The Hero's Journey

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Christian Lescznske Professor Larkin ELIT2055-B 31 March 2014 The Hero’s Journey: Comparing and Contrasting Heroes Joseph Campbell was an American psychologist and mythological researcher. In his lifelong research, Campbell discovered many common patterns running through hero myths and stories from around the world. Years of research lead Campbell to discover several basic stages that almost every hero-quest goes through (no matter what culture the myth is a part of). He calls this common structure “the monomyth” (Hero’s Journey). The “hero’s journey” appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious ritual, and psychological development. It describes the typical adventure of The Hero, who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf…show more content…
Along with this new awareness, comes the theme of denial. Gilgamesh doesn’t want to accept the fact that he will die. He denies the truth, because he doesn’t want to think about the truth or deal with the tragedy that has just struck him. Due to this, he sets off on a journey to find immortality but is ultimately robbed of it by a serpent. Gilgamesh realizes that immortality is not achievable after his quest for it. He discovers that the quest was pointless, because he will die regardless of the steps to prevent his death, but ultimately ended up learning his biggest lesson from Utnapishtim, the man who become immortal. He learns to appreciate life every day and that humans are meant to die. The last stage in the hero’s journey is the return. Gilgamesh returns to Uruk with this information and begins to appreciate life and his kingdom. Overall, this experience changed Gilgamesh for the better. Throughout the story you can see how the character transformed and how his journey bettered him in the end by making him a better human and king, and making him learn to appreciate life everyday up until its very end. Unlike The Epic of Gilgamesh, Oedipus: The King is different because Oedipus is not your traditional epic hero. In fact, he is the opposite, a tragic hero. By definition, a tragic hero is a character who is unavoidably doomed. That hero’s fate has already been decided

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