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By Ron Eisenman (adapted from Bryan M. Davis and Martha Nelson)

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1 By Ron Eisenman (adapted from Bryan M. Davis and Martha Nelson)
The Hero’s Journey By Ron Eisenman (adapted from Bryan M. Davis and Martha Nelson) The archetypal hero appears in all religions, mythologies, and stories of the world. He is an expression of our personal and collective unconscious, as theorized by Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell (see below). All archetypal heroes share certain characteristics. This fact has only come to light this century, after people like Joseph Campbell began comparing mythologies of the world. Heroes are constructions; they are not real. All societies have similar hero stories not because they coincidentally made them up on their own, but because heroes express a deep psychological aspect of human existence. They can be seen as a metaphor for the human search of self-knowledge. In other words, the hero shows us the path to our own consciousness through his actions. Jung called the process of forming a consciousness "individuation," which means the process by which we reconcile the conscious/unconscious aspects of the psyche (Davies, et al ). Thus, when the hero slays a monster, he is not literally killing it in the real world, but facing an aspect of the unconscious, such as lust or rage, in order to control that side of his being. The hero stories can be thought of as road maps to successful assimilation of the conscious, rational mind with the unconscious, animal mind. The images of the hero conquering death or returning from a successful battle provide the restricted conscious mind with new raw material into which to expand, thereby forcing the consumers of the hero stories to expand their conscious image of themselves (Davies, et. al. 331). The hero stories are both a record of primitive encounters with the unconscious and a prompt for individuals to enter into the struggle for higher consciousness. Functioning in this way, heroes give men and women hope for such things as life after death, reprieve from suffering, and a sense that order rules their lives.

2 Jung and Campbell Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell developed the idea of the archetype Archetype: A recurring pattern of images, situations, or symbols found in the mythology, religion, art, and dreams of cultures around the world Joseph Campbell Carl Jung Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell are two of the most prominent explorers of the psychoanalytical and mythological origins for human and social behavior. Carl Jung expanded the work of Sigmund Freud and the unconscious mind to emphasize the mythological forces working within the individual to shape his or her personality. Jung formed the concept of archetype and collective unconscious to explain the commonality of dream images and situations found in all people. Jung believed individual and social behavior and thought have their roots in a common palette of characters and situations the mind retains from early human consciousness development. To Jung, the archetypal hero represents the psyche's quest for individuation, the process that makes each person unique. Joseph Campbell built on Carl Jung's concept of the collective unconscious to encompass all the world's mythologies. Campbell studied the world's religions, art, and stories and discovered common threads throughout all, including the hero. Campbell believed that mythology is the collective "dream" of mankind, the "song of the universe." Campbell's work highlights mankind's common search, both personally and socially, for meaning and truth through the ages.

3 Stages Of The Hero’s Journey
Call to Adventure Helper Threshold of Adventure Tests Helpers Flight Elixir Threshold crossing Brother-battle Dragon-battle Dismemberment Crucifixion Abduction Night-sea journey Wonder journey Whale’s belly 1. SACRED MARRIAGE 2. FATHER ATONEMENT 3. APOTHE0SIS 4. ELIXIR THEFT Return Resurrection Rescue Threshold Struggle

4 Unusual Birth Often in danger or born into royalty Jesus’ virgin birth
Simba and the Buddha are born princes Moses put in basket King Arthur in danger from Uther Pendragon’s rivals A hero's birth will always have an unusual aspect to it. Many heroes are born to royalty or are in danger at birth. Either way, they are marked by these circumstances as different and destined for greatness. Remember the beginning of Lion King? Simba's birth is being celebrated. The unusual aspect of his birth is his royal status. His father, Mumfasa, is the King of the Jungle. Moses wasn't born into royalty like Simba, but he grew up in the Pharaoh's household. Ramses II had decreed that all Hebrew male babies under age two be killed, so Moses' mother placed him in a raft on the Nile, where he was found by one of the Pharaoh's daughters. Although viewers of Star Wars must wait until the second movie to find out the truth about Luke's birth, hints about the unusual circumstances are given, such as the fact he lives with his aunt and uncle and didn't know his parents. King Arthur was not only born a prince, his father Uther Pendragon used Merlin's wizardry to seduce Arthur's mother, the wife of another man.

