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Encyclopedia > Monomyth

The monomyth (often referred to as "the hero's journey") is a description of a basic pattern found in many narratives from around the world. This universal pattern was described by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949).[1] A noted scholar of novelist James Joyce, Campbell borrowed the term monomyth from Joyce's Finnegans Wake. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. ... The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ... James Augustine Aloysius Joyce (Irish Séamus Seoighe; 2 February 1882 – 13 January 1941) was an Irish expatriate writer, widely considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. ... For the street ballad which the novel is named after, see Finnegans Wake. ...


Campbell's work has been consciously applied by a wide variety of modern writers and artists, for example, in creating screenplays for movies. The best known is perhaps George Lucas, who has acknowledged a debt to Campbell regarding both the original Star Wars trilogy and its prequels. George Walton Lucas, Jr. ... Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... A trilogy is a set of three works of art, usually literature or film, that are connected and can be seen as a single work, as well as three individual ones. ... A prequel is a work that portrays events which are set in the same universe as a previously completed narrative, but at an earlier time. ...


In addition, leaders in the men's movement, notably Robert Bly and Michael J. Meade, have used Campbell's insight as a guide for personal spiritual growth. The mens movement is a social movement that includes a number of philosophies and organizations that seek to support men, change the male gender role and improve mens rights in regard to marriage and child access and victims of Domestic Violence. ... Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926 in Madison, Minnesota) is a poet, author, and leader of the Mythopoetic Mens Movement in the United States. ... Michael J Meade was a leading figure in the Mythopoetic branch of the Mens Movement of the 1980s and 1990s. ...


Campbell's insight was that important myths from around the world which have survived for thousands of years, all share a fundamental structure. This fundamental structure contains a number of stages, which includes

  1. A call to adventure, which the hero has to accept or decline
  2. A road of trials, regarding which the hero succeeds or fails
  3. Achieving the goal or "boon," which often results in important self-knowledge
  4. A return to the ordinary world, again as to which the hero can succeed or fail
  5. Application of the boon, in which what the hero has gained can be used to improve the world

In a well-known quote from the introduction to The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell wrote:[C]

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.

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. Media:Example. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Christ is the English term for the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ...

Contents

Summary

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. 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. The stories of Osiris, Prometheus, Moses, Buddha, and Christ, for example, follow this structure very closely.[C] The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ... OSIRIS is the name of three entirely separate astronomical instruments. ... In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Greek: forethought) is the Titan chiefly honored for stealing fire from Zeus in the stalk of a fennel plant and giving it to mortals for their use. ... Moses with the Tablets, 1659, by Rembrandt This article is about the Biblical figure. ... Media:Example. ... Christ is the English term for the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ...


Campbell describes some seventeen stages or steps along this journey. Very few myths contain all seventeen 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. These seventeen 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.


Other formulations

Campbell's proposed structure has been expanded and modified since its conception. Many modern characterizations of it add in new steps (such as the hero having a miraculous birth) or combine or prune others. For instance, Phil Cousineau, in his book, The Hero's Journey, divides it up into the following eight steps: Phil Cousineau (1952- ) is an author, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker. ... This article is about the book and documentary on Joseph Campbell. ...

  1. The Call to Adventure
  2. The Road of Trials
  3. The Vision Quest
  4. The Meeting with the Goddess
  5. The Boon
  6. The Magic Flight
  7. The Return Threshold
  8. The Master of Two Worlds[2]

Another eight-step formulation was given by David Adams Leeming in his book, Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero:

  1. Miraculous conception and birth
  2. Initiation of the hero-child
  3. Withdrawal from family or community for meditation and preparation
  4. Trial and Quest
  5. Death
  6. Descent into the underworld
  7. Resurrection and rebirth
  8. Ascension, apotheosis, and atonement[3]

Use by modern artists

The monomyth has influenced a number of artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers, including Bob Dylan and George Lucas. Mickey Hart, Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead had long noted Campbell's influence and agreed to participate in a seminar with him in 1986 entitled From Ritual to Rapture.[4] Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author, musician, and poet who has been a major figure in popular music for five decades. ... George Walton Lucas, Jr. ... Mickey Hart (born September 11, 1943) is best known as one of the two drummers from the rock band the Grateful Dead. ... Robert Hall Weir (October 16, 1947–) is an American guitar player, most recognized as a founding member of the Grateful Dead. ... Jerome John Jerry the Bulldog Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995) was an American musician, songwriter, and artist best known for being the lead guitarist and vocalist of the psychedelic rock band the Grateful Dead. ... Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco, California. ...


