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An Archetypal Story Archetype: A pattern, such as a type of character or type of story, that is repeated in literature.

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Presentation on theme: "An Archetypal Story Archetype: A pattern, such as a type of character or type of story, that is repeated in literature."— Presentation transcript:


2 An Archetypal Story

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

4 The hero’s journey is one of the oldest story archetypes on the planet.

5 Some say it’s older than the Pyramids…

6 And Stonehenge…

7 And even cave drawings. (Vogler)

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

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

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

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

12 The function of the story is to entertain, to instruct, and to inspire. The hero’s journey is a metaphor for life itself.

13 Part I: Separation

14 Breaking away from the old life

15 A. The Call to Adventure The hero is invited to leave a mundane life and seek adventure.

16 Odysseus is called to fight the Trojan War

17 Pinocchio wants to become a real boy.

18 Dorothy wants to leave Kansas.

19 The Refusal of the Call B. The hero has second thoughts; adventure looks too risky.

20 Dorothy runs back to the farm and Auntie Em. A storm is brewing.

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

22 The hero receives a gift to help on the journey. C. Supernatural Aid or Talisman

23 The ruby slippers

24 A conscience

25 Luke receives his lightsaber from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

26 D. Crossing the First Threshold The hero leaves the old world behind and enters the new.

27 Dorothy is carried away to Oz by the tornado.

28 Luke Skywalker leaves his home on Tatooine.

29 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.


31 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.

32 Luke Skywalker trains with Yoda in a whale-like house.

33 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.

34 The message is that we all have a shadow self and must deal with it at some point in our lives.

35 Part II Initiation

36 During the “Initiation” phase, the hero learns how to live in the new world.

37 A. The Road of Trials The hero learns that life in the world of adventure can be difficult.

38 B. Meeting with the Goddess or Supernatural guide A wise or magical woman gives guidance or advice to the hero.

39 C. Battle with the Dragon The hero must confront and conquer a wicked being.

40 D. Temptation Someone or something tries to distract the hero from his goal. For example, Circe the witch tries to keep Odysseus on her island.

41 E. Atonement The hero resolves his/her issues with a parent figure, home land or within their self.

42 F. Apotheosis (from Greek roots meaning “from God”) The hero recognizes his/her true identity - that spark of divinity within.

43 I am a Jedi, like my father before me!

44 No!

45 But you’ve always had the power to go home!

46 G. The Ultimate Boon The hero succeeds in his/her mission. Dorothy returns to Emerald City with the witch’s broom.

47 G. The Ultimate Boon The hero succeeds in his mission. Luke destroys the Death Star.

48 Part III. The Return

49 A. Refusal of Return The hero wonders if it’s possible to return to the old life. “How can I go back?”

50 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.)

51 There’s no place like home.

52 C. Rescue from Without The hero escapes with a little outside help.

53 “Deus ex Machina” (God in a machine) “Dodge this!”

54 D. Crossing the Return Threshold Finally, the hero returns to “Kansas.”

55 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.

56 F. Freedom to Live Having faced evil - both from within and without - the hero is free from powerlessness and fear.

57 Common Mythic Elements Like the inevitable chase scene in action films, this monomyth contains some standard features.

58 The Young Hero who yearns for adventure.

59 Two worlds: The Mundane And the Fantastic

60 The Mentor who trains the hero in special skills.

61 The Oracle A wise - almost omniscient - seer who guides the hero.

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

63 Failed Hero The guy who didn’t make it. In Memory of Biggs Darklighter

64 Wearing the Enemy’s Skin The hero must disguise himself as the enemy.

65 The Shape Shifter An archetypal friend or enemy with ambiguous or shifting loyalties.

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

67 Why… … am I here? …is there suffering? What… …is the meaning of life?

68 Profound: from the Latin “profundus,” meaning “just before the bottom” or “at the edge of death.” (Brennan)

69 “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)

70 We are all heroes on our separate journeys and our mission is to make the world a better place.

71 References Brennan, Kristen. “Star Wars Origins.” 1999-2001. Jitterbug Fantasia. 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. 20 Sept. 2002.

72 Written and produced by Mollie Kelleher MMII “What it Is” Written & performed by Mark Knopfler Teacher of English Longmont High School St. Vrain Valley School District Adapted and edited by Matthew Opal Teacher of English Silver Creek High School St. Vrain Valley School District

73 “Follow your bliss.” - Joseph Campbell


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