The Epic Hero: The Epic Hero The Hero: The Hero a human being with characteristics a society admires and often emulates.
usually male, attractive, and unusually strong and able.
a trained solider or warrior
believes in and follows the code of honor for which he is willing to sacrifice his life.
fights for the noble cause
is considered better in most respects than the common man.
The Hero’s Desires: The Hero’s Desires Like man, he has the same longings and desires:
the desire to be beloved and respected by his own people;
the desire for some degree of wealth or material comfort;
the desire for a family with children, especially sons like himself;
the desire to stand out above his fellow human beings in some way;
the desire not to bring shame to himself or his family in any way.
What’s he like?: What’s he like? The epic hero is found in many cultures with many similar characteristics.
The hero’s father is a king or a formidable leader/warrior.
The circumstances of the hero’s birth are unusual.
The hero is reputed to be the son of a god.
At the birth of the hero, there is often an attempt by the father or paternal grandfather or uncle to kill him.
Foster parents in a distant land often raise the hero.
The hero is told almost nothing about his childhood.
When the hero reaches manhood, he returns or goes to a future kingdom.
After he wins…: After he wins… After victory over a king, dragon, giant, or wild beast, he marries a princess.
The hero then becomes the king.
For a time the hero reigns uneventfully.
The hero proclaims laws, or he bestows blessing or gifts on the community.
Later, the hero loses favor with the gods and his subjects.
The hero is driven from the throne, power, or city.
After the hero is driven away, he meets a mysterious death.
If the hero had any children, they do not succeed him.
The hero’s body is not buried.
The epic hero is a larger-than-life hero who embodies the values of a particular society.
Does this sound familiar?: Does this sound familiar? He might seem superhuman. He is braver, stronger, and smarter than an ordinary person.
The hero is on a quest for something
Villains try to keep the hero from his quest
The epic hero is often of mixed divine and human birth; therefore, he possesses human weakness.
Stages in the Hero’s Journey: Stages in the Hero’s Journey Departure
Departure: Departure Call to Adventure – charged with a task
Refusal to Call – may refuse or try to avoid it
Supernatural Aid – once the hero has committed to the quest, his guide and magical helper appears or becomes known.
The Crossing of the First Threshold – the point where the person actually crosses into the field of adventure, venturing into an unknown and dangerous realm
The Belly of the Whale – represents the final separation from the hero's known world and self. It is the point when the person is between or transitioning between worlds and selves. Initiation: Initiation The Road of Trials – a series of tests, tasks, or ordeals that he person must undergo to begin the transformation. Failure to pass often occurs in threes.
The Meeting with the Goddess – represents the point in the adventure when the person experiences an unconditional love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful, all encompassing, love that a fortunate infant may experience with his mother. May or may not be romantic love.
Temptation – the temptations that my lead the hero to abandon or stray from his or her quest. More Initiation: More Initiation Atonement with the Father – the person must confront that which holds the ultimate power in his life. This is the center point of the journey. It can be a male, or just someone or thing with incredible power.
Apotheosis – to apotheosize is to deify. When someone dies a physical death or dies to the self, he moves to a state of divine knowledge, love, compassion and bliss. This is a god-like state. It can also be a period of rest, peace and fulfillment before the hero begins the return.
The Ultimate Boon – the achievement of the goal of the quest.
Return: Return Refusal of the Return – doesn’t want to leave the heavenly state he has reached
The Magic Flight – it can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it – especially when the hero is returning with something that the gods have jealously guarded.
Rescue from Without – the hero sometimes has to have powerful guides and rescuers to bring him back to everyday life, especially if the person has been wounded or weakened by the experience.
You’re not home yet: You’re not home yet The Crossing of the Return Threshold – the trick in returning is to retain the wisdom gained on the quest while returning to the pre-quest life.
Master of the Two Worlds – achieving balance between the material and spiritual – person has become comfortable and competent in both the inner and outer worlds.
Freedom to Live – no fear of death, not out of arrogance but out of a total enjoyment of the life he has earned/achieved.
Can You See It?: Can You See It? Lord of the Rings
The Lion King