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Essay about The Deception of Exile

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The basis of many myths and stories revolve around the Hero, who through his actions determines the outcome and reception of the myth, therefore playing a very important role. Not as clearly recognized, exile plays a significant part in the shaping of a hero, which in turn affects the myth entirely. In various myths different patterns of exile can be discovered which affect the character positively or negatively. Exile is used as a tactic to change the way an audience perceives the myth. Exile can be seen as tactic used by the character, or a deceptive method leading to the way the myth is received. Depending on the culture, exile is either equivalent to death or on the contrary, makes the hero more powerful. Both of these scenarios play a crucial role in shaping the hero’s personality and beliefs.
In Greek culture, civilians who read myths believed that exile was a punishment or crime worse than death. Jason, a renowned Greek hero was exiled in order to be safe and Aeson secretly gave little Jason to the Centaur Cheiron to rear (Jason and the Golden Fleece 171). The Greek people believed that this form of exile is nothing but a mere response to a minor problem. As a child, one expects protection and nurturing, which Jason never received; he was thrown in to the harsh brutality of the real world with no warning. This undoubtedly had a negative impact in the shaping of Jason’s character. When asked about his parents and the past Jason responds by saying, “My lord, I call Cheiron- the deathless and renowned centaur father. For he is the only father I have known and I call his cave on Mount Pelion my home. There I have lived 20 years” (172). Ridding themselves of a burden is the primary reason that the parents of Jason placed the...


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...etroit: Gale, 2002. Literature and Resource Center. Web. 24 Feb, 2010.
Rajagopalachari, Chakravarti. Ramayana: Chennai: Chennai. Micro Print Ltd., 2001. 83-90.

Rosenberg, Donna. “Jason and the Golden Fleece.” World Mythology; An anthology of Great Myths and Epics. Chicago: NTC Publishing, 1999. 171-173.

Rosenberg, Donna. “Medea.” World Mythology: An Anthology of Great Myths and Epics. Chicago: NTC Publishing, 1999. 213-216.

Rosenberg, Donna. “The Creation of Titans and the Gods.” World Mythology: An anthology of Great Myths and Epics. Chicago: NTC Publishing, 1999. 87-88.

Toynton, Evelyn. “Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth Century Art. (Books: Beauty Myths).” American Scholar 70.4(2001): 143+. Literature Resource Center.Web, 24 Feb. 2010.




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