The Quest Myth
myth: "An anonymous, essentially religious formulation of the cosmic view of a
people which explains the nature of the universe or the behavior that leads to success for
- a cosmic view of a people
- the nature of the universe
- behavior leading to success
A second definition from Mark Shorer: "A large controlling image that gives
philosophical meaning to the facts of ordinary life."
Common themes in myths include the creation of the world, the role of the gods, the
explanation for natural phenomena, the purpose of death and existence, and the role of
quest: "A hero leaves the security of home and undertakes an ordeal that tests
his or her powers. Temporarily defeated, the obstacles are overcome, and either the hero
returns in triumph or in a new state of understanding."
The Elements of the
Quest Myth in Gilgamesh's Search