Psychoanalyzing Hero and Leander?

For awhile I've been somewhat fascinated with the story of Hero and Leander (if you're not familiar with it, look it up on Wikipedia). It just seemed wonderfully and unrealistically romantic; Leander swimming across a strait, no matter the weather, to be with Hero. And, of course, the ending is pretty sad. However, when I was looking the story up through Google Books I came across a certain one that talks about "fatal attachments" (basically, when somebody factors into another's decision to commit suicide or otherwise get themselves killed) and how the love between Hero and Leander was one-sided. Leander cared much more for Hero than she did he and she was only fascinated by his devotion to her. Then, when it gets old, she lets the light that guides him go out and he drowns so she doesn't have to deal with him anymore. When she realizes what she's done, she feels deep remorse and kills herself.

I know, TL;DR, but do you think maybe the author was just reading too much into the old story? What do you think about psychoanalyzing things like myths, fairy tales, etc.? Do they make valid points?


That's true. When the likes of Cinderella and Snow White are read to kids these days it's to entertain rather than moralize them, but you can definitely see the "suggestions" as you get older.

1 Answer

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Most stories (the good ones) always have an intrinsic "message" or "helpful behavior suggestion" theme, and should teach the reader something about something...

    I see all the "lessons" in The Bible when I've read it...(I read it from start to finish, and took an English class with The Bible as the textbook, and it IS excellent English Literature, but I digress...)

    Hero and Leander was sort of a twist on the Romeo & Juliet kind of theme where the "message" is a cautionary warning about love's evil twin named...



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