The Monomyth The Hero’s Journey-from ancient Greece to Hollywood Monomyth-The One, Common Story of Mankind mono=(Gk)-one mythos= (Gk)-story Joseph Campbell (famous mythologist) wrote a book called The Hero with a Thousand Faces Myth and stories speak through the use of symbols…symbols that we just understand at some basic, human level These symbols have existed since the dawn of mankind Joseph Campbell- The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) Joseph Campbell worked to ‘decode’ these ancient symbols; consequently, he formulated the theory of the monomyth He studied how stories from around the world at any given time period shared a common structure and pattern These ancient symbols occur over and over again because they are part of our human experience The Monomyth Simply put, it is a story, common to the entire human experience, that draws upon symbols and events that follow a common pattern Before you know the stages of monomyth, you first must know archetypes A symbol or idea that we all “know” on some level They naturally are a part of us Carl Jung (Swiss psychiatrist) believed these archetypes come from mankind’s collective unconscious (the shared experiences of humankind passed down through hundreds of thousands of years) What else is there to know about archetypes? Archetypes are: Primordial==they were ingrained in us prior to birth (part of man’s collective unconscious) Universal==common to all people all over the world When you dream, the deepest part of your mind reveals itself and often archetypes are present. Think of the common experiences we all share while we dream… Flying Forests Falling Being Chased Water Being Rescued A Long Journey A Dark Cave Darkness Being Lost Consider the monomyth in literature and film… Batman/Spiderman/etc. Star Wars The Lion King The Matrix The Karate Kid Harry Potter Finding Nemo Lord of the Rings The Wizard of Oz Uglies others??? Ever wonder why these are so popular? The Monomyth The Hero’s Journey-from ancient Greece to Hollywood The Pattern of the Monomyth There are three (3) stages: Separation /Departure from the World -“the known world”/light Initiation-the unknown world”/darkness Return to the World--“the known world”/light Quotation from Hero with a Thousand Faces “A hero ventures forth from the world of the 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" (Campbell 30). Stage I: Separation and Departure from the World A. The Call to Adventure The hero receives a call to action (ex: by choice, as punishment or just falls into it by chance or luck, from within) The “call” often comes to the hero by a “herald” (someone or something unusual or mysterious ) The “herald” stimulates the hero into action; the hero might accept or temporarily refuse Shay is to Tally Youngblood as Gandalf is to Bilbo Baggins Stage I: Separation and Departure from the World B. Refusal of the Call The “call” is sometimes denied due to fear, another duty, insecurity, etc. Usually, negative consequences befall the hero if he keeps denying the “call”—he must begin the journey! It is his fate and duty to pursue the “call” even thought s/he may fear the “unknown” Typically, a supernatural event will convince the hero or another event will force the hero to move beyond his world and into the “unknown zone of experience” Stage I: Separation and Departure from the World C. Supernatural Aid Once he accepts the call, a figure, or guide, (old man, god/goddess, or messenger) gives the hero psychological and/or physical weapons, powers, or tools to assist and protect during the journey Bilbo (Sting), Luke (Light Saber), Theseus (Ariadne’s ball of string) Stage I: Separation and Departure from the World D. Crossing the First Threshold Threshold- def -any place or point of entering or beginning The hero must cross over into “the unknown” (usually dangerous) that is unlike the safety of his home; it’s a scary choice for the hero Usually there is a guardian (or mentor) of the threshold that tests the hero The hero may face evil or darkness; the rules and limits may not be clear; RISK! Ex: Luke Skywalker entering the bar Stage I: Separation and Departure from the World E. Belly of the Whale The hero will soon be “reborn”; this is the final separation and the choice to go on the journey, in order to come out of a place where he was into a new zone of existence Hero chooses to undergo a change that is necessary to survive his/her adventure The hero will be ‘born anew’ and ready for his journey; his old self has “died” Jonah (Whale), Luke (Trash Compactor), Bilbo (Cave with ring), You (Church/College) Application to Harry Potter Call-Hagrid comes to Harry with a letter saying “You’re accepted.” Refusal-Harry can’t accept this truth that he is the chosen one. Supernatural Aid- Uses wand, learns about his past, and receives training in spells Crossing a Threshold- Enters wall at station (Platform 9 ¾ & his own fear); goes to school Belly of the Whale- In the white space; in Hogwarts where he is educated and where the “new” Harry is born and the “old” Harry dies The Pattern