Dehumanization & Monsters in Literature
When we are thinking about some ancient myth, we often remember the monster and not the hero. Why is that so? Well, monsters have to be impressive: after all, they challenge heroes to prove their worth and gain power and recognition.
In his book Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell describes a heroic narrative common for most myths. In this narrative, a hero protagonist needs to go through a transformative adventure and return home victorious. It is also known as the hero’s journey.
As you may have guessed, monsters are an essential part of the hero’s journey. They usually serve as antagonists in the stages of test and final battle. Think of Cyclops or Scylla from Homer’s Odyssey as an outstanding example of a memorable monster.