2. According to Lawrence and Jewett’s
The Myth of the American Superhero
has been able to create their own revised version of the “classical hero” by changing the
standard monomyth of a hero’s coming of age into that of a hero’s selfless sacrifice and
service for the redemption of the world around them. When one thinks of heroes,
generally their fantastic, reality-escaping feats and supernatural abilities come to mind.
Whether it be Spiderman, with his abilities to shoot spider webs and fly around the city,
or Superman, with his super strength and ability to fly
cities, one thing’s for sure –
heroes are “great.” When compared to Joseph Campbell’s definition of the classical
monomyth, the American superhero seems to fit pretty well. According to Campbell, the
hero “ventures forth […] into a region of supernatural wonder” and later emerges
victorious, “with the power to bestow boons on his fellow men.” In the standard story of
heroicism, good always prevails and the hero defeats his enemy with flying colors. This
same principle generally applies to American superheroes as well, save but the last part.
The American monomyth differs from the classical in that “the superhero recedes into
obscurity,” showing that these American superheroes had selfless motives in their heroic
However, the American superheroes are, after all, SUPER heroes. Not many people in
the world (at least, not anyone that I know of) possess the abilities to climb up vertical
walls or shoot lasers out their eyes. The fact that these heroes, who may as well be
walking among humans, possess exaggerated supernatural qualities may simply serve as
an outlet. Such crazy, far-fetched, dream-like heroes may instill hope or simply serve as
entertainment as opposed to the traditional heroes, who had morals to teach through the
stories of their own trials.
Most, if not all, American superheroes choose to hide their identities from the world,
living their superhero lives in secret, uninterested in the attention or power doing so
might give them. Instead of receiving credit for saving the world and keeping things in
order, American superheroes, these awesome beings with powerful abilities, choose to
suppress themselves and live in secret. Sometimes they are able to lead out normal lives,
denying being superheroes, living with the possibility of being discovered every day.
Many great men, like Spiderman, Batman, and Ironman cannot obtain their loves because
they know how big of a responsibility their powers and their obligations to protect their
Q: What does Achilles say to Odysseus in the underworld?
A: First of all, Achilles expresses his lamentations of being dead, telling Odysseus to