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Heroic Archetypes

Based a bit on Joseph Campbell's description of the monomyth.

Gary Huber

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of Heroic Archetypes

Heroic Archetypes The Monomyth fairly rare, character is quite important
symbolically represents flaws within the hero
starts out on the side of the hero, eventually betrays Hero
redeems itself by sacrificing itself for the hero or quest
Corruptible Everymen include:
Boromir from The Lord of the Rings
Judas from The New Testament
Judas Truck from Bless the Beasts and Children hero’s constant friend

keeps Hero’s spirits up and helps Hero stay focused on achieving the all-important goal

Well-known steadfast friends include
Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings
Ron in The Harry Potter series
Toto in The Wizard of Oz magic device that confers supernatural power on Hero
famous amulets
- Dorothy’s shoes
- Harry’s invisibility cloak
- Odysseus’ bag of winds Amulets (Inanimate helpers) hero encounters helpers, (inanimate and animate)
these help hero achieve his goal (saving his world) and help him find his sense of self In Bless the Beasts and Children both an event and character act as the Herald.
- the slaughter of the buffalo (event)
- Lally 2’s urging (character)
forces Cotton to leave the camp to rescue the buffalo John Cotton in Bless the Beasts and Children
- capable of being the leader of the Apache’s
- as a Christ-figure, he chooses to gather the lesser people of the camp into his group.
- he is safe, but the people he cares for are not
- Note: Christ also follows the cycle of the monomyth, so of course, Cotton will as well. Hero is introduced
In a relatively safe place (though we recognize he cannot stay there forever).
The hero doesn’t fit or is ostracized, or danger is lurking.
Though we see some obvious good traits in our hero, he is also imperfect.
We recognize that he has some growing to do before we can accept him as an ideal member of society. The Call to Adventure The cycle has multiple steps that most heroes follow.

The hero learns the truth about his world and himself.

The journey symbolizes the search for individual identity and the culture’s concept of the idealized member of society. The Corruptible Everyman The Steadfast Friend a powerful mentor who helps the hero both physically and mentally.
Sometimes an ominous character that can be scary (Gandalf)
Heralds include
The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella
Rafiki in The Lion King
Glinda, The Good Witch of the North in The Wizard of Oz
Athena in The Odyssey The Herald (Helper) either human or nonhuman
help Hero achieve goal. (Some of these characters may die in their efforts.)
helpers include
Timon and Pumbaa,
Tinman, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow
Goodenow, Lally brothers, Teft, etc. Characters (animate helpers) The Twister pulls Dorothy out of Kansas and lands her in the land of Oz
The Golden Apple incident forces Odysseus away from Ithaca The Herald as an Event The Herald arrives
a character or event that entices the hero to leave his real world.
Hero may accept the invitation or he may refuse the call.
to achieve heroic status, he must accept the call, even if, like Frodo, it is an unwilling acceptance.  The Call to Adventure Begins Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
- happy with Aunt Em, but the nasty old lady down the street wants to get rid of her dog, Toto.
 Odysseus in The Odyssey
- happy in Ithaca
- is called to rescue Helen from Troy.
cannot refuse the call, since he is a
tributary king to Agamemnon who
swore allegiance to Menelaus Other Examples of the Call to Adventure Simba in The Lion King is a rather doted upon and bratty prince, therefore he is imperfect – not our idealized concept of a hero, a productive member of society.
We also see that the Pride Lands are not safe for him, since Scar is determined to remove Simba from the line of succession; therefore, the real world is only relatively safe for him – the danger of Scar is lurking. The Lion King Examples of the Call to Adventure Departure (Separation) from the real world
Initiation into a symbolic, psychological shadow world
Return to the real world – with some kind of transformation that will help that world The Broad Stages of the Monomyth Monomyths (one myth) look surprising alike.
A cyclical story
Hero undergoes a transformation
Offers a sacrifice to save the world Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth The Hero's Journey Helpers/Amulets
Call to Adventure
The Crossing of the first Threshold
The Belly of the Whale Departure (Separation) Step 9 – Last courageous attempt to restore greatness.

Step 10 – Audience recognizes potential for greatness.

Step 11 – Death of tragic hero.

