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The Epic Hero


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Table of Contents

Contents:Introduction: The Book of the Hero One: The Hero from on High Two: The Heroic Biography Three: The Framework of Adventure Four: The Hero "Speaks" Five: Foils, Fools, and Antiheroes Six: Tertium Quid: Aspects of Liminality Seven: The Final Hero: Beyond Immortality Notes Index

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Miller has made a fundamental contribution to scholarship that transcends everything so far published on this subject, including the works of Rank, Raglan, and, indeed, the late Joseph Campbell and his army of admirers. To put it simply, he has produced a masterpiece! -- C. Scott Littleton, Occidental College

About the Author

Dean A. Miller is a professor emeritus of history and comparative religion at the University of Rochester.


The range is vast and covers most of Western epic literature-Greek, Celtic, Nordic, Roman, Persian, and Indian... [Miller] has provided not only a wealth of information on the epic hero, but he shows why the hero presented in the epic mode has held human imagination for so long. Religious Studies Review Miller boldly but intelligently maps out a variety of aspects under which both epic heroism in general and particular can fruitfully be considered. He also discusses an almost intimidating range of material... For Miller, rather refreshingly, the real heroes are Homer's Achilles and his counterparts in, say, Icelandic sagas, not such tricksters, politicians, and priests as Odysseus, Hector, and Aeneas. Miller rightly refocuses attention, furthermore, not only on such well-documented elements of this warrior-hero as his ambivalence and liminality, but also on his enduring, if disturbing, appeal. -- B. D. A. Tipping Journal of Roman Studies Miller commands an impressive range of material, and his original synthesis offers valuable insights to students of ancient and medieval literature. Choice Why does an epic hero tend to act so arrogantly and destructively? Miller offers a convincing answer to this question, which arises with the emergence of modern consciousness, in light of the hero's functional social position an dhis essentially adolescent, flat interior... with thoughtful insight and thorough scholarship, Miller's book is a major piece of research that cannot be ignored in any future discussion of the epic and its ever-dazzling hero. -- Masaki Mori The Comparatist This study, rich and plentiful but also subtle and suggestive, will serve as a reference work for a broad range of researchers in contiguous disciplines (ancient studies, comparative religion, history, philosophy). -- Francois Ripoll Latomus Given his wide reading and his instinct for the telling detail, Miller's observations are truly pregnant; they stimulate the mind to incubate new connections. -- Norman Austin International Journal of the Classical Tradition

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