The Hero Pattern

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1) The hero's mother is a royal virgin

2) His [mortal] father is a king, and

3) Often a near relative of his mother, but

4) The circumstances of his conception are unusual, and

5) He is also reputed to be the son of a god

6) At birth an attempt is made, usually by his father or his maternal grandfather, to kill him, but

7) He is spirited away, and

8) Reared by foster parents in a far country

9) We are told nothing of his childhood, but

10) On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future kingdom

11) After victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon or wild beast

12) he marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor, and

13) becomes king.

14) For a while he reigns uneventfully, and

15) Prescribes laws, but

16) Later he loses favor with his subjects and/or the gods, and

17) Is driven from the throne and city, after which

18) He meets with a mysterious death

19) Often at the top of a hill

20) His children, if any, do not succeed him

21) His body is not buried, but, nevertheless

22) He has one or more holy sepulchres.

*according to Lord Raglan, The Hero (New York, 1954) 174-175.