Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Hero Formula

Just finished Robert W. Brockway's Myth from the Ice Age to Mickey Mouse. One of the most interesting points was from Lord Raglan's formula of the making of a hero in myth. The steps of the classic hero are:

- Prophecies of his birth
- Attempt on his life (usually by father)
- "Spirited away" and raised by foster parents far away
- Little or nothing is said of his childhood
- When he becomes a man, he defeats a king or giant or dragon or creature
- Becomes king
- Married princess (often the daughter of the old king)
- Initially uneventful reign
- He gives out laws
- Loses favor with gods and subjects
- Deposed and exiled
- Dies a strange and/or mysterious death (usually atop a hill)
- If he has children, they do not rule in his place
- He is not buried but has at least one sepulcher

Raglan gave the model a total of 22 points (not clearly spelled out in the book). Heroes that scored high were:

Moses 21
Oedipus 20
Theseus 20
Dionysus 19
Romulus 17
Bellerophon 16
Perseus 16
Jason 14
Pelopes 14
Zeus 14
Asclepius 12
Joseph 12
Apollo 11
Elijah 9
Siegfried 9

By my count Darth Vader scored a 16, Jesus 14, and Simba of The Lion King 11. If there's a perfect 22, I'd like to hear about it.

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