The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell Essay

The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell Essay

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The concept of heroism has fascinated us for centuries because we are able to empathize
with the hero and are able to see a reflection of ourselves in them. Heroic literature has
been developed and altered, but scholars such as Joseph Campbell believed that many of
these stories share a similar structure, which he described in his book, The Hero with a
Thousand Faces. He also suggests how many of the archetypal heroes we know are merely
variations of the same hero and how many of their quests relate to us, which gives us a
sense of security. The quests in both stories are of great significance in the characters' lives
and are similar in intensity. While both the external conflicts in The Hobbit and Incarceron,
explore the concepts of reclamation and liberty, Bilbo has to face the internal conflict of
stepping out of his comfort zone, while Finn struggles to find his true identity.
Their quests were significant in the fact that they were life changing for both heroes, and
were both higher up on the intensity scale. In the very beginning of the novels, the two
protagonists seemed to lack in heroic traits. Bilbo was more than happy to relax in his cozy
hobbit hole and Finn would stay in his cell all day sulking. After their quests though, we truly
see them transform from underdogs to full blown heroes and they clearly outgrow their old
lives. The quests were also significant in how they impacted the lives of the people around
them. Bilbo's quest changed the lives of the people of Laketown, Durin Folk and the citizens
of middle earth. During his quest he also found the ring which plays a huge role in the
adventures to come. After Finn accomplished his quest, he gave the prisoners a newfound
hope and promised to c...


... middle of paper ...


...ct with them better, as they went through their quests. We may not
have to break out of prison or slay a dragon, but we can still extract lessons from these
heroes that could help us in the best and worst journey we have to go through……. Which is
life.



Works Cited

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Novato, CA: New World Library, 2008. Print.
Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron. New York: Firebird, 2010. Print.
Jason. "What Makes a Hero?" Computer Graphics Digital Art Community for Artist Job Tutorial Art Concept Art Portfolio. CGMeetup, 24 Jan. 2013. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. .
"Lonely Mountain." The One Wiki to Rule Them All. Wikia, 2014. Web. 21 Apr. 2014. .
Tolkien, J. R. R. The Hobbit, Or, There and Back Again. London: HarperCollinsPublishers, 2012. Print.

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