A Campbellian Analysis of Departure in Shaffer’s The Gift of the Gorgon

Fatemeh Mirzaei Arjmand, Marzieh Lohrasbi

Abstract


Among the mythologist of the 20th century whose concern was to relate any mythical story to the human psyche and studies of human psychology, Joseph John Campbell (1904-1987) — An American mythologist, professor, writer, speaker, and anthropologist- was greatly influential. Campbell brought to life the myths and legends of cultures throughout the world when he introduces his theory of Monomyth or hero’s journey—the term he borrowed from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake. Departure, initiation, and return are his monomyth three stages; each of them is divided into some subsections. Among Campbell’s contemporaries, Peter Shaffer (1926) — an English playwright and screenwriter of many award winning plays- is the one moving readily from farce to the portrayal of human suffering in his myth-like plays .This study attempts to highlight the quotations carrying either concepts of monomyth and demonstrate that Peter Shaffer’s play The Gift of the Gorgon is a mythical one, where several elements of departure glamorously glitters.


Keywords


The Gift of the Gorgon; Departure; Monomyth; Campbell

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References


Abrams, M. H. (1999). A glossary of literary terms. Earl McPeek.

Campbell, J. (2004) . The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton University Press.

Indick, W. (2004) Movies and the mind: Theories of the great psychoanalysts applied to film. McFarland.

Indick, W. (2012. )Ancient symbology in fantasy literature: A Psychological study. McFarland.

Shaffer, P. (1993). The gift of the gorgon. London: Samuel French.

Watson, J. (1994) Peter Shaffer; A Casebook. Theatre Journal, 46(1).




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/n

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