The archetypal hero common characteristics

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((A deeper examination of the the positive and negative social aspects of the hero, as well as a search for the relevance of the hero today. ))

What are archetypes?

Why do we have heroes?

Are heroes relevant today?

How are heroes harmful?


The archetypal hero appears in all religions, mythologies, and stories of the world. He is an expression of our personal and collective unconscious. All archetypal heroes share certain characteristics.

Unusual circumstances of birth; sometimes in danger or born into royalty
A hero's birth will always have an unusual aspect to it. Many heroes are born to royalty or are in danger at birth. Either way, they are marked by these circumstances as different and destined for greatness.

Remember the beginning of Lion King? Simba's birth is being celebrated. The unusual aspect of his birth is his royal status. His father, Mumfasa, is the King of the Jungle.

Although viewers of Star Wars had to wait until the second movie to find out the truth about Luke's birth, hints about the unusual circumstances were given, such as the fact he lived with his aunt and uncle and didn't know his parents.

King Arthur was not only born a prince, his father Uther Pendragon used Merlin's wizardry to seduce Arthur's mother, the wife of another man.

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