George Lucas and Star Wars

George Lucas's deliberate use of Campbell's theory of the monomyth in the making of the Star Wars movies is well-documented. In addition to the extensive discussion between Campbell and Bill Moyers broadcast in 1988 on PBS as The Power of Myth (Filmed at "Skywalker Ranch"), on Campbell's influence on the Star Wars films, Lucas, himself, gave an extensive interview for the biography Joseph Campbell: A Fire in the Mind (Larsen and Larsen, 2002, pages 541-543) on this topic. In this interview, Lucas states that in the early 1970's after completing his early film, American Graffiti, "it came to me that there really was no modern use of mythology...so that's when I started doing more strenuous research on fairy tales, folklore and mythology, and I started reading Joe's books. Before that I hadn't read any of Joe's books.... It was very eerie because in reading The Hero with A Thousand Faces I began to realize that my first draft of Star Wars was following classical motifs"(p.541). George Walton Lucas, Jr. ... Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... Bill Moyers Bill D. Moyers (born June 5, 1934 as Billy Don Moyers) is an American journalist and socialist public commentator. ... Not to be confused with Public Broadcasting Services in Malta. ... The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. ... Skywalker Ranch is the name of the well-disguised workplace of film director and producer George Lucas in secluded but open country near Nicasio, California. ... Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... 1970 (MCMLXX) was a common year starting on Thursday. ... American Graffiti is a 1973 film directed by George Lucas. ... This movie poster for Star Wars depicts many of the films important elements, such as Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, X-Wing and Y-Wing fighters Star Wars, retitled Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope in 1981 (see note at Title,) is the original (and in chronological...


Twelve years after the making of The Power of Myth, Moyers and Lucas met again for the 1999 interview, the Mythology of Star Wars with George Lucas & Bill Moyers, to further discuss the impact of Campbell's work on Lucas' films [3]. In addition, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution sponsored an exhibit during the late 1990s called Star Wars: The Magic of Myth which discussed the ways in which Campbell's work shaped the Star Wars films [4]. A companion guide of the same name was published in 1997. The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. ... National Air and Space Museum exterior The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution is a museum in Washington, D.C., United States, and is the most popular of the Smithsonian museums. ... The Smithsonian Institution Building or Castle on the National Mall serves as the Institutions headquarters. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ...


Chris Vogler, The Writer's Journey, and Hollywood films

Christopher Vogler, a Hollywood film producer and writer, created a now-legendary 7-page company memo, A Practical Guide to The Hero With a Thousand Faces[5], based on Campbell's work which inspired films such as Disney's 1994 film, The Lion King. Vogler's memo was later developed into the late 1990s book, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers. This story structure is evident in a vast number of successful Hollywood films including the Matrix series. Christopher Vogler is a Hollywood screenwriter. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The Lion King is a 1994 animated feature Academy Award-winning film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... The Matrix series consists primarily of three films, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. ...


Orson Scott Card and Ender's Game

In his book, Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card gives a very complete example of the monomyth structure, with the main character, Ender Wiggin, fulfilling all eight primary stages of it (using Leeming's formulation): Enders Game (1985) is the best-known novel by Orson Scott Card. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ...

