Summary ofThe Hero With a Thousand Faces
8 key points
Myths have long been a fascinating subject to many. Tales of creatures, heroes, journeys, and epic battles have been our go-to for excitement for centuries. However, have you ever stopped to think about why those myths were created and what they mean on a deeper level? The Hero With a Thousand Faces is a fascinating delve into the world of myths and symbolism, awakening your senses to what these tales may have been whispering to you all along. With its first release in 1949, best-selling author, Joseph Campbell, discusses his theories on the reasons why myths are told the way they are, and how they can help us find our place in the universe.
Every myth told through the ages has a format and within that format there are deep lessons to be learned. The problem for many is that the lessons are deeply buried. Joseph Campbell explains that every myth has a hero and that hero’s journey often follows a pattern or structure. Understanding these patterns helps you to unearth the hidden messages.
Myths have a common format as the hero moves along their journey.
Freud regularly referred to the fact that the hidden messages in tales are taken out of context by most readers, simply because the message is disguised so completely. Then, we either miss the message completely or we allow it to become distorted to the point where we don’t understand it. Campbell argues that myths can appear that way on the surface but once you know the common pattern of the story, you’re able to understand more clearly.
Myths can often appear confusing, but once you understand the format, you have the time to listen to the message.
Did you know? The oldest myth is thought to be the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem written around 2150 BC.
Campbell comes from a long line of storytellers. His ancestors are immigrants and refugees who held the art of storytelling close to their hearts. Having been surrounded by mythical stories his whole life, Campbell also dedicated his time working as a specialist in post-traumatic stress and psychology.
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