Myth and the Evolution of Heroes

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What is a hero? What comes to your mind when someone speaks of heroes and or heroines or Super Heroes and Heroines for that matter? Well lets see, Webster defines a super hero as a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers and a hero as a person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for their courage and outstanding achievements, and is typically identified as a person of noble qualities. A person who people will sympathize with. A man of the people. Or, the people’s champion if you will. These character types are often used in media and education and can be applied to almost any story, be it in literature, theatre, film, television series, games, or whatever. In classical mythology we find some of the first of many accounts of these Hero’s. In all actuality they could be called the first super hero’s. Although they did not have the superpowers that we come to expect from modern day super hero’s they still make the cut. And in many ways the heroes of legend could be what you would expect from (and I do use this loosely) real superheroes. See the births, backgrounds, and life’s of these characters are a bit more on the adult side of the movie store so to speak. They tend to reflect that of real people and real life. Not the real life that is watered down and boxed and fed to kids but the hard life and reality that we all come to realize is reality the more we grow up. Their stories are that of struggle, humility, sacrifices, and all that trial and tribulation that you have come to know and loathe through out the years. But at the same time they stick with the layout that, as though given to them of Russian scholar Vladimir Propp. See Propp broke down almost all myth with the publication of “Morphology of the Folk tale”. In this publication he depicted that all folk tales follow what is essentially a predefined course of action for almost all stories. Oddly enough this is still relevant to this day. A summary of which is the following: The...
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