of the Monomyth There are three (3) stages: Separation /Departure from the World Initiation-the hero is tested to prove worthiness Return to the World Stage II: Initiation A. Road of Trials—(nadir-the lowest point in journey) The hero is challenged by physical and psychological tests-usually in threes (usually violent confrontations) Tests help the hero improve character and become self-reliant in journey; may fail a trial The hero may have assistance from a supernatural aid (object or person) or may find this strength to overcome tests from deep within He is succeeding in the realm of the unknown where rules and limits are unclear; must “die” symbolically to be resurrected as the true hero figure Hobbit-Orcs, Ring / Odysseus-Cyclops, Sirens / Luke Skywalker-monsters, resisting the Dark Side / Tally-? Stage II: Initiation B. Meeting with the Goddess (Marriage) This figure is typically a woman…beautiful, queen-like, motherly—usually associated with the earth and its fruitfulness (ability to bring forth food) This joining between male and female unites two entities. The journey and hero are strengthened. Think of yin-yang. The hero finds happiness, fulfillment, and rejuvenation in this new ‘guide’—like a child would with its mother This goddess figure is the nourisher of life and of the heroic journey (don’t forget that temptation is also linked to this step) Luke Skywalker & Princess Laia / Harry Potter and Cho Chang & Ginny / David and Tally Stage II: Initiation C. Atonement with the Father Atonement— def. = making amends or reparation for a mistake or error (think of it as at-one-ment) The hero meets a father figure who possesses ultimate authority over the hero—must confront, break free and gain independence The father figure can be ‘good’ and supportive of the hero or ‘bad’ and antagonistic—either way, the hero must come to terms with him and move away from him The hero must understand the father to better understand himself and grow in the journey Luke Skywalker & Darth Vader / Father and Son / Telemachus & Odysseus / Neo & Morpehus Stage II: Initiation D. Apotheosis (ultimate elevation of consciousness and self) Apotheosis-Def. = becoming god-like; transformation The hero gains a new understanding of the world, himself, and his place in the world He may physically die and return or symbolically die— either way, he ascends to new heights His new understanding allows more perspective and raises his awareness and ability The hero is now equipped with an almost divine sense of drive to achieve his goal; it’s a rest break, too Christ / Luke when he trusts himself, guides his Starfighter to drop the final bomb, and scores a direct hit / Gandalf becomes Gandalf the White Stage II: Initiation E. The Ultimate Boon (Blessing/Gift)-CLIMAX The hero is ready, purged from all weakness and doubt, and achieves the original goal of his quest He’s purified and possesses an elixir (ex: fire, bride, object) to save and help him or others The hero is driven to share his discovery (physical item or mental realization) with the society he first came from The hero wants to provide the understanding and balance to those people who need it Arthur’s Knights & Holy Grail / Moses & 10 Commandments / Frodo destroys Ring / Luke Skywalker brings peace to the galaxy The Pattern of the Monomyth There are three (3) stages: Separation /Departure from the World Initiation Return to the World Stage III: Return A. Refusal of the Return The hero finds bliss and enlightenment in this other world Inner conflict reigns—perhaps he shouldn’t return to the old/known world—the place of light The hero may feel that he will not be accepted or that he’s better off not returning with his ‘gift’ Simba in The Lion King Stage III: Return B. Magic Flight The hero’s boon may not be accepted by those in the world which he left (ex: jealousy and fear) The hero may need to flee and escape to keep the boon intact This flight may set the hero on a new journey or quest Returning could be as dangerous as it was to depart Stage III: Return C. Rescue From Without Because the journey is exhausting and possibly dangerous, more guides, helpers or supernatural aids may appear to rejuvenate and assist him The hero may have to overcome another ‘gatekeeper’ and threshold Like the first crossing, darkness or danger may lay in wait for the hero This threshold, again, offers a journey Stage III: Return D. Master of Two Worlds The hero grasps two realities—the ‘old’ existence in which he first existed and the ‘new’ reality that presents him with the divine and the true essence of existence The hero has effectively ‘mastered’ both existences The hero gains transcendence—he exists beyond the normal realm or limitations The essential being or mystery that guides the universe is understood Stage III: Return E. Freedom to Live (zenith-the highest moment in the journey…success) Boons are realized Celebrating freedom and choice Living in the moment Salvation can be delivered The hero can exist in both worlds and bestow boons on fellow man FREEDOM! LIFE! SELF-REALIZATION!