Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell's eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other ...
Despite their infinite variety of incident, setting, and costume, the myths of the world offer only a limited number of responses to the riddle of life. In this best-selling volume, Joseph Campbell presents the composite hero. Through Campbell's eyes, we see Apollo, the Frog King of the fairy tale, Wotan, the Buddha, and numerous other protagonists of folklore and religion enacting simultaneously the various phases of their common story.Campbell begins his interpretation of these timeless symbols by examining their relationship to those rediscovered in dreams by depth psychology. The psychological view is then compared with the words of such spiritual leaders as Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Lao-tse, and the "Old Men" of the Australian tribes. From behind a thousand faces, the single hero emerges, archetype of all myth.
This book was like new and the seller took care in sending it. Loved the pkg. stickers
Feb 11, 2011
I was interested in reading this book after reading The Power of Myth last year, by the same author. Whereas the Power of Myth was essentially an overview of Cambell's work, this book is a deeper, more specific study. One of the best things about it is how it illustrates the major arguments by including large selections of many myths from all over the world.
Aug 27, 2009
Though not designed for this purpose, it is a great book to read while taking an improv class. One can substitute the word improv for mythology in a few of the paragraphs and it still makes sense!
Dec 7, 2007
A delightful adventure
Originally written in 1949, this book has become a classic, wielding an influence at least as great as that of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough. Many prominent people have admitted being influenced by it, including filmmaker George Lucas, who read it after completing the draft of the first "Star Wars" movie and went back and revised his screenplay to more-closely follow Campbell's ideas. Campbell's thesis was that all cultural and religious myths were basically the same; that is, they generally conformed to a universal model, which Campbell claimed has remained remarkably constant throughout mankind's history. Campbell also agreed with Sigmund Freud and Robert Graves that myths are deliberately disguised, so that only the enlightened understand them. What we see superficially as an astounding story contains a deep, fundamental concept of mankind's most basic nature. As an explanation of why this universal aspect exists, Campbell further maintained that we all have hero-dreams that follow the same pattern: we are alone, we come upon a major obstacle, we overcome the problem, either through our own efforts or by the help of another, and suddenly find great peace and contentment. This is the universal hero-saga and any story that adheres to this outline will (properly told) strike a universal chord of sympathy. Campbell was extremely well-read and the book is a treasure-trove of folkloric anecdotes. One could call it a one-volume education in mythology. it is also beautifully written, with the grace of a poet and the skill of a masterly storyteller.
Oct 19, 2007
A good read...
I bought this to listen to while on a plane...it was something I thought about using when I teach...as I do teach units on heroes and myths. While the story was good...taking the hero myths and stories in all different directions...I would definitely recommend actually reading this and not listening to it. The language at times is complicated, and the ideas are too deep to listen to. Bottom line...great book...not so much in audio.
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