Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History, On

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Thomas Carlyle (1795—1881) author, biographer, and historian

Dante Alighieri (1265—1321) Italian poet

William Shakespeare (1564—1616) playwright and poet

Martin Luther (1483—1546) German Protestant theologian

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A course of six lectures by T. Carlyle, delivered 1840, published 1841. In this series Carlyle elaborates his view that ‘Universal History, the history of what man has accomplished in this world, is at bottom the History of…Great Men’, and chooses for his examples The Hero as Divinity (e.g. Odin, the ‘Type Norseman’); The Hero as Prophet (e.g. Muhammad); The Hero as Poet (e.g. Dante, Shakespeare); The Hero as Priest (e.g. Luther, Knox); The Hero as Man of Letters (e.g. Dr Johnson, Rousseau, Burns); and The Hero as King (e.g. Cromwell, Napoleon).

Subjects: Literature.

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