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This book provides an overview of the hero journey theme in literature, from antiquity to the present, with a focus on the imagery of the rites of passage in human life (initiation at adolescence, mid-life, and death). This is the only book to focus on the major works of the literary tradition, detailing discussions of the hero journey in major literary texts. Included are chapters on the literature of Antiquity (Sumerian, Egyptian, Biblical, Greek, and Roman), the Middle Ages (with emphasis on the Arthurian Romance), the Renaissance to the Enlightenment (Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Pope, Fielding, the Arabian Nights, and Alchemical Illustration), Romanticism and Naturalism (Coleridge, Selected Grimm's Tales, BrontĪ, Bierce, Whitman, Twain, Hawthorne, E.T.A. Hoffman, Rabindranath Tagore), and Modernism to Contemporary (Joyce, Gilman, Alifa Rifaat, Bellow, Lessing, Pynchon, Eudora Welty).
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Evans Lansing Smith is Associate Professor of English at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
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