The Legend of Tarzan: The Origins of A Timeless Icon

For over a century, the legend of Tarzan has captivated readers and viewers worldwide, becoming one of the most enduring icons of adventure literature. But how did this extraordinary character come into being?

In this blog post, we will explore the origins of this timeless character, delving into the creative genius of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the visionary author who brought Tarzan to life.

Edgar Rice Burroughs: The Creative Genius Behind Tarzan

Edgar Rice Burroughs was a trailblazer in adventure literature and the man responsible for bringing the legendary character of Tarzan to life.

Born in 1875, Burroughs was an American author who began writing in 1912, and he quickly gained fame with his imaginative stories of heroics and thrilling adventures. His most iconic creation was Tarzan, the original king of the jungle.

The Making of Tarzan

The inspiration behind the character of Tarzan can be found in many places, from Greek mythology to ancient folklore.

How did Burroughs create the character of Tarzan? Burroughs combined elements of mythology, folklore, and his imagination to craft the character.

He was inspired by the idea of a feral child, a character who has grown up in the wild and is not entirely ‘civilized.’

He also drew inspiration from classical literature such as the Odyssey and the Aeneid, which feature heroic figures overcoming obstacles and achieving greatness.

He was particularly drawn to the idea of an Englishman who had been raised by the animals of the jungle and was now living among them. He took this concept and ran with it, creating a compelling narrative filled with suspense and adventure.

The details behind Burroughs’s story are intricate and engaging.

The Tarzan character was first introduced in a series of novels by Burroughs, beginning with Tarzan of the Apes in 1912. Tarzan is the son of an English nobleman stranded in an African jungle after his family’s ship is wrecked.

The story follows a young English aristocrat orphaned as a baby and left in the African jungle, where a tribe of apes raises him.

Using his natural strength and agility, Tarzan overcomes the odds and learns to survive in the wilds of the jungle, eventually becoming the leader of the ape tribe.

He learns to use his instinct and resourcefulness to survive in the jungle. His heroic journey is filled with adventure, danger, and romance.

Burroughs crafted Tarzan’s character with a sense of poignancy, giving him a unique set of values and principles that made him a beloved figure for readers. Tarzan was portrayed as an intelligent, compassionate, and courageous individual fiercely protective of his home in the jungle.

His story was one of self-discovery, as he learned to embrace the heart and soul of the wilds and the complexities of his human nature.

Public Reception

The public’s reaction to Burroughs’s novel was overwhelmingly positive. Tarzan of the Apes, the first book in the series, was an instant best-seller and spawned numerous sequels, which were also widely successful.

Burroughs’s story of a man uniting the animal and human worlds resonated with readers, and the character of Tarzan quickly became one of the most beloved figures in literature.

Burroughs’s writing style was also highly influential. He blended a mixture of swashbuckling adventure with philosophical musings, giving his stories an added layer of depth and complexity.

He also wrote with an eye to the future, exploring themes of conservation and environmentalism that remain relevant even today. His stories captivated generations of readers, and his works are still beloved today.

The details of Burroughs’s writing further enhanced Tarzan’s appeal, which combined elements of mythology, adventure, and romance to significant effect.

By creating a world of exotic adventure, Burroughs could draw in readers eager for a thrilling escape from daily life. With its combination of action, romance, and exotic settings, Tarzan’s story captivates readers of all ages.

Tarzan was one of Burroughs’s most successful novels and spawned numerous sequels and other forms of media.

The character of Tarzan has become an adventure icon and has been adapted into countless films, television series, comic books, and other forms of media.

The critical and commercial success of Tarzan is undeniable. The story has captivated readers for over a century and has become an enduring icon of adventure literature.

Burroughs’s genius in crafting the character of Tarzan is evident in the story’s enduring appeal. He has created a timeless hero whose journey continues to captivate readers worldwide.

Tarzan’s Impact on Popular Culture

For over a century, Tarzan has remained one of the most enduring icons of adventure literature, captivating the imaginations of readers and viewers worldwide.

As such, it’s not surprising to learn that the character has greatly influenced popular culture, inspiring numerous adaptations across multiple mediums.

Tarzan’s legacy has been seen in countless films, ranging from the classic silent films of the 1920s to modern blockbusters such as The Legend of Tarzan in 2016.

Television shows have also featured characters such as the 1966-1968 series Tarzan. Tarzan has also appeared in a wide variety of comic strips and comic books, starting with the first comic book adaptation of the character in 1929.

The character’s influence is also seen in various video game adaptations, such as the game Tarzan Goes Ape or Disney’s Tarzan.

The character of Tarzan has endured for over a century, captivating the imaginations of readers and viewers worldwide. Tarzan’s influence on popular culture is undeniable, inspiring numerous adaptations across multiple mediums and influencing other characters and stories. Tarzan’s legacy is a testament to the power of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s creativity and vision, making it clear that Tarzan is truly a timeless icon.

The Enduring Appeal of Tarzan

For more than a century, Tarzan has captivated the imaginations of readers and viewers alike, becoming an enduring icon of adventure literature. But what makes him such an enduring figure? What is it about his story that continues to captivate people even today?

Tarzan’s story taps into many universally relatable themes. It’s one of self-discovery, learning who we truly are, and accepting ourselves for who we are.

At its core, it’s a story of identity, of finding the courage to stand up for ourselves and embrace our true selves. It’s a story of bravery, overcoming our fears, and striving to be the best version of ourselves.

But his ability to transcend time sets Tarzan apart from other characters. His story has remained relevant even in today’s rapidly changing world. It’s a timeless tale that speaks to us no matter the era. It’s about the strength of the human spirit and the power of love and friendship.

The character’s journey has also been adapted in various forms of media over the years. From books and comics to film and television, Tarzan has been a part of popular culture for decades. His courage, strength, and resilience have inspired generations of viewers. His story serves as a reminder that no matter how difficult life can be, there is always hope for a better tomorrow.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the timeless appeal of Tarzan. He is a beloved character who continues to capture our imaginations. He is a hero with an unwavering spirit; his story is one of courage, strength, and resilience. He is an enduring icon of adventure literature, and his story will remain a part of our culture for generations.


The legend of Tarzan is one of the most enduring icons of adventure literature, captivating imaginations and inspiring generations of readers since its inception.

It is a testament to the creative genius of Edgar Rice Burroughs, the visionary author who brought the character to life. Burroughs crafted an unforgettable story that has endured for over a century, full of suspense, excitement, and universal themes.

Tarzan’s impact on popular culture is truly remarkable. His story has been adapted into movies, television shows, comics, and more—allowing the character to reach a much wider audience. The character’s journey resonates with fans thanks to its universal themes and timelessness.

Tarzan has transcended time and continues to captivate people’s imaginations from all walks of life. Whether you’re a fan of novels, movies, or comics, there’s no denying that Tarzan is a character who has left an indelible mark on the world.