Elements of an Adventure Tale

  • PDF
  • Print
  • E-mail


Education/Elements of an Adventure Tale

Ralph Maltese

These are the elements of an adventure tale or a heroic tale.  I usually share these with the students as a rubric for discussing a literary work.

For an adventure tale/heroic tale to be successful, it usually follows these rules;

1)      The protagonist/hero must be the underdog. The enemy outnumbers the protagonist or has great weapons at its disposal.  No one would consider Georgetown University playing Our Lady of Little Flower 8th grade basketball team to be an exciting tale.  Villanova/Georgetown in 1985 is considered one of the greatest upsets.  James Bond against the evil doers, Luke Skywalker against the Empire, etc.

2)      The goal of the protagonist must be worthwhile within the context of the protagonist’s world. James Bond is saving the world from total destruction; in the movie Hoosier’s the game is a championship;  if we are following thieves (Oceans 11, for example) the heist/treasure must be significant.  I include the phrase “within the context of the protagonist’s world,” because, if the author has us identify with the characters, a poor person trying to obtain one meal for the day may be a worthwhile goal.  Rocky plays for the boxing championship, but, of far greater significance, he fights to gain his self-respect.

3)      The obstacles must be formidable. There must be doubt in the mind of the reader that the protagonist will succeed.  Some would argue that is why the first book/movie in a sequel is the most popular.  After the first James Bond movie, Dr. No, there was no doubt that Bond would succeed.  We watched to see how he was going to win.

4)      If the protagonist succeeds, he/she must succeed using human qualities. Bond is given a few high tech weapons to succeed, but, in the end, it is his intelligence and physical dexterity that enables him to win.  Rocky succeeds because of his own determination and courage.  The protagonist may employ material forces (see my notes on Beowulf), but, finally, it must be his personal traits that allow him to win.

Now discuss several adventure tales in light of this rubric.  You will discover that some stories will fail because they do not meet one or more of the criteria above.



0 #4 CristinaBig 2018-12-13 13:34
Hello. I have checked your ralphmaltese.com and i see you've got some duplicate content so probably it is the reason that you don't rank hi in google.
But you can fix this issue fast. There is a tool that generates content like human, just search in google:
miftolo's tools
0 #3 digimonlinks cheats 2017-11-22 19:20
Performed it for awhile, the game is alright.
0 #2 paintball 2017-09-17 14:00
Great items from you, man. I've bear in mind your stuff prior to and you are just too magnificent.

I actually like what you've bought right here, really like what you are
stating and the way in which through which you say it.
You make it enjoyable and you still care for to keep it sensible.
I cant wait to learn far more from you. That is really a terrific site.
0 #1 broderie 2017-09-13 15:36
Hello there! I just would like to give you a huge thumbs up for the great information you've got here on this post.
I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

Add comment

Security code

A Class Act--Teaching for Smarties


  • We should not cherry pick frolm different sections...
  • Search Enggine Optimization sounds difficult to mo...
  • The excuse scr888 for pc: http://www.pokerstratege...
  • If you starve yourself inn an effort to lose weigh...
  • If you starve yourself inn an effort to lose weigh...