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The 3 main stages: The departure, the initiation, and the return

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1 The 3 main stages: The departure, the initiation, and the return
THE HERO’S JOURNEY The 3 main stages: The departure, the initiation, and the return

2 The 12 stages of the hero’s journey
The Hero’s Journey or MONOMYTH is a pattern of narrative identified by the American scholar, Joseph Campbell that appears in drama, storytelling, myth, religious stories and movies. It describes the TYPICAL ADVENTURE of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.

3 Stage 1 The Departure

The hero, uneasy, uncomfortable or unaware, is introduced sympathetically so the audience can identify with the situation or dilemma. The hero is shown against a background of environment, heredity, and personal history. Something in the hero’s life is pulling him in different directions and causing stress.


Something shakes up the situation, either from external (outside) pressures so the hero must face the beginnings of change. Something happens in his ordinary world (or it comes from the outside world) that makes him needed to act, fight or just plain do something.

The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure (however briefly).  This may be from a sense of duty or obligation, fear, insecurity, a sense of inadequacy, or any of a range of reasons that work to hold the person in his or her current circumstances.

The hero comes across a seasoned traveler of the worlds who gives him or her training, equipment, or advice that will help on the journey. He teaches him to look inside of himself to find the answers. On the journey, the MENTOR will either give him or help him find the TOOLS he needs.


The hero commits to leaving the Ordinary World and entering a new region or condition or SPECIAL WORLD with unfamiliar rules and values. It’s a NEW WORLD to him. It’s filled with new experiences and he must learn as he goes through it.

11 Belly of the whale As the hero crosses the threshold, he finds himself alone in the darkness of new world. In the darkness, the hero may find his purpose to go on the journey and can emerge from the "belly of the whale" as a new person. Where do you think the phrase “belly of the whale” comes from?

12 Stage 2 The Initiation

13 Step 6: Road of trials. Who can he trust?
  The hero is tested and sorts out allegiances, friends and enemies in the Special or New World. Who can he trust? Who will end up betraying him? What new things will he learn? How will he be tested and what skills will he learn that he needs for his journey?


15 The women… Woman as Temptress
In this step, the hero faces those temptations, often of a physical or pleasurable nature, that may lead him or her to abandon or stray from his or her quest, which does not necessarily have to be represented by a woman. Woman is a metaphor for the physical or material temptations of life. The Meeting With the Goddess -- The hero encounters a figure or situation that represents all that the ordinary man can conceive of human happiness This is the point when the person experiences a love that has the power and significance of the all-powerful. Either an all encompassing TRUE LOVE or unconditional love that an infant may experience with his MOTHER. This is a very important step in the process and is often represented by the person finding the other person that he or she loves most completely.

16 Road of Trials continued (yes! There are a ton of “Tests”!)
Atonement (FORGIVENESS) with the Father: Eventually in his journey, the hero may encounter a fatherly figure with much authority. The father figure (like the goddess) can be portrayed as a man who feels threatened by the hero or as a man who helps the hero in his journey. Either way, the hero must reconcile with the father to understand him and himself. Apotheosis: A hero's apotheosis (highest level of glory or power) is achieved when he comes to a realization about the purpose of life and himself. He now views the world in an entirely different way than when he first started his journey. Usually, the hero at this point becomes a selfless person who always cares for others before himself.

17 Step 7: the APPROACH.  The hero and newfound allies and friends prepare for the major challenge in the Special world. What Movie Examples can you think of?

18 Step 8: THE ORDEAL. The climax of the movie or play
  Near the middle of the story, the hero enters a central space in the Special World and confronts death or faces his or her greatest fear.  Out of the moment of death comes a new life.  The climax of the movie or play The big battle scene The rescue The big challenge


20 Step 9: the ultimate boon or reward
The hero takes possession of the ultimate boon (the treasure or the “elixir”) won by facing death. This is the achievement of the goal of the quest. It is what the person went on the journey to get. All the previous steps/stages serve to prepare the person for this step.

21 Stage 3 The Return

22 Step 10: THE ROAD BACK.  About three-fourths of the way through the story, the hero is driven to complete the adventure, leaving the Special World to be sure the treasure is brought home. Refusal of the Return Having found bliss and enlightenment in the other world, the hero may not want to return to the ordinary world to bestow “the boon” onto his fellow man. The Magic Flight It can be just as adventurous and dangerous returning from the journey as it was to go on it. Often a chase scene signals the urgency and danger of the mission.

The hero is severely tested once more on the threshold of home.  He or she is purified by a last sacrifice, another moment of death and rebirth, but on a higher and more complete level.  By the hero’s action, the opposite sides that were in conflict at the beginning are finally resolved. (perhaps 2 warring nations/planets/tribes) We, as an audience, think he may be dead. But he comes back to life to finish his journey.


The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed. All is right with the world and good has conquered evil. Now with the journey complete, the hero has reached an understanding with himself and can now live freely between his home and the new world. The End… …until the sequel…


27 The common archetypes of literature and film

28 What are archetypes Stereotype: a personality type oversimplified with traits used over and over again. Epitome: a personality type represented or illustrated especially the “Greatest” examples. (“She was the greatest teacher ever” or “She was the wickedest woman ever”) (oh stop, I didn’t mean me for either of them)

29 The Archetypes The Hero The Teacher/Mentor/W ise Sage
Damsel in distress/Maiden Temptress/Whore Villain/Devil The Rebel The Adventurer The Trickster/Jester/J oker The Idiot/Scarecrow The Innocent/Child The Mother The Warrior/Protector The Sidekick (Circle of Friends)

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