The Hero With A Thousand Faces

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When I look at mythology during the past and present I can find a lot of similarities in the

base components of these stories. Joseph John Campbell was an American mythologist, writer

and lecture. I am instructed by a lot of his thoughts when thinking about myth stories. As Dr.

Joseph Campbell pointed out in his theory of the monomyth, all the myths that have withstood

the test of time for thousands of years are based on a similar foundation. This foundation is

explored in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces where he describes the theory in this

quote “A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural

wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes

back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.” With

the theory of a monomyth summarized in these lines I will apply its idea in my comparison and

contrast the stories of Greek mythological hero Heracles to the modern day super hero

Superman. This paper will then talks about whether both characters have influenced societal

norms on the perception of heroes and the many attributes they possess. At the end I conclude

that they have influenced our modern day ideal of heroism and what people usually expect a hero

to be like.

Before analyzing the background stories of our two characters we must explain what

exactly we believe a hero is. A hero is a person, typically a man, who is admired
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