2 The three major steps / phases of the archetypal heroic journey are… the Call to Adventure/Crossing the Thresholdthe Tests or Trials, including the Final or Climactic BattleThe Return with the Elixir (new knowledge, wisdom, or understanding)
3 Loss of the ego: the sign of a true hero The transcendence of the ego (acceptance of selflessness) remains the most significant experience of a true heroThe journey becomes a search for and a claiming of an idea larger than the self
4 The hero returns to benefit others the emotional, psychological, and spiritual wisdom gained from the hero’s trials and battles is freely offered to others
5 The hero’s wisdomThis wisdom can be illumination, a revelation, or an elevation to a new level of consciousness.The hero is forever changed by his experience and offers a new way of looking at the everyday world.
6 The hero’s journey as a monomyth Monomyth: mono means “one” and often refers to the cyclic journey of the hero found in myths or mythic tales.Joseph Campbell refers to the hero cycle as the one singular human metaphor. He believes it to be literally the only story to be told about man and man’s place and purpose in the world and his relation to the world beyond.
7 This monomythic pattern or archetype is evident in many classic and contemporary works and texts. For example…Star WarsSupermanSpidermanThe Lion KingThe MatrixX-Men IIIPirates of the CaribbeanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneForrest GumpBraveheartHamletLord of the Rings
8 Types of hero journeysQuestion: Can you think of a monomythic novel or movie to fit the description of the following types of hero?The quest for identity: coming of age story (Bildungsroman)
17 The search for love (protection of the feminine) Beauty and the Beast
18 The grail quest (the quest for human perfection) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
19 Summary of Heroic Journey’s: The Quest … for Self-identity: coming of age story (Bildungsroman)for love, knowledge, and wisdomto right injustices for righteousness saketo rid the land of danger and/or save his/her peoplefor human perfection (the figurative Grail quest)
20 Literary Analysis and the hero The hero’s journey is the archetypal human monomyth. Literary criticism has classified the four major types of heroes:The mythological heroThe romantic heroThe reluctant heroThe tragic hero
21 The Mythological Hero is someone… of great physical strengthor great couragefavored by the gods, and in part occasionally descended from themworshipped after death, becoming someone to be admired for his/her qualities or achievementsregarded as an ideal or model.
23 The Romantic HeroIn the Middle Ages in Europe, wandering storytellers would retell adventurous tales of knights and other noble heroes. Such tales were known as romances. They often recount the heroic deeds of noble knights and celebrate the chivalric code of honor which included these virtues: honor, loyalty, courage, truthfulness, courtly manners, chastity, and the honoring and protecting of women.
25 The Reluctant HeroThe reluctant hero stumbles, resists, or is pushed somewhat unwillingly beyond the threshold of adventure. He/she feels unable to take on the role of hero and often lacks confidence in the completion of the task or trial. This type of hero is the basis for what we now term the “underdog,” someone who wins against all reason and succeeds when all bet against them.
27 The Tragic HeroAristotle characterized protagonists who are highly renowned and prosperous and whose reversal of fortune and fall from greatness are brought about not by vice or depravity, but by some error or frailty of character (this is referred to as the tragic flaw).
28 The Tragic Hero Protagonist The protagonist is destroyed physically or emotionally, or is spiritually devastated.Tragic heroes evoke both pity and fear in readers because we realize that the problems, suffering, and struggles faced by the characters are perhaps a necessary part of human life. Because they fail, we may also fail when tested.
29 The protagonist's inner weakness or inherent error is called the hamartia, taken from the Greek word meaning “to err” or “to miss the mark.”The hamartia often concerns excessive pride or hubris. The Greeks often viewed suffering as a prerequisite for wisdom.
30 The tragic hero recognizes his or her own flaw and its consequences, but only after it is too late to change the course of events.
31 Elements of Classical Tragedy: The Tragic Hero … is of noble birth and displays a nobility of spirit that the audience admiresis pitted against forces beyond his/her controlmakes decisions that lead to a “no-win” situationstruggles courageously until his/her fall (spiritually and/or physically)
32 Elements of Classical Tragedy continued: The Tragic Hero … though defeated, usually gains a measure of increased wisdom, self-awareness, or nobilityhas a tragic flaw or weakness which leads to an error in judgment which effects the fallsuffers greatly because of the flawloses love, life, reputation, or peace of mind
33 Aristotle and Humpty Dumpty Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…He’s a noble protagonist set perilously in a high place of power
34 An incomplete Hero Cycle = the Tragic Hero The Tragic Hero is perhaps most tragic and pitiful because although they have the qualities and opportunities to complete their hero cycle – they do not! Why?They lose the battles, lack helpers, cannot locate amulets to support them, fate intervenes at inopportune times, they lack faith in themselves and their mission…
35 Humpty Dumpty had a great fall… He experiences a reversal of situation; he falls from greatness. His tragic weakness is his fragility – a thin shell. His error was that he probably wiggled around, showing off on the wall or trying to stand up on it to get even higher. His sin is his pride (hubris); like Yertle the Turtle in the Dr. Seuss story, he tried to rise too high, beyond his natural boundaries.
36 All the king’s horses and all the king’s men Couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again. The readers feel pity and terror! The egg is cracked! Poor Humpty!He’ll never sit on the wall again and experience the exhilaration of balancing precariously on a tempting wall. He is dead and gone, irreparably damaged and deprived of his once-high position and enjoyable life.
37 And the same thing could happen to the reader. One of these fine days if you’re not careful or go a bit too fast, you too will wind up smashed and crushed! Reach for that high-yielding stock and you might end up broke. Overstep the bounds of law and morality in reaching for a high political office and you could be ruined and disgraced, resigning ignominiously from your post, lucky to have avoided prison.
38 But…It has NOT happened to us! We have vicariously experienced the story and leaned wisdom from the suffering of the protagonist. We leave the story with a feeling of catharsis - emotional release - and a purification of mind, heart, and soul.
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