Preview
Preview

The Road of Trials in Literature Essay

:: 3 Works Cited
Length: 1775 words (5.1 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In Joseph Campbell’s book, A Hero with a Thousand Faces, the author details a journey he claims that every human must travel.. There are numerous stages in the journey, but one of the biggest stages is the Road of Trials. When the hero reaches the Road, he or she must leave his or her home and complete a series of hurdles and adventures alone. During the journey the hero finds confidence and self assurance. The Road of Trials is essential for the hero’s growth as a person. There are many examples of the Road of Trials in literature, including the epic poem, Gilgamesh, and the alliterative poem, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Both characters in these stories leave their homeland and go on a journey to find themselves and understand where they stand in the world.
Before his journey, Gilgamesh, who is half god and half human, does whatever he wants. He sees himself as a god and he acts like one until he meets a man by the name of Enkidu. Enkidu is half man and half animal. As their friendship grows, the two become very close and Gilgamesh begins to act more in line with the human side of himself, as does Enkidu. Gilgamesh’s life comes to an abrupt halt when Enkidu dies. Gilgamesh, who has never felt a loss so dearly before, is determined to bring Enkidu back to life, so he leaves his hometown on a to journey to find the god Utnapishtim. This is where his Road of Trials begins. While wandering in the desert looking for Utnapishtim, Gilgamesh figures out that, “His life became a quest/To find the secret of eternal life/ Which he might carry back to give to his friend” (Mason, 55). For the first time in his life Gilgamesh thinks of someone else before himself. He had always been drawn to the side of himself that is half god but...


... middle of paper ...


...e back, so how do loved ones keep the deceased in their memory? It is natural to struggle, but with every struggle comes a reward, just as with death comes resurrection. If there were not struggles in life, no one would be resurrected and allowed to grow and to learn. The Road of Trials experiences teach valuable lessons. The Road is not easy, but rather a long and difficult fight. Eventually the hero will return victorious, just as with loss comes restoration. There is no easy formula, but the journey is necessary if humans are to truly live, grow, and change.



