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Joseph Campbell and The Monomyth

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1 Joseph Campbell and The Monomyth
The Hero’s Journey Joseph Campbell and The Monomyth

2 Who is Joseph Campbell? Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) American mythology professor, writer, and speaker. Best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion.

3 Joseph Campbell As a child, fascinated with Native American culture.
He soon became versed in numerous aspects of Native American society, primarily in Native American mythology. lifelong passion for myth and to his study of and mapping of the cohesive threads in mythology that appeared to exist among even disparate human cultures.

4 Campbell’s Influence The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is a non-fiction book, and seminal work of comparative mythology by Joseph Campbell. In this publication, Campbell discusses his theory of the journey of the archetypal hero found in world mythologies and religions.

5 Since publication of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell's theory has been consciously applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists. The best known is perhaps George Lucas, who has acknowledged a debt to Campbell regarding the stories of the Star Wars films.

6 Campbell’s Influence George Lucas was the first Hollywood filmmaker to openly credit Campbell's influence. He stated during the release of the first Star Wars films during the late 1970s that they were based upon ideas found in The Hero With a Thousand Faces and other works of Campbell's.

7 The Hero With A Thousand Faces
In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell wrote: “ A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.[1] ”

8 Characteristics of a Hero from Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth
1. A hero gives his or her life to something bigger than him/herself, to some higher end. 2. A hero performs a courageous act, either physical or spiritual. 3. A hero is usually someone from whom something has been taken or who feels there's something lacking in the normal experience available, or permitted, to members of his society.

9 Heroes 4. A hero embarks on a series of adventures to recover what is lost or to discover some life-giving information. 5.The hero usually moves out of the known, conventional safety of his own life to undertake the journey.

10 Heroes The hero undergoes trials and tests to see if he has the courage, the knowledge and the capacity to survive. A hero has to achieve something. 8. A hero's journey usually consists of a departure, a fulfillment, and a return.

11 Monomyth “One myth” – One story told over and over through various ages and various cultures.

12 In the monomyth, the hero starts in the ordinary world, and receives a call to enter an unusual world of strange powers and events. If the hero accepts the call to enter this strange world, the hero must face tasks and trials, and may have to face these trials alone, or may have assistance.

13 At its most intense, the hero must survive a severe challenge, often with help earned along the journey. If the hero survives, the hero may achieve a great gift or "boon." The hero must then decide whether to return to the ordinary world with this boon. If the hero does decide to return, the hero often faces challenges on the return journey. If the hero is successful in returning, the boon or gift may be used to improve the world.

14 The classic examples of the monomyth relied upon by Campbell and other scholars include the Buddha, Moses, and Christ stories, although Campbell cites many other classic myths from many cultures which rely upon this basic structure.

15 The Hero’s Journey Campbell describes a number of stages or steps along this journey. Very few myths contain all of these stages — some myths contain many of the stages, while others contain only a few; some myths may have as a focus only one of the stages, while other myths may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order.

16 These stages may be organized in a number of ways, including division into three sections: Departure (sometimes called Separation), Initiation and Return. "Departure" deals with the hero venturing forth on the quest; "Initiation" deals with the hero's various adventures along the way; and "Return" deals with the hero's return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.

17 The Monomyth Stage One - Departure refusal of the call
call to adventure refusal of the call supernatural aid threshold crossing belly of the whale

18 The Monomyth Stage Two – Initiation road of trials
meeting with the goddess woman as temptress apotheosis ultimate boon atonement with the father

19 The Monomyth Stage Three - Return refusal of the return magic flight
rescue from without crossing return threshold master of two worlds


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