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Encyclopedia > Quests
  • This article is about the word, for other meanings see Quest (disambiguation)

The quest is a plot device frequently found in mythology and literature.

Perhaps the original quest motif is the quest of Gilgamesh, who goes out in search of the secrets of eternal life. Another ancient quest tale is the story of Odysseus, who finds many dangers between him and his goal, which is simply to return home. This quest tale was told by Homer in The Odyssey. The Golden Fleece is the object of another famous quest from the tale of Jason and the Argonauts in Greek mythology. Perhaps the most famous quest motif from fiction centers around the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend; this is an interesting use of the motif, in that those who tell tales of the Holy Grail not only get to deal with heroes who succeed, like Parsifal or Sir Galahad, but also with heroes who fail, like Sir Lancelot.

A familiar modern literary quest is seen in the tale of Frodo Baggins's quest to destroy the One Ring in The Lord of the Rings. The One Ring, its baleful power, the difficult method which is the only way to destroy it, and the spiritual and psychological torture it wreaks on its Bearer, is used by Tolkien to tell a meaningful tale of friendship and the inner struggle with temptation, against a background of epic and supernatural warfare.

In the hands of lesser artists, unfortunately, the arbitrariness of the quest, the MacGuffin character of its objects, and the thin plot devices used to make its accomplishment difficult, make the quest motif one of the more obvious and least satisfying devices in fiction. This has unfortunately not prevented the quest device from being used in a thousand derivative role-playing games and computer role-playing games and works of mass market fantasy fiction.

A sterotypical quest in such a role-playing game will announce that the heroes must assemble some artifact, which unfortunately for them has been broken into several pieces, each of which is guarded by terrible threats which the heroes must overcome. The quest allows the heroes to shine and show the qualities that make them heroic.

  Results from FactBites:
Quest - WoWWiki - Your guide to the World of Warcraft (2602 words)
A quest is a task given by an NPC to a Player character that yields a reward when completed.
Quests can be abandoned with no penalty by clicking Abandon Quest in the Quest Log, except that the player must find the quest giver again to pickup the quest again.
Quests that have you collect "X" amount of something though will be updated to show the current amount you have collected (on person or in bank) if/when you pick up the quest again.
CNN Programs - Anchors/Reporters - Richard Quest (517 words)
Richard Quest is one of the most instantly recognisable members of the CNN team; covering an extensive range of breaking news and business stories, as well as feature programming, he has become one of the network’s highest profile presenters.
Quest is firmly established as an expert on business travel issues and currently works as a CNN anchor and correspondent.
Quest is British, holds an LLB (Hons) degree in Law from Leeds University, and was called to the Bar.
  More results at FactBites »



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