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The World Myth

The Hero

What events characterize the quest?

The quest always involves specific trials or tests. Herakles must complete his twelve labors. Perseus must find a way to kill Medusa without being turned to stone. There are always temptations that threaten to throw the hero off course. One such temptation for male heroes is the femme fatale—the temptress who embodies sexuality. Gilgamesh refuses the temptation of the great love goddess Inanna, as Cuchulainn will refuse Morrigan later. Odysseus must eventually leave Calypso and Circe. Aeneas must resist the temptation to stay with Dido rather than continuing on his quest. King Arthur and some of his knights are tempted by Morgan Le Fay. The Buddha is tempted by lust under the Bodhi Tree. Lleu is killed by Blodeuwedd, Maui is killed by his femme fatale.

Perhaps the single most important trial facing the world hero is the monster he hopes to slay.



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