Step 12 – Restoration of order. The Tragic Hero Step 5 – Murder, exile, alienation of enemies and allies

Step 6 – Gradual isolation of Tragic Hero

Step 7 – Mobilization of opposition

Step 8 – Recognition of tragic flaw, too late The Tragic Hero Step 1 – A protagonist of high estate

Step 2 – A tragic flaw in character

Step 3 – Intrusion of time, sense or urgency

Step 4 – Misreading/Rationalizations The Tragic Hero A tragic hero is often used in Shakespearean literature.
This model of a hero may not always be a “good guy”.
The tragic hero has made its way into more contemporary literature because audiences can relate to them.
A tragic hero follows a twelve step pattern. The Tragic Hero The Tragic Hero Instead of a standard tragic flaw an Anti-Hero may try to do what is right by using questionable means. The Anti-Hero An Anti-Hero relates to a reader because the Anti-Hero displays more humanity that a regular Hero. The Anti-Hero The Anti-Hero is being used more in modern literature as authors try to portray villains as complex characters The Anti-Hero The concept of an Anti-Hero is often used in darker literature. The Anti-Hero Like a tragic hero an anti-hero has some sort of character flaw that often hinders their ability to be a hero. The Anti-Hero is a flawed hero, much like a tragic hero. The Anti-Hero He/she will move from one disappointment to another, their efforts always ending in failure. Another type of Anti-Hero cannot “get a break” in life. Types of Anti-Hero This type of Anti-Hero distrusts conventional society. Some Anti-Heroes may be unable to commit to traditional values of society. Types of Anti-Hero Anti-Heroes can be passive. Anti-Heroes can be awkward. Anti-Heroes can be pitiful. Anti-Heroes can be obnoxious. Anti-Hero Traits Unlike a tragic hero the Anti-Hero will not always die. Though an Anti-Hero may not do the right thing all the time, a reader is drawn to the Anti-Hero. The Anti-Hero The Anti-Hero The Byronic Hero The Byronic hero is an idealised but flawed character exemplified in the life and writings of Lord Byron, characterised by his ex-lover Lady Caroline Lamb as being "mad, bad and dangerous to know". The Byronic hero first appears in Byron's semi-autobiographical epic narrative poem Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812-18). Byronic Hero Self destructive behavior Cynisism A troubled past Disrespect on rank and privilege Dark attributes never present on heroes An exile or outcasts Defiant on norms Characteristics of a Byronic hero: Social and sexual dominance seductive Struggling with integrity Mysterious, magnetic and charismatic Sophisticated and educated Cunning and able to adapt High level of intelligence and perception Characteristics of a Byronic hero: Other Types The quest for identity
The epic journey to find the promised land/to found the good city
The quest for vengeance
The warrior’s journey to save his people
The search for love (to rescue the princess/damsel in distress)
The journey in search of knowledge
The tragic quest: penance or self-denial
The fool’s errand
The quest to rid the land of danger
The grail quest (the quest for human perfection) Archetypal Journeys Hero as warrior (Odysseus): A near god-like hero faces physical challenges and external enemies
Hero as lover (Prince Charming): A pure love motivate hero to complete his quest
Hero as Scapegoat (Jesus): Hero suffers for the sake of others
Transcendent Hero: The hero of tragedy whose fatal flaw brings about his downfall, but not without achieving some kind of transforming realization or wisdom (Greek and Shakespearean tragedies—Oedipus, Hamlet, Macbeth, etc.)
Romantic/Gothic Hero: Hero/lover with a decidedly dark side (Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre)
Proto-Feminist Hero: Female heroes (The Awakening by Kate Chopin)
Apocalyptic Hero: Hero who faces the possible destruction of society
Anti-Hero: A non-hero, given the vocation of failure, frequently humorous (Homer Simpson)
Defiant Anti-hero: Opposer of society’s definition of heroism/goodness. (Heart of Darkness)
Unbalanced Hero: The Protagonist who has (or must pretend to have) mental or emotional deficiencies (Hamlet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest)
The Other—the Denied Hero: The protagonist whose status or essential otherness makes heroism possible (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan)
The Superheroic: Exaggerates the normal proportions of humanity; frequently has divine or supernatural origins. In some sense, the superhero is one apart, someone who does not quite belong, but who is nonetheless needed by society. (Mythological heroes, Superman) Heroic Archetypes Based on what you learned today, define each type of the following heroes: http://bcove.me/8c5rchl1
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