5 The Call An invitation to adventure either by a herald or an external event Voluntary or involuntary Shrek decides to rescue Princess Fiona Nemo decides to leave home and his dad tries to bring him back God appears to Moses An event takes place that begins an adventure for the hero. Sometimes it is traumatic, like Wallace losing his wife in Braveheart, or it is coincidental, like Simba meeting Nala. Either way, the hero begins his adventure. Simba initially fights with Nala, but they soon realize they are friends. She tells him of Scar's reign, which begins Simba's quest to gain his father's kingdom back from Scar. William Wallace in Braveheart only begins to fight after his wife, Murron (on the right), is killed by the local British commander. Her death haunts him throughout the movie in addition to sparking the beginning of his quest for freedom. King Arthur began his quest by drawing the sword from the stone (not Excalibur). Not traumatic of course, but surprising because Arthur was a lowly squire at the time. Luke abruptly began his quest to fight the Empire when Stormtroopers murder his aunt and uncle. Luke left the farm and never returned, going on to become a Jedi master. Moses had nothing less than his god, Yahweh, appear in person to prompt Moses to go to Egypt and lead the Hebrews out of slavery. The picture on the right is another portion of the painting in the Sistene Chapel by Michelangelo. Yahweh (He's on the left) is telling a young Moses to return to Egypt and lead the Hebrews out of slavery.

6 Supernatural Help Hero often has spiritual guidance from a wizard, old man, dwarf, fairy godmother, etc… A helper may give an aid or talisman to help the hero navigate the unknown Arthur has Merlin and a sword Yahweh guides Moses Wallace dreams of his dead father Simba sees Mufasa in the sky and has Rafiki help him Heroes always seem to receive some sort of supernatural help, whether it be from a god, a wizard, or a spirit. Luke in Star Wars gets help from Ben even after Ben is slain by Darth Vader. Here is Ben healing Luke after Luke has been attacked by the Sand People. Ben has many powers that make him a wizard-like character, similar to Merlin. Ben teaches Luke about the Force and later guides him from the spirit world. Perhaps the most famous supernatural hero helper is Merlin, a wizard and counselor for King Arthur. Merlin is very powerful in sorcery and can even change shapes. His command of the supernatural world benefits Arthur both as a boy learning from Merlin and later as King. Simba sees his father's spirit and also gets helps from Rafiki, a medicine man-type character. Rafiki is the supernatural force in The Lion King. He doesn't play as large a part as Merlin or Ben, but he does influence Simba and provide him with guidance. This image by Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel is of Moses first displaying the Ten Commandments, then destroying them after he sees the idol worship. Notice the person standing behind him in blue and yellow That's an angel, representing Yahweh's supernatural help for Moses.

7 The Threshold The jumping off point for the adventure which marks the boundary from the known to the unknown There is usually a presence which blocks the way. Ie, parents prevent children from harming themselves The hero defeats, conciliates, or is murdered by the shadow and enters the unknown such as a cave or the belly of a whale

8 Initiation and Tests Hero is tested physically or psychologically.
The hero is required to perform great feats In the end, the hero must face his greatest fear alone even though he may have a companion. Eventually, he is reborn and transformed Jesus faces the 3 temptations Arthur leads battles Moses perform miracles Odysseus faces many obstacles trying to return home A hero just can't claim he's a hero and assume his position, now can he? The hero must prove to himself and others that he is the true hero. For instance, Moses performs many miracles to free his people from Egypt as well as help them survive the desert and reach Canaan. Luke faces Darth in battle several times during the Star Wars trilogy. These battles, along with other services Luke provides for the Rebellion, his training with Yoda, and his personal maturing are part of the trials he must successfully pass through to become the hero. Here's Wallace at the front of his men, about to charge the enemy. Wallace's success in battle against overwhelming odds, along with his political ability, help him to overcome the obstacles to freedom, which was his ultimate quest. Here's Arthur leading a charge in one of the many battles into which he led his men. Arthur's success in battle, just like Wallace's, is part of the proof of his heroic status. Leadership and courage allow the hero to overcome obstacles that lesser men could not. That's the hero for ya'! Moses proves himself to the Pharaoh by performing miracles that the Pharaoh's magicians cannot equal, showing Moses' power through his god. Simba, like Luke, is immature at first and unable to be the hero he will eventually become. However, once Simba realizes Scar must be removed and Simba is the only one who can do it, Simba assumes his proper role as the hero and saves the land from the evil Scar. Hmmmmm, that -does- sound just like Luke, doesn't it?

9 Atonement With Father Hero either redeems father’s evil deeds or gains recognition by his father-creator Atonement means to offer payment for a wrongdoing. Very often, heroes must avenge a father or make up for the father's evil. William Wallace's revolt was driven in part to avenge his father's death in the war with England. Indeed, the father's ghost haunts Wallace's dreams throughout the movie. Moses' "father," Yahweh, doesn't allow Moses into the Promised Land as a way of Moses atoning for his doubt, a situation that reverses the traditional atonement by the hero for the father. The spirit of Mumfasa, Simba's father, tells Simba to be strong and assume his place on the throne. Simba, who has been reluctant up to this point to return to his kingdom, realizes he has little choice but to avenge his father's murder. Arthur's father, Uther Pendragon, is unscrupulous and lustful. He uses his power to satisfy his personal urges, fathering Arthur deceitfully with a woman under a spell of Merlin that makes her think Uther is her husband. He looks a bit on the evil side, doesn't he? His father's evil legacy puts Arthur in a position to atone for his father's sins and be a good king, helping his people with selfless service. Luke's ultimate quest is rescuing his father from the evil of the Dark Side. Here, Luke consoles his dying father after his father saves Luke and atones for his own past by killing the Emperor, the leader of the Empire. Much like Arthur, Luke chooses to be good, the opposite of what the father chose, and therefore atones for the father's sins.

