browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Myth of the Hero

What’s going on here? First, there are only so many stories that humans tell each other. Second, we keep telling them over and over.

Monomyth – many enduring stories over the ages from around the world share fundamental structures and stages.

The Stages of the Hero’s Journey

The pattern behind most important stories

The pattern behind most important stories

Departure
The Call to Adventure
Refusal of the Call
Supernatural Aid
The Crossing of the First Threshold
Belly of The Whale

Initiation
The Road of Trials
The Meeting With the Goddess
Woman as Temptress
Atonement with the Father
Apothesis
The Ultimate Boon

Return
Refusal of the Return
The Magic Flight
Rescue from Without
The Crossing of the Return Threshold
Master of Two Worlds
Freedom to Live

The Hero with a Thousand Faces, by Joseph Campbell

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

examples in classical literature of popular heroes who share most of the stages: Osiris, Prometheus, the Buddha, Moses, Christ

examples from the movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Harry Potter

Campbell’s ‘Hero’s Journey’ Monomyth

The Archetypal Hero

The Monomyth

Universal plots

If life is a sequence of events, plots give them causality. For example: “The king died. The queen died.” That is not a plot. However: “The king died because the queen died.” Oh yeah? How did the one cause the other? Now, we have a plot.

How many plots are there?

The Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations is a descriptive list by Georges Polti to categorize every dramatic situation that might occur in a story or performance.