Lions and ruler of Pride Rock The Primordial Hero
and the Human Childhood of the Human Hero The Hero as Warrior The Hero as Lover The Hero as Emperor and as Tyrant The Hero as World Redeemer The Hero as Saint Departure of the Hero "...a period came when the work to be done was no longer proto- or superhuman; it was the labor specifically of man..." (pg. 272) "Filled with a double charge of the creative energy, they were themselves sources of revelation. Such figures appear on the dawn stage of every legendary past. They are the culture heroes, the city founders." (pg. 272) "In sum: the child of destiny has to face a long period of obscurity. This is a time of extreme danger, impediment, or disgrace. He is thrown inward to his own depths or outward to the unknown." (pg. 280) "The conclusion of the childhood cycle is the return or recognition of the hero, when, after the long period of obscurity, his true character is revealed." (pg. 282) "From obscurity the hero emerges, but the enemy is great and conspicuous in the seat of power; he is enemy, dragon, tyrant...The mythological hero, reappearing from the darkness that is the source of the shapes of the day, brings a knowledge of the secret of the tyrant's doom." (pg. 289) "Many monsters...set themselves against the human community. These have to be cleared away. Furthermore, tyrants of human breed...are the cause of widespread misery. These have to be surpassed. The elementary deeds of the hero are those of the clearing of the field." (pg. 290) "The hegemony wrested from the enemy, the freedom won from the malice of the monster... is symbolized as a woman... She is the image of his destiny which he is to release from the prison of enveloping circumstance." (pg. 293) "Unprecedented helpers, miracles of time and space, further his project; destiny itself (the maiden) lends a hand and betrays a weak spot in the parental system. Barriers, fetters, chasms, fronts of every kind dissolve before the authoritative presence of the hero." (pg. 295) "The hero blessed by the father returns to represent the father among men. As teacher or as emperor, his word is law... He is a reflection of the World Axis... From his presence boons go out; his word is the wind of life." (pg. 297) "No longer referring the boons of his reign to their transcendent source, the emperor breaks the stereoptic vision which it is his role to sustain. He is no longer the mediator between the two worlds... The emperor becomes the tyrant ogre, the usurper from whom the world is now to be saved." (pg. 299) "'I and the father are one.' Heroes of this second, highest illumination are the world redeemers... Their words carry an authority beyond anything pronounced by the heroes of the scepter and the book." (pg. 299) "The golden age, the reign of the world emperor, alternates, in the pulse of every moment of life, with the waste land, the reign of the tyrant... The hero of yesterday becomes the tyrant of tomorrow, unless he crucifies himself today." (pg. 302-303) "Endowed with a pure understanding... forsaking conceit and power, pride and lust, wrath and possessions, tranquil in heart, and free from ego---he becomes worthy of becoming one with the imperishable." (pg. 304) "Should the feelings chance to become aware of the real import of the world's acts and thoughts... the flesh would suddenly appear to be an ocean of self-violation... he flees to a rock in the sea, and there does penance for his very life." (pg. 305-306) "The last act in the biography of the hero is that of the death or departure. Here the whole sense of the life is epitomized. Needless to say, the hero would be no hero if death held for him any terror; the first condition is reconciliation with the grave." (pg. 306) "The hero, who in his life represented the dual perspective, after his death is still a synthesizing image: like Charlemagne, he sleeps only and will arise in the hour of destiny, or he is among us under another form." (pg. 307) The superhuman primordial hero (the city founders)
The childhood of the human hero
The different roles of the hero: warrior, lover, emperor and tyrant, world redeemer, and saint
The departure of the hero Supporting Stories "The whole hero-life is shown to have been a pageant of marvels with the great central adventure as its culmination." (pg. 274) Overriding Passage
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