10 Apotheosis Hero is rewarded spiritually at the end of his life
After the hero's journeys are over, the hero is rewarded spiritually in some way. Normally, the hero achieves a life in bliss, often in a place with other heroes, like Valhalla or the Isle of the Blessed from mythology. Examples differ widely at this point. Although the movie version of his life takes many liberties, the real William Wallace lives on in the spirit of his country, as shown by his statue in Stirling, Scotland (right). There is no indication of what happens to Simba but we can infer from the appearance of his father's spirit that immortality awaits him. Arthur is called the "Once and Future King" for good reason. Here's Arthur being placed on his funeral ship. His body is set adrift to let the sea carry him off, but he is promised to return one day to reclaim his throne of England. This promise implies his spirit is waiting somewhere and is not really dead, his reward for his sacrifice as king. Here's the painting from the Sistine Chapel showing Moses' life. He's in two places in this shot, one on the left praying, and again on the right in blue being carried to heaven by angels. Even though he didn't get into the Promised Land, Moses' service to the Yahweh gained him spiritual reward of heaven. Here's Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin Skywalker in spirit form. They all were Jedi Knights and are now rewarded spiritually for being on the Good Side of the Force, implying that a Jedi like Luke will be rewarded when his body dies.

11 Elixir theft Sometimes the hero steals something that benefits humans, such as fire, an elixir of long life, or a bride

12 The Return Because of the new knowledge, the hero may not want to return There is a flight from a pursuer which marks the return back to the known world Once the hero returns, he is a product of 2 worlds with strong powers. He restores and heals society Sometimes the society accepts his gifts while other times they may not be ready.

13 Heroic Archetypes Hero as warrior (Odysseus): A near god-like hero faces physical challenges and external enemies Hero as lover (Prince Charming): A pure love motivate hero to complete his quest Hero as Scapegoat (Jesus): Hero suffers for the sake of others Transcendent Hero: The hero of tragedy whose fatal flaw brings about his downfall, but not without achieving some kind of transforming realization or wisdom (Greek and Shakespearean tragedies—Oedipus, Hamlet, Macbeth, etc.) Romantic/Gothic Hero: Hero/lover with a decidedly dark side (Mr. Rochester in Jane Eyre) Proto-Feminist Hero: Female heroes (The Awakening by Kate Chopin) Apocalyptic Hero: Hero who faces the possible destruction of society Anti-Hero: A non-hero, given the vocation of failure, frequently humorous (Homer Simpson) Defiant Anti-hero: Opposer of society’s definition of heroism/goodness. (Heart of Darkness) Unbalanced Hero: The Protagonist who has (or must pretend to have) mental or emotional deficiencies (Hamlet, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) The Other—the Denied Hero: The protagonist whose status or essential otherness makes heroism possible (Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan) The Superheroic: Exaggerates the normal proportions of humanity; frequently has divine or supernatural origins. In some sense, the superhero is one apart, someone who does not quite belong, but who is nonetheless needed by society. (Mythological heroes, Superman)

14 Archetypal Journeys The quest for identity
The epic journey to find the promised land/to found the good city The quest for vengeance The warrior’s journey to save his people The search for love (to rescue the princess/damsel in distress) The journey in search of knowledge The tragic quest: penance or self-denial The fool’s errand The quest to rid the land of danger The grail quest (the quest for human perfection)

15 Characteristics of the Hero’s Journey
The hero is naïve and inexperienced The hero meets monsters or monstrous men The hero has a strange, wise being as a mentor The hero years for the beautiful lady who is sometimes his guide or inspiration The hero must go on a journey, learn a lesson, change in some way, and return home The hero often crosses a body of water or travels on a bridge. The hero is born and raised in a rural setting away from cities The origin of the hero is mysterious or the hero losses his/her parents at a young age, being raised by animals or a wise guardian The hero returns to the land of his/her birth in disguise or as an unknown The hero is special, one of a kind. He/she might represent a whole nation or culture The hero struggles for something valuable and important The hero has help from divine or supernatural forces The hero has a guide or guides The hero goes through a rite of passage or initiation, an event that marks a change from an immature to a more mature understanding of the world The hero undergoes some type of ritual or ceremony after his/her initiation The hero has a loyal band of companions The hero makes a stirring speech to his/her companions The hero engages in tests or contests of strength (physical and/or mental) and shows pride in his/her excellence The hero suffers an unhealable wound, sometimes an emotional or spiritual wound from which the hero never completely recovers.

