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Hero Archetype. Joseph Campbell’s. The Ordinary World. The hero often begins life in the ordinary world. Generally, there is something unusual about his/her childhood. Heroes begin as ordinary people (no super powers . . . Etc). Examples Odysseus is the ruler of Ithaca.

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hero archetype

Hero Archetype

Joseph Campbell’s

the ordinary world
The Ordinary World
  • The hero often begins life in the ordinary world.
  • Generally, there is something unusual about his/her childhood.
  • Heroes begin as ordinary people (no super powers . . . Etc).
  • Examples
      • Odysseus is the ruler of Ithaca.
      • Batman is an orphan.
the call to adventure
The Call to Adventure
  • The Hero is called to adventure, usually by a messenger or a traumatic event.
  • A lot of times, the hero does not want to leave in the beginning.
  • Examples:
      • Odysseus pretends to be crazy when the messenger comes to call him to the Trojan War.
      • Batman’s parents are murdered, which sends him on his adventure as Batman.
supernatural aid
Supernatural Aid
  • The hero usually has an older, wiser guide to help him on his journey.
  • Example:
      • Odysseus is aided by the goddess Athena.
      • Batman is aided by his butler.
crossing the threshold
Crossing the Threshold
  • The hero crosses into a new world, often called “The Belly of the Whale”.
  • This is where the hero experiences tests, challenges, and enemies.
      • Examples:
        • Odysseus faces Poseidon, Polyphemus (the Cyclops), and various other monsters.
        • Batman faces the Joker, the Riddler, and various other villains.
crossing the threshold con
Crossing the Threshold (con.)
  • During this times, the hero will have helpers.
      • Examples:
        • Odysseus is helped by his men and various gods and goddess.
        • Batman has Robin and the Commissioner.
crossing the threshold con1
Crossing the Threshold (con.)
  • After facing his ordeal, or ultimate challenge, the hero will receive his reward (ultimate boon) which he will use to restore or help the world when he returns.
  • The reward, or ultimate boon, can be external or internal (usually both).
  • Example:
      • Odysseus gains the knowledge that he can go home.
      • Batman gains the safety of his city.
the return
The Return
  • After facing his ordeal and receiving his reward the hero begins his journey home.
  • Although the hero has passed his ordeal, he still faces challenges as he returns to the “real” world.
  • Example:
      • After his return, Odysseus must still deal with Penelope’s suitors.
      • After making the city safer, Batman still has to deal with critics who say that he’s a vigilante, that he does more harm than good, or that he is too dangerous.
the return con
The Return (con.)
  • The hero experiences a resurrection and is transformed by his experiences and the knowledge that he gained on his journey.
  • He uses the reward, or ultimate boon, he received to restore the world.
  • Example:
      • Odysseus is able to restore peace to Ithaca.
      • Batman transforms into a hero or symbol of safety and bravery for Gotham.