Works Cited

Borroff, Marie. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. A New Verse Translation. New York: Norton, 1967. Print.
Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1972. Print.
Mason, Herbert. Gilgamesh: a Verse Narrative. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1971. Print.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Archetypal Criticism in The Road by Cormac McCarthy Essay - ... For example “ The Caregiver,” “The Innocent,” and “The Hero,” (Bavota Par. 1-3) are all types of character archetype. The Caregiver is encouraging and supportive and their character is fulfilled when they make a difference in the life of someone else. The Innocent’s greatest attribute is their eternal optimism and trust. Genuinely concerned with others’ well being, and endearing to others with their enthusiastic sense of wonder and positive energy. The Hero is a protagonist whose life is a series of well-marked adventures, characterized by courage, strength, and honor....   [tags: literary devices]
:: 5 Works Cited
1646 words
(4.7 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Importance of African American Literature Addressing the Black Experience - The role of African American literature in recent years has been to illuminate for the modern world the sophistication and beauty inherent in their culture as well as the constant struggle they experience in the oppressive American system. When writers such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois and Alice Walker present their material, they manage to convey to a future world the great depth of feeling and meaning their particular culture retained as compared with the culture of their white counterparts....   [tags: race, racism] 3067 words
(8.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Salem Witch Trials Essay - Some people say that the Salem Witch Trials were less a religious persecution than economic in purpose, using religion as a guise to gain property. I believe that the Salem witch trials were less a religious persecution than economical. I believe this for several reasons; one being that the accused witches were using their witchcraft on other people in the town and it was affecting them. Many people were accused of performing witchcraft and were persecuted for doing so. But I believe that people in towns accused others of "witchcraft" whenever something went wrong, because "witchcraft" was such a common thing back than....   [tags: Witch Trials] 1747 words
(5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Along Came A Frontage Road Essay - Along came a frontage road was a story that told different relationships between three different fathers and their sons. The first father that Michael Chabon introduced to the story was Nicky’s grandfather. The portrayal of his Nicky’s grandfather painted him as a lukewarm person who seemed to bond with his son only when they shopped for pumpkins. I came to this conclusion because it seems like Nicky’s father is following in his father’s footsteps by annually taking his son pumpkin hunting. Michael Chabon gave the description that Nicky’s grandfather wasn’t such a loving person....   [tags: Analysis Literature Frontage Road] 998 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Difference between Quests Doen by Female and Male Heroes Essay - Heroic fantasies are most often structured around the hero's or heroine's quest. This frequently turns out to be a quest for identity, although the hero or heroine usually does not realize this at first. "The journey of the upper-class white male is identified as the generic type for the normal human condition; and other members of society - racial minorities, the poor and women - are seen as secondary characters (Pearson 4)." "In the traditional, the quest hero is assumed to be a male who is separated from his known world, is initiated into a new consciousness, and then returns to his community (Russell 197)." However, when the hero of a story is a woman, her quest is essentially different...   [tags: American Literature] 801 words
(2.3 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Road Not Taken and the Journey of Life Essay - The Road Not Taken and the Journey of Life This poem by Robert Frost was first read to me in the last year of my high school experience. Back then, not only did I have absolutely no interest in any literary work, but moreover, had no intension to lye there and analyze a poem into its symbolic definitions. Only now have I been taught the proper way to read a literary work as a formalistic critic might read. With this new approach to literature I can understand the underlying meaning to Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"....   [tags: Road Not Taken essays] 773 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Scottsboro Trials and To Kill A Mockingbird - The Scottsboro Trial and the trial of Tom Robinson are almost identical in the forms of bias shown and the accusers that were persecuted. The bias is obvious and is shown throughout both cases, which took place in the same time period. Common parallels are seen through the time period that both trials have taken place in and those who were persecuted and why they were persecuted in the first place. The thought of "All blacks were liars, and all blacks are wrongdoers," was a major part of all of these trails....   [tags: Scottsboro Trials] 1162 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Jack Kerouac’s On The Road - The American Quest Essay - On The Road and the American Quest        Jack Kerouac's On The Road is the most uniquely American novel of its time.  While it has never fared well with academics, On The Road has come to symbolize for many an entire generation of disaffected young Americans.  One can focus on numerous issues wh en addressing the novel, but the two primary reasons which make the book uniquely American are its frantic Romantic search for the great American hero (and ecstasy in general), and Kerouac's "Spontaneous Prose" method of writing....   [tags: On The Road essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
1736 words
(5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Quest for Self and Identity in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road Essay - The Quest For Identity In On The Road     In Jack Kerouac’s ‘On The Road’, the protagonists embark upon a long, arduous quest for human identity. Their aim is to uncover who they truly are, where they fit in the ‘scheme of things’ and what the meaning of life is. They articulate this desire by speaking, during the novel, of the search for ‘IT’, ‘IT’ being human identity. This ‘IT’ is an intangible thing; something that holds a different meaning for every individual. It encompasses all the things humans yearn for – life answers, the meaning of the universe, happiness, enlightenment, self-fulfilment, ‘beatification’ (as articulated by Kerouac)....   [tags: On The Road essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
1329 words
(3.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Importance of Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road Essay - Importance of Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road It is Dean Moriarty, in Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, who represents the eternal flame of youth that was adopted by the rebellious youth culture of the Beat Generation. He is free from responsibility, “simply a youth tremendously excited with life…want[ing] so much to live and to get involved with people who would otherwise pay no attention to him” (Kerouac 4). Just as the Greek of the Olympics, “with [the] torch…[that] ignites the pagan dream of immortality” (Rodriguez 1), Dean embodies the almost immortal flame of youth, the eternal “sideburned hero of the snowy West” (Kerouac 2)....   [tags: On The Road essays]
:: 5 Works Cited
3042 words
(8.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]