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The Hero's Journey. An Archetypal Story. Archetype: A pattern, such as a type of character or type of story, that is repeated in literature. The hero’s journey is one of the oldest story archetypes on the planet. Some say it’s older than the Pyramids…. And Stonehenge….

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Presentation Transcript
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The Hero's Journey

An Archetypal Story

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Archetype:

A pattern, such as a type of character or type of story, that is repeated in literature.

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The components of the hero’s journey were identified and developed by Joseph Campbell, who was the world’s foremost authority on mythology.

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In his book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell asserted that all storytelling follows the ancient patterns of myth, and …

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…that all stories use elements of the Hero’s Journey. Campbell called this archetype a

Monomyth.

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George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, consulted with Campbell while writing the scripts for the first Star Wars trilogy.

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The function of the story is to entertain, to instruct, and to inspire.

The hero’s journey

is a metaphor

for life itself.

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Part I:

Separation

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A. The Call to Adventure

The hero is invited to leave a mundane life and seek adventure.

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Odysseus is

called to

fight the

Trojan War

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Pinocchio wants

to become a

real boy.

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Dorothy wants

to leave Kansas.

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B.

The Refusal of the Call

The hero has second thoughts; adventure looks too risky.

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Luke Skywalker doesn’t have time for the adventure - he has to help his Uncle Owen on the moisture farm.

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C. Supernatural Aid

The hero receives a gift to help on the journey.

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The ruby

slippers

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A

conscience

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D. Crossing the First Threshold

The hero leaves the old world behind and enters the new.

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E. The Belly of the Whale

Like Jonah and Pinocchio, the hero experiences the “dark night of the soul” and must face his faults and the truth.

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For some, the belly of the whale experience is a situation in which the hero feels trapped.

Luke, Han, and Leia trapped in the garbage compactor.

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While on Yoda’s planet of Dagobah, Luke enters a whale-like cave and must face his own potential for evil, which is personified by Darth Vader.

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Part II

Initiation

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A. The Road of Trials

The hero learns that life in the world of adventure can be difficult.

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B. Meeting with the Goddess

A wise or magical woman gives guidance or advice to the hero.

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C. Battle with the Dragon

The hero must confront and vanquish a malevolent being.

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D. Temptation

Someone or something tries to distract the hero from his goal. Circe the witch tries to keep Odysseus on her island.

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E. Atonement with the Father

The hero resolves his/her issues with a parent figure.

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F. Apotheosis

(from Greek roots meaning “from God”)

The hero recognizes his/her true identity - that spark of divinity within.

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I am a Jedi,

like my father

before me!

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But you’ve

always had the

power to

go home!

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G. The Ultimate Boon

The hero succeeds in his/her mission.

Dorothy returns to Emerald City with the witch’s broom.

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G. The Ultimate Boon

The hero succeeds in his mission.

Luke destroys the Death Star.

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Part III.

The Return

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A. Refusal of Return

The hero wonders if it’s possible to return to the old life.

“How can I go back?”

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B. Magic Flight

Upon deciding to return home, the hero must “flee” from yet another danger.

(Here, “flight” refers to fleeing, not flying, though sometimes flying is involved.)

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There’s no

place like

home.

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C. Rescue from Without

The hero escapes with a little outside help.

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D. Crossing the Return Threshold

Finally, the hero returns to “Kansas.”

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E. Mastery of Two Worlds

The hero realizes that s/he can be at home in two worlds.

S/he is wiser and more confident.

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F. Freedom to Live

Having faced evil - both from within and without - the hero is free from powerlessness and fear.

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Common Mythic Elements

Like the inevitable chase scene in action films,

this monomyth contains some standard features.

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Two worlds:

The Mundane

And the Fantastic

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The Oracle

A wise - almost omniscient - seer who guides the hero.

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The Prophecy

A legend or ancient prophecy that the hero is expected to fulfill.

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Failed Hero

The guy who didn’t make it.

In Memory of Biggs Darklighter

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Wearing the Enemy’s Skin

The hero must disguise himself as the enemy.

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The Shape Shifter

An archetypal friend or enemy with ambiguous or shifting loyalties.

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Why?

The monomyth of the hero’s journey helps us answer the most profound questions of the universe.

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Why…

… am I here?

…is there suffering?

What…

…is the meaning of life?

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Profound:

from the Latin “profundus,” meaning “just before the bottom” or “at the edge of death.”

(Brennan)

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“A hero is someone who reaches the edge of death, steals a piece of magic, then brings the magic home to share with his community.” (Brennan)

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We are all heroes on our separate journeys

and

our mission

is to make

the world a better place.

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References

Brennan, Kristen. “Star Wars Origins.” 1999-2001. Jitterbug Fantasia. <http://www.jitterbug.com/ orgins/myth.html> 20 Sept. 2002.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. New York: Mythos Books, 1949.

Vogler, Christopher. “The Writer’s Journey.” 2002. Michael Weiss Productions. <http://www.mwp.com /pages/bookswritourmore.html> 20 Sept. 2002.

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Written and produced by Mollie Kelleher

Teacher of English Longmont High School

St. Vrain Valley School District

Adapted and edited by Matthew Opal

Teacher of EnglishSilver Creek High SchoolSt. Vrain Valley School District

“What it Is”

Written & performed by Mark Knopfler

MMII

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“Follow your bliss.”

- Joseph Campbell