Publication Date

Summer 2011

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Christopher T. White, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Terri Pantuso, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Rosemary Johnsen, Ph.D.


Heroes have been with us since the beginning of time with some becoming more well known than others. Each and every culture seems to have their own type of hero that embodies their ideals, values and beliefs. It is this truth that Joseph Campbell, author of the 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, uses as a foundation to discuss his take on why heroes have had and will always have a place within the human fabric regardless of geographical location, religious affiliation or cultural idiosyncrasies. This thesis will apply Campbell’s monomyth theory to literary classics such as Beowulf, Homer’s The Odyssey and Malamud’s The Natural. These diverse pieces will test Campbell’s theory and will reveal if the Hero’s Journey can withstand the test of not only time but space as well.