Hero Myths provides a selection of more than twenty stories about heroes from around the world. Included are both non-Western and Western, female and male, ancient and modern, young and old, lowly and noble, and historical and fictional heroes. Failed heroes, absurd hereos, mad hereos, and comic heroes are also represented. In his extensive introduction, Robert A. Segal, a leading authority on theories of myth, presents an overview of the study of heroes. He outlines the most influential theories of hero myths from a variety of disciplines and shows how the theories of hero myths from a variety of disciplines and shows how the theories illuminate the myths. This Reader therefore serves not only as a sourcebook of representative myths, but also as a guide to their analysis.