The heroine of a thousand faces: The tamil feminine and the monomyth
AuthorRamoo, Dinesh K.
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The hero's journey or monomyth of Campbell (2004, originally published in 1949) has been a source of much analysis both in ancient literature across the world and in modern creations such as The Lord of the Rings or Star Wars. The hero's journey is an oft-cited archetype of storytelling. This article illustrates how this archetype could be applied to an ancient Tamil epic (the Cilappatikaram or Lay of the Anklet) and its female protagonist. It also shows how the monomyth could be used to harmonize the three parts of the epic, the last of which has often been claimed to be a later addition. Looking at the epic from the perspective of the monomyth, it is clear that all three parts are integral to understanding the heroine's journey. Further explorations into South Asian epic literature might yield new information on the divine feminine and its role in the heroic cycle.