  • Miraculous Birth — In a world where only two children are normally allowed, Ender is born as the third child by special government decree
  • Initiation — Ender shows remarkable intelligence at a young age
  • Withdrawal — Ender is removed from his family and sent to Battle School
  • Trial and Quest — Ender learns of the threat to humanity from the Buggers
  • Death — Ender grows despondant after his unit is broken up, and he is sent back to Earth
  • Descent into the underworld — Ender's sister helps him feel like part of humanity once again
  • Resurrection and rebirth — Ender refuses to play the "simulations" anymore, and ends the "game" by destroying the Buggers' homeworld
  • Ascension, apotheosis, and atonement — Ender realizes that the simulations were in fact real and has to cope with this

The narrative structure within Ender's Game doesn't follow this structure perfectly linearly. Many elements of it are actually repeated throughout the book. For instance, the latter four steps can also describe the psychological states Ender went through after his realization of what he'd done to the Buggers. [6]


The men's movement

Poet Robert Bly, Michael J. Meade, and others involved in the men's movement have applied and expanded the concept of the hero's journey and the monomyth as a metaphor for personal spiritual and psychological growth, particularly in the mythopoetic men's movement.[citation needed] Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926 in Madison, Minnesota) is a poet, author, and leader of the Mythopoetic Mens Movement in the United States. ... Michael J Meade was a leading figure in the Mythopoetic branch of the Mens Movement of the 1980s and 1990s. ... The mens movement is a social movement that includes a number of philosophies and organizations that seek to support men, change the male gender role and improve mens rights in regard to marriage and child access and victims of Domestic Violence. ... Mythopoeic literature is literature that involves the making of myths. ...


Characteristic of the mythopoetic men's movement is a tendency to retell fairy tales and engage in their exegesis as a tool for personal insight[citation needed]. Using frequent references to archetypes as drawn from Jungian analytical psychology, the movement focuses on issues of gender role, gender identity and wellness for modern men[citation needed]. Advocates would often engage in storytelling with music, these acts being seen as a modern extension to a form of "new age shamanism" popularized by Michael Harner at approximately the same time. A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... An archetype is a generic, idealized model of a person, object, or concept from which similar instances are derived, copied, patterned, or emulated. ... Carl Jungs partially autobiographical work Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Fontana edition Carl Gustav Jung (IPA: ) (July 26, 1875, Kesswil – June 6, 1961, Küsnacht) was a Swiss psychiatrist, influential thinker, and founder of analytical psychology. ... Analytical psychology is part of the Jungian psychology movement started by Carl Jung and his followers. ... A bagpiper in Scottish military clan-uniform. ... This does not cite any references or sources. ... Wellness may mean: Wellness (alternative medicine) - Here, wellness is generally used to mean a healthy balance of the mind-body and spirit that results in an overall feeling of well-being. ... For the 2001 film, see Storytelling (film) Storytelling is the ancient art of conveying events in words, images, and sounds. ... A shaman doctor of Kyzyl. ... Michael Harner synthesized shamanic beliefs and practices from all over the world into a system now known as core shamanism or neoshamanism. ...


Among its most famous advocates were the poet Robert Bly, whose book Iron John: A Book About Men was a best-seller, being an exegesis of the fairy tale "Iron John" by the Brothers Grimm. Robert Bly (born December 23, 1926 in Madison, Minnesota) is a poet, author, and leader of the Mythopoetic Mens Movement in the United States. ... Iron John: A Book About Men (ISBN 0201517205) is a book by American Poet Robert Bly published in 1990. ... A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on a list of top-sellers. ... Exegesis (from the Greek to lead out) involves an extensive and critical interpretation of an authoritative text, especially of a holy scripture, such as of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, the Talmud, the Midrash, the Quran, etc. ... A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Iron John is a fairy tale found in the collections of the Brothers Grimm about a wild man and a prince. ... For information about the other uses of the name, see Brothers Grimm (disambiguation). ...


The mythopoetic men's movement spawned a variety of groups and workshops, led by authors such as Bly and Robert L. Moore[citation needed]. Some serious academic work came out of this movement, including the creation of various magazines and non-profit organizations, such as the Mankind Project[citation needed]. Robert L. Moore, Ph. ... Academia is a collective term for the scientific and cultural community engaged in higher education and research, taken as a whole. ... The ManKind Project (MKP) is a worldwide training and support organization for men. ...


