Dr. D.T. Sheffler

Hero, Knight, Saint: The Development of Virtue – 2023

By: Dr. D.T. Sheffler


We read literature, in part, because we need to imagine virtue and valor, heroism and strength. This act of imagining both teaches us what it is to be good and attracts us by the allure and beauty of the telling. But not all admirable protagonists are the same. We meet very different archetypes in strong figures such as Theseus, chivalrous figures such as Galahad, and holy figures such as Saint Francis. In this talk, I will explain the progression from Hero to Knight to Saint, with examples from the classical literature, and I will argue that you should have all of these abundantly in your child’s curriculum.