Achilles as a Hero Some Definitions of "Hero"Lord Raglan's Hero PatternThe Hero Pattern applied to Women in Myth, History, and LiteratureThe Hero QuestStages in the Heroic QuestVariations on the Theme of the Heroic QuestOther Hero Patterns
Heroic Seach as Life Process • Birth • Maturation • Death • Rebirth Name Vase of the Achilles Painter (450 BC)
Rites of Passage • Birth • Puberty • Coming of Age • Death Question: What are some modern examples of such rites of passage?
The Psychological Quest Sigmund Freud, c. 1921 (1856-1939) Carl Jung (1975-1961)
Hero Quest in the Individual Mind • dream world of the individual • importance of subconscious in determining human behavior and belief • psychoanalysis • a method of therapeutic analysis based on theory that abnormal mental states result from the repression of desires that the conscious mind rejects but which persist in the unconscious • id / ego / superego • Oedipus complex Sigmund Freud, c. 1921 (1856-1939)
Freud on Achilles • Relationship with parents • Thetis, his mother • Peleus, his father • Mortal vs. Divine Attic red figure kylix, signed by Peithinos500 BCAntikenmuseen, Berlin
Honoré Daumier Thetis dipping Achilles in the river Styx. Thomas Banks (1735-1805) English; about 1788 Victoria and Albert museum
Achilles and Peleus • Peleus marries Thetis • Mortal Peleus makes Achilles mortal • Peleus gives Achilles to centaur Chiron to be raised. Peleus consigns Achilles to Chiron's care, white-ground lekythos by the Edimburg Painter, ca. 500 BC, National Archaeological Museum of Athens Joachim WtewaelThe Marriage Feast of Peleus and Thetisca. 1606-10oil on copper, .75 x 8.75 in., t Feigen
Hero Quest in the Collective Mind • dream world of society • collective unconscious • archetypes: recurring myths characters, situations and events • archetype as primal form or pattern from which all other versions are derived More on Jung: http://skepdic.com/jung.html Carl Jung (1875-1961)
Achilles as an Jungian Archetype • Mortal Yearning for Immortality • Achilles’ Choice (Immortal Fame)
Students of Jung Ernst Cassirer (1874-1975) Mircea Eliade (1907-1986) Victor Turner (1920-1983) Joseph Campbell (1904-1987)
Ernst Cassirer(1874-1975) German philosopher and historian of ideasone of the leading exponents of neo-Kantian thought in the 20th century Emphasized the inevitable relationship of myth and language The great symbol systems from science to mythology are not modeled on reality but model it. Myth as mind's spontaneous creation of an emotionally satisfying cosmos. More on Cassirer: http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/cassir.htm
Joseph Campbell1904-1987 Hero's rite of passage journey of maturation Growth into true selfhood (Jung's individuation) More on Campbell: http://www.jcf.org/about_jc.php
Five Stages of the Hero Quest • Call to Adventure • Struggle or Crossing the Threshold • Tests of Will, Endurance and Ability • The Ordeal and Its Reward • The Return
Call to Adventure Each hero receives a call to his task--either through some inner voice of feeling of through outside circumstances. he may eagerly accept of bluntly refuse his task. (If he refuses, he is usually forced through trickery or violence to accept.) Discovery of AchillesAuthor : JAN DE BRAYDate :1664
Nicholas Poussin. Achilles and Daughters of Lycomede. 1656. Oil on canvas. The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, USA.
Struggle or Crossing the Threshold These are the steps into the world of conflict and danger, which may be conceive in human terms (e.g. a war) or in religious and mythological symbolism (e.g. monsters the lower world). The hero often has a helper (human or divine) who aids him with extra knowledge and strength. At times the hero must seem to die to his old life in order to enter the world of the quest (e.g. disappearance for years, descent to the underworld).
Tests of Will and Endurance • These test (whether only one or a series) usually take the form of conflict or battle with monsters, natural forces, or hostile humans. Again, the hero may have help, but he must successfully overcome the obstacles himself. Tiepolo. The Rage of Achilles 1757
Gavin Hamilton ( 1723 – 98 ), Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus
The Return If the successful accomplishment of the heroic task is to be truly beneficial, then the hero must return to the world he left, bringing the princess, gift, treasure knowledge, of whatever it is with him. If he is the symbol of a group, then he is bringing a benefit to them all. Sometimes his return is aided by the gods or other forces; sometimes he must flee hostile forces that resent his seizure of the reward. This is a theme of renewal and rebirth, the way the old individual, nation, and/or world can be restored and live again.
Five Stages of the Hero Quest • Call to Adventure • Struggle or Crossing the Threshold • Tests of Will, Endurance and Ability • The Ordeal and Its Reward • The Return Gavin Hamilton ( 1723 – 98 ), Death of Achilles