Modern applications

Each of the seventeen stages of the monomyth (below) can be found in popular works, including movie series such as the Star Wars movies, The Matrix movies and even the anime Fortune Dogs. Star Wars is an epic science fantasy saga in the space opera genre and a fictional universe initially developed by George Lucas during the 1970s and expanded since that time. ... The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. ... Fortune Dogs (ふぉうちゅんドッグす) started out as comic by Shuji Kishihara and Yasuharu Tomono serialized on Nayayosi, Tanoshii Youchien, Otomodachi, about the lives of 48 puppies. ...


Departure (or Separation)

The Call to Adventure

The adventure begins with the hero receiving a call to action, such as a threat to the peace of the community, or the hero simply falls into or blunders into it. The call is often announced to the hero by another character who acts as a "herald". The herald, often represented as dark or terrifying and judged evil by the world, may call the character to adventure simply by the crisis of his appearance.


Campbell: The Call To Adventure – "A blunder – apparently the merest chance – reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces that are not rightly understood."[C]


Modern applications: In Star Wars, Luke Skywalker, the hero, begins the story in frustration over being unable to leave home. The heralds are the two droids who carry a message from Princess Leia.[citation needed] In The Matrix, the call comes in the form of Morpheus and his followers who encourage the hero, Neo, to question reality. Morpheus literally calls Neo using a cell phone.[citation needed] Luke Skywalker is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, portrayed by Mark Hamill in the films Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. ... Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope along side astromech droid R2-D2, and protocol droid C-3PO. This is the concept of the droid in science fiction. ... Her Royal Highness, Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan (born in 19 BBY), born Leia Amidala Skywalker, is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe played by Aiden Barton in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, actress Carrie Fisher in Star Wars: Episodes IV-VI, and by Ann... Fishburne as Morpheus in The Matrix Revolutions Morpheus is the name of a fictional character (played by Laurence Fishburne) in the science fiction films, The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded, and The Matrix Revolutions. ... Neo is the name of the central fictional character from the movie The Matrix and its sequels The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. ...


Classic examples: Sometimes the call to adventure happens of the character's own volition. In the story of the Minotaur, Theseus learns the tale of the beast and the terrible sacrifice to appease it, which sets him on a quest to destroy it. In Herman Hesse's book Siddhartha the main character, Siddhartha, becomes weary of his way of life and decides he must venture away from his accustomed life in order to attain spiritual enlightenment. Most Buddhist myths describe the Buddha as becoming bored with his royal life and venturing into the world. Other times, the hero is plunged into adventure by unforeseen events. In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is caught in the terrible winds of the angered god Poseidon and sent off to distant lands. In Greek mythology, the Minotaur (Greek: Μινόταυρος, Minótauros) was a creature that was said to be part man and part bull. ... Theseus (Greek ) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night. ... Siddhartha is an allegorical novel by Hermann Hesse which deals with the spiritual journey of an Indian man called Siddhartha during the time of the Buddha. ... Homer (Greek: ) is the name given to the supposed unitary author of the early Greek poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. ... Beginning of the Odyssey The Odyssey (Greek Οδύσσεια (Odússeia) ) is one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to the Ionian poet Homer. ... Head of Odysseus from a Greek 2nd century BC marble group representing Odysseus blinding Polyphemus, found at the villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga Odysseus or Ulysses (Greek Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes or, less commonly, Ulysses), pronounced , is the main hero in Homers epic poem, the Odyssey, and plays a key... Neptune reigns in the city of Bristol. ...


Refusal of the Call

In some stories, the hero initially refuses the call to adventure. When this happens, the hero may suffer somehow, and may eventually choose to answer, or may continue to decline the call.


Campbell: Refusal of the Call – "Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in boredom, hard work, or 'culture,' the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved."[C]


Modern applications: In Star Wars, Luke is refused adventure by his uncle, a man who seeks to protect Luke from the inevitable dangers of fate. Subsequently, Luke's family is killed by stormtroopers.[citation needed] In The Matrix, Neo refuses to take the window washing scaffold to escape and is captured by the Agents. [citation needed] Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith in The Matrix. ...


