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This aroused the anger of his brother Deiphobos, who threatened him with his sword, but his sister Kassandra recognized him as her brother, and Priamos joyfully received him as his son.

The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Interpretation of Mythology

The misfortune which Paris later on brought to his family and his native city, through the abduction of Helena, is well known from Homer's poems, as well as their predecessors and successors, their prologue and epilogue. A certain resemblance with the story of the birth of Paris is presented by the poem of Zal, in Firdusi's Persian hero-myths translated by Schack. The first son is born to Sam, king of Sistan, by one of his consorts. Because he had white hair, his mother concealed the birth.

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But the nurse reveals the birth of his son to the king. Sam is disappointed, and commands that the child be exposed.

A Psychological Interpretation of Mythology

The servants carry it on the top of Mount Alburs, where it is raised by the Somurgh, a powerful bird. The full grown youth is seen by a travelling caravan, whose members speak of him "as whose nurse a bird is sufficient. He is unable to reach the summit of the elevated rock where he finally espies the youth. But the Somurgh bears his son down to him, he receives him joyfully and nominates him as his successor.

Aleos, King of Tegea, was informed by the oracle that his sons would perish through a descendant of his daughter.

The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Exploration of Myth by Otto Rank

Thirteen years later, Rank substantially revised this seminal work, incorporating new discoveries in psychoanalysis, mythology, and ethnology, doubling the size of the book. This expanded second edition has never before been available in English. Get A Copy. More Details Original Title. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Myth of the Birth of the Hero , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about The Myth of the Birth of the Hero.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 20, Benjamin Kerstein rated it it was amazing. Simply an extraordinary work. It's a shame that Rank has been regarded as a "third tier" figure in the history of psychoanalysis, usually ranked below Freud and Jung. Personally, I think Rank's analysis of myth is more interesting than Jung's, and this book is the most cogent expression of it.

It's also a shame that much of Rank's preliminary work as well as that of others from Imago has not been published in book form. Apr 24, Arthur George rated it liked it. This is a classic work and a must-read for anyone seriously interested in mythology and in particular hero mythology.

The myth of the birth of the hero : a psychological interpretation of mythology

But it was written about a century ago and so it is seriously out of date in terms of its psychological and mythological theory, and the translations of the texts under discussion are also antiquated and often inaccurate. The book's main service these days is to collect and discuss, albeit briefly, a number of texts concerning the birth of hero figures that have similar motifs.

F This is a classic work and a must-read for anyone seriously interested in mythology and in particular hero mythology. For this I give it 3 stars, but no more because of it being so dated and also lacking in detail and thorough discussion. Were I writing a century ago, it would probably get 4 or 5 because it was groundbreaking at the time.

May 28, Rylan marked it as to-read Shelves: self-improvement. Joseph Campbell name drop. View 2 comments. Jun 24, Nathan Page rated it really liked it.

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My therapist made me this. Now I am thinking about swan knights and rivers. Feb 25, Carlos rated it liked it Shelves: non-fiction , religion-mythology. This was an interesting essay, especially since it was the first psychological interpretation of a myth that I have read that did not exaggerate the role of sexuality.

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Rank first shares with the reader the vast literature of birth myths, from Cyrus, Siegfried and Perseus to Moses and Jesus. This duplication is also observed where the role of the f This was an interesting essay, especially since it was the first psychological interpretation of a myth that I have read that did not exaggerate the role of sexuality. It is in such common sense explanations that Rank convinced me of the plausibility of his interpretations. Overall, this was an interesting essay definitely worth the read for anyone who has been curious of the surprising similarities in the myths from wildly different cultures.

May 12, Marlene M. I was interested in the similarities of the various myths, which I have noticed for some time.


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I'm not sure they are all born out of sexual tension with the father that is supposedly generally experienced by humans. I think there are other, more interesting reasons. May 25, Paul rated it it was amazing. Frequently brilliant, always stimulating exploration of myth, art, psychology, and oh yes, religion, for which Rank makes a clever case as a necessary stage in humanity's achievement of an individually oriented culture.