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Heros Jounary

  • Date Submitted: 10/14/2015 07:08 PM
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A Junior level honors guide to
the Joseph Campbell

The Hero Journey 1

Junior Summer Preparation: A foreword by P. Apolinario
Well, here you are getting ready to take on the challenge of my British Literature class in order to
graduate. You’ve probably heard rumors about the workload and the demands I place upon my
students. Believe them or don’t believe them it is entirely up to you. What you need to
understand is that you only get out what you put into this class. So, I have prepared this short
reading handout and a few worksheets for you to prepare for what will be a most exciting class.
My actual plan is to have you travel through time and space to join other human beings in the
quest for a hero. The literature that we will read is filled with powerful, mystical, magical,
intelligent people who perform extraordinary tasks. Some of the literature is more fiction than
nonfiction, but the intent is the same: all of the authors more or less seek to define what it means
to be a heroic individual. It is possible to write pages and pages in order to define the word
"hero." In fact, we will be spending the entire semester formulating a definition of hero by
examining literature written before 1600 CE (AD). But to give you a starting point, here is the
core definition as I see it:
A hero is a person who displays traits necessary for a culture to thrive.
Let me elaborate a bit on some of the components of this definition.

A hero is a person. Well, heroes are usually not just an average person. The hero is
often a god-like human, such as Aragorn from Lord of the Rings; a god-human blend,
such as Herakles from Greek mythology or Jesus from Christianity; a human-like god,
like Vishnu from Hindu religion or even more rarely a god-animal blend like in Egyptian
mythology; or human-animal blend, Enkidu in the Epic of Gilgamesh. As we move
through the literature, you will see the heroes become less...


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