My Hero

His birth is in some way miraculous
Sooner or later he is son of a god or a god himself.
His own people do not recognize him
and he dies a dramatic and sorrowful death β€”
Sound familiar?
Could be any one of a dozen
mythological or legendary characters,
invested with traits that seem to satisfy
a very wide-spread human need
for this kind of thing.

The figure known as Christ Jesus
[no one was called this in the 3rd century]
exhibits 19 of some two dozen such traits…
and the higher the number, the more likely
the character is purely fictional – mythological –
which is interesting, as Robin Hood
exhibits only 13.

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a ridiculously condensed synopsis of seminal works by Joseph Campbell,
F. R. S. Raglan, and Alan Dundes.

[Other examples Oedipus (22) Romulus (17) Hercules (17) Perseus (16) Zeus (15) Jason (15) Apollo (11) …]

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