The final mystery is oneself when one has weighed the

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The final mystery is oneself. When one has weighed the sun in the balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul? Typical Features of the Hero Divine parent and human parent, one each Strange birth Threatened at birth by hostile force, born away from home Early display of special powers Education in exile and/or isolation, often by supernatural beings Quest, often involving impossible task (e.g. journey to underworld and back, herakles goes into underworld 3 times and back) Slaying of monster or powerful opponent Divine assistance (and opposition) , usually godess Athena Typical Features (cont.) Return home, spiritually transformed Unhappy domestic arrangements Strange death Undying fame through song or cult Alternately… Separation, initiation, return
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The Divided Person Hero is greater than others, a model to emulate (Pindar's epinicians ). But divided: Human and divine, even bestial. Often isolated and alone. Difficult for hero to know or accept limits. H ybris and punishment from gods. (eg Gilgamesh, punished by Ishtar with loss of Enkidu) Benefactor and Destroyer Protector of civilization, tamer of nature, champion of culture. but also can be destructive, a violent force of nature, threat to culture. (cf Gilgamesh, warrior, athlete) The life-story of many gods reflects the pattern above. Which ones? What is the major difference? Perseus A Rare Integrated Hero Perseus’ Origins Io + Zeus Epaphus (Egypt) many generations, return to Greece Acrisius, King of Argos Danae + Zeus Perseus Early life Acrisius receives a prophecy (story pattern) Danae in the tower Impregnation by Zeus in form of shower of gold Detection Perseus and Danae put to sea in a chest
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