Joseph Campbell's many archetypal images.

Joseph Campbell
Religion and Theology
Pages 7 (1757 words)
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When analyzing hero stories which at first appeared in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the Power of Myth and the Masks of God, Campbell makes the conclusion that the womb and the tomb, the snake and the circle are archetypes.


The case above is true, since the phrases have aspects of similarity and contrasts. In this case, the noun phrases tomb and womb are involved in initiations, or rites of passage. These rites of passage are not necessarily occurring as one-time ritualistic observation, but as passages of trials and tribulations, through which the character of a hero is strengthened. In this case, both womb and tomb are met on the Road of Trials. When traveling the Road of Trials, a person meets with good and bad. The womb is seen as the goodness of a nurturing mother goddess, so that, sometimes it refers to a nurturing mother. The epitome of the bad in this case is death. In this case, the earth is considered as tomb. The snake is used differently in myths. Campbell maintains that in Greek mythologies, a snake may appear in a dream to show transition and transformation. Campbell is categorical that a snake is archetypal because the image of a snake is easily projected on, and touches a symbolic layer of the psyche, and dreams emanate from psyche. For instance, in Greek mythology, the snake is seen as the subliminal source of protection when snake-like dragons warn Psyche and those approaching the River Styx to stay away from it. He water in River Styx also hisses. The circle on the other hand is a spiritual center that is egalitarian t allows the inclusion of femininity. ...
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