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Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Oxford World’s Classics Book Club: Heroes


The Hero Archetype


By Andrew Varhol

9780192833204.jpg As long as Man (and Woman, for all you feminists out there) has existed, the stories of heroes have always fascinated us. From ancient Greek epics to the adventures of modern day superheroes, some of our most popular stories involve a hero and his triumph over the villain. And it seems lately that movie studios are churning out these stories more and more. Why do you think ancient epics still interest us today, and how have stories such as Beowulf, Homer’s Odyssey, and the legend of King Arthur affected modern day “myths?” Do you see any similarities between Beowulf and any particular modern day hero?

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