Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department

School of Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication

Advisor(s)

Elisabeth C. Gumnior

Liam M. Buckley

Paul W. Klemt

Abstract

This piece assesses the cultural implications of modern narratives that incorporate classical mythology, specifically focusing on the hero’s journey. When the similarities of different myths across different cultures are analyzed, it becomes clear that there are modern analogs that incorporate mythic qualities and cultural values. These mythic foundations are analyzed here in popular works like Harry Potter, Star Trek, and Legend of Zelda, where the hero’s journey becomes an almost universal experience that inspires cross-cultural consciousness. The hero’s journey has evolved from a simple literary tool into a cross-cultural touchstone that shapes narratives into familiar works of cultural significance across new media, incorporating new values and cultural ideals that allow the audience to learn about cultures outside of their own in a positive experience. Because modern media incorporates aspects of myth, that media is both familiar and transformative and has brought new and widened perspectives of cultures across the globe. This in turn creates a cross-cultural consciousness that arises from shared media, whether that is in the form of movies, books, games, or otherwise, and shows how classical mythology is still an important artifact and foundation that influences modern culture and media.

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