The Epic Hero (Hardback)
Miller's lengthy study aims to provide a detailed typology of the hero in Western myth, from Odysseus and Aeneas to Beowulf, with reference to the legends of India and Persia. He places the hero within the physical landscape and within a social and political context as well as discussing the non-human aspects of the hero and his environment. The book begins with a history of the hero, from Greek, Roman, Nordic and Celtic worlds, and considers what it is that separates and isolates the hero from the rest of society. Themes discussed include: the hero's life and relationships as well as his often solitary death; the hero's relationship with kings; his definition through adventure; his immobility, forms of communication and terrible violence; anti-heroes and the symbolism of good and evil; the hero in the supernatural or animal worlds; the perennial appeal of epics and the power of charisma; the nature of heroism itself.