16 Character Archetypes The Hero
The Hero is a protagonist whose life is a series of well-marked adventures. The circumstances of his birth are unusual, and he is raised by a guardian. He will have to leave his kingdom, only to return to it upon reaching manhood. Characterized by courage, strength, and honor, the hero will endure hardship, even risk his life for the good of all. Leaves the familiar to enter an unfamiliar and challenging world. The Mentor The Mentor is an older, wiser teacher to the initiates. He often serves as a father or mother figure. He gives the hero gifts (weapons, food, magic, information), serves as a role model or as hero’s conscience. The Devil Figure This character is evil incarnate. Sometimes the devil figure has the potential to be good. This person is usually saved by the love of the hero.

17 The Platonic Ideal A woman who is a source of inspiration to the hero, who has an intellectual rather than physical attraction to her Damsel in Distress A vulnerable woman who needs to be rescued by the hero. She is often used as a trap to ensnare the unsuspecting hero. The Temptress or Black Goddess Characterized by sensuous beauty, this woman is one to whom the protagonist is physically attracted and who ultimately brings about his downfall. May appear as a witch or vampire Star-Crossed Lovers Two characters engaged in a love affair fated to end tragically for one or both due to the disapproval of society, friends, family, or some tragic situation.

18 Symbolic Archetypes Light vs. Darkness
Light usually suggests hope, renewal, or intellectual illumination; darkness implies the unknown, ignorance, or despair. Fire and Ice Fire represents knowledge, light, life, and rebirth, while ice, like the desert, represents ignorance, darkness, sterility, and death. Nature vs. Mechanistic World Nature is good while technology is evil.

19 Water vs. Desert Because Water is necessary to life and growth, it commonly appears as a birth symbol, as baptism symbolizes a spiritual birth. Rain, rivers, oceans, etc. also function the same way. The Desert suggests the opposite Colors Red: blood, sacrifice, passion, disorder Green: growth, hope, fertility Blue: highly positive, security, tranquility, spiritual purity Black: darkness, chaos, mystery, the unknown, death, wisdom, evil, melancholy White: light, purity, innocence, timelessness (negatives: death, horror, supernatural) Yellow: enlightenment, wisdom Numbers 3—light, spiritual awareness, unity (holy trinity), male principle 4—associated with the circle, life cycle, four seasons, female principle, earth, nature, elements 7—the most potent of all symbolic numbers signifying the union of three and four, the completion of a cycle, perfect order, perfect number, religious symbol

20 Star Wars Viewing Questions
Is Princess Leia a hero or simply a lady in distress? Why? What do the costumes of the characters tell us about the characters personality? Give three examples. Give two examples of sound effects, and explain how they help the story. Be specific. What role do the ‘droids fill? How do you react to them emotionally? Give an example of how the music is used in this film. Be specific. What makes Darth Vader such a good villain? Give specific reasons.

21 Hero’s Journey for Star Wars
Call to Adventure Helper Threshold of Adventure Tests Helpers Flight Elixir

22 Power of Myth Review Questions (pp. 123-130)
According to Campbell why are there so many hero myths? What is a hero? What is the basic motif of the hero’s journey? According to Campbell, can women be heroes? Explain Is being a hero easy? Explain Does a hero always serve a moral objective? Explain. For example, using Campbell’s conception of a hero, can Osama Bin Laden be considered a hero? Explain In a vision quest myth, what is the ultimate objective?  According to Campbell, what are the 2 types of heroes? Skim the rest of the chapter and locate a discussion about a person Campbell considers a hero. Why does Campbell consider him/her a hero? Do you agree? Look at p What does Campbell mean by the “hero with a thousand faces?”

23 The Hero’s Journey Watch Star Wars and chart the Hero’s journey using specific examples Call to Adventure Helper Threshold of Adventure Tests Helpers Flight Elixir

24 Projects Choice of projects
Do you have a hero? Explain what makes that person a hero. Do you think our society values this person as a hero like you? Are there certain professions that are more heroic than others? Your opinions should reflect consideration of Campbell’s ideas of a hero and the various hero archetypes. Do you think that you have the capability to become a hero? If so, explain the qualities you possess that have the potential for acts of heroism. Are there any situations in which you think it would be beneficial to put yourself so as to “evoke your higher nature?” Pick a movie (ie, Star Wars) or a story (ie, the Gilgamesh or Ramayana). Analyze the work in terms of its use of the archetypes from the Hero myth.  

25 Sources and Credits Joseph Campbell
Various websites from

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