Joseph Campbell has been celebrated as an expert in his field, owning a unique skill to storytelling and a splendid method of presenting myths. Joseph John Campbell born 26 March 1904, worked and dedicated his life to American Mythology, studying and researching into comparative religion and comparative mythology. In these two domains, Campbell discussed different human experiences. Campbell presented the view of the monomyth, meaning one myth, viewing every mythic narrative to be summarized under one giant story (Campbell, and Moyers 2011). He employs the use of many mythical references in his written work, some of which are,
Campbell presents the thematic version of Mother Earth when expressing the love a child has with their human mother. There are religions that view mother as the prime parent. To defend his point, he elaborated it with the statement of a mother being the source, the immediate parent in comparison to the father.
This is the main reason behind is because a child is born from the mother, their first interaction and experience are with the mother. In a similar fashion, Campbell expressed the human mother’s image to be that of the world. Mother Earth spreads and shares her love with humanity in the same manner, as that of a mother sharing love with her child. She gives nourishment to plants the same way a human mother gives nourishment to her child. To summarize, woman magic is very similar to earth magic.
Eros / Cupid
The thematic analysis of Eros in Campbell’s writing represents the idea of love. Eros is considered to be the god that brings excitement in the bond of sexual desire. This concept opposes the view of person to person desire. Instead, it relates to the biological urge between organs, their craving for each other with a disregard for personal factor.
Campbell relates to Eros concepts with that of Cupid, which is also known as the Kama in India. His perception of Eros is not for the traditional Cupid, rather relates more to the Kama since Campbell was fascinated with the characteristics of Indian god of love, who wielded a giant bow with arrows that held various names. The inspiration was so intense for him that it brought a physiological and psychological joy to anyone that reads into it.
Agape is a mythical concept driven by Christianity that represents and stands for love. Agape presents the idealized meaning of love through the statement of showing love to neighbors the same way as people love themselves. Campbell expressed Agape’s love to be the same as that of personalized love. He further exemplified it with the example of seizure that comes after meeting someone and their visual contact made by looking into someone’s eye, as it is mentioned in the troubadour.
The view of marriage is similar to that of the usual marriage which is quite traditional in older cultures where marriages are arranged by families. He further explained it as one that is not associated with the decision taken by people and remains true to present day. The concept of arranged marriages in Campbell’s writing is not to demote the idea that arranged marriages are bad or to say that it lacks love. His opinion on arranged marriages held the opinion that arranged marriages were a manifestation of various kinds of love, including family love and being abundant in love for life.
Campbell’s opinion about romantic love and its value in human relations stems from the middle ages. He describes this time as one of the most wondrous of all since the stories from that era, truly captured the true essence of love, one that transcended the feeling of Lust. Campbell described romantic love as the joy of finding the counterpart of your life within another individual. He related this to the view that troubadours believed in and a concept that is practiced presently as well.
Campbell, J., & Moyers, B. (2011). The power of myth. Anchor.