Classic examples: Mythology is rife with examples of what happens to those who refuse the call too long or do not take it seriously. A Persian city was turned to stone, inhabitants and all, for refusing the call of Allah. Daphne was pursued by the Greek god Apollo (a herald), but refused his advances at all costs. She prayed to her father, Peneus, to take away her beauty to be rid of Apollo; Peneus turned the nymph into a tree, the only semblance left of her past self being her beauty. In Judeo-Christian mythology, Lot's wife is turned into a pillar of salt for looking back with longing to her old life when she had been summoned forth from her city by Yahweh. One of the clearest references to the refusal and its consequences comes in the voice of Yahweh in Proverbs 1:24-27 and 32: Allah is the Arabic language word for God. ... Daphne - From the painting by Deverial. ... For other uses, see Apollo (disambiguation). ... In Greek mythology, Peneus (Πηνειός) was a river god, one of the three-thousand Rivers, a child of Oceanus and Tethys. ... Judeo-Christian (or Judaeo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, and typically considered (sometimes along with classical Greco-Roman civilization) a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. ... It has been suggested that Lut be merged into this article or section. ... Tetragrammaton redirects here. ...

Because I have called, and ye refused ... I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. ... For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.

Supernatural Aid

After the hero has accepted the call, he encounters a protective figure (often elderly) who provides special tools and advice for the adventure ahead, such as an amulet or a weapon.[C]


Modern applications: In Star Wars, Luke encounters the Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi who presents Luke with a lightsaber and teaches him the ways of the Force.[citation needed] In The Matrix Neo meets with The Oracle who gives him advice which proves invaluable in his journey.[citation needed] Jedi Masters (left to right) Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar, Mace Windu, and Kit Fisto. ... Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi or Ben Kenobi is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... The lightsaber is the name of a weapon that plays a key role in the movies, games and novels that constitute the Star Wars universe. ... The Force is a binding, ubiquitous power that is the object of the Jedi and Sith monastic orders in the Star Wars universe. ... The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. ...


Classic example: In Greek mythology, Ariadne gives Theseus a ball of string and a sword before he enters the labyrinth to confront the minotaur.


The Crossing of the First Threshold

The hero must cross the threshold between the world he is familiar with and that which he is not. Often this involves facing a "threshold guardian", an entity that works to keep all within the protective confines of the world but must be encountered in order to enter the new zone of experience.[C]


Modern applications: In Star Wars, the threshold is Mos Eisley, a spaceport that acts as a doorway between Luke's home planet and the wider universe; Luke must avoid capture by the threshold guardians, the Imperial stormtroopers.[citation needed] In The Matrix, Neo must choose the red pill to leave the Matrix and enter the real world.[citation needed] Mos Eisley is a spaceport town on the planet Tatooine in the fictional Star Wars universe. ...


Rebirth

The hero, rather than passing a threshold, passes into the new zone by means of rebirth. Appearing to have died by being swallowed or having their flesh scattered, the hero is transformed and becomes ready for the adventure ahead.[C]


Biblical applications: In the gospels, John the Baptist baptizes Jesus before Jesus begins his public ministry. For the hip-hop producer with the same name, see John the Baptist (producer). ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...


Modern applications: In Star Wars, it is the Death Star, in which Luke is engulfed and in which he learns how to be a hero.[citation needed] In The Matrix, Neo finds himself waking up in a bio-electric cell where he is one of the humans being harvested by the machines.[citation needed] The Death Star is a fictional planet-destroying superweapon as well as an enormous mobile military garrison in the Star Wars universe. ...


Initiation

The Road of Trials

Once past the threshold, the hero encounters a dream landscape of ambiguous and fluid forms. The hero is challenged to survive a succession of obstacles and, in so doing, amplifies his consciousness. The hero is helped covertly by the supernatural helper or may discover a benign power supporting him in his passage. [C]


Marriage

The ultimate trial is often represented as a marriage between the hero and a queenlike, or mother-like figure. This represents the hero's mastery of life (represented by the feminine) as well as the totality of what can be known. When the hero is female, this becomes a male figure. [C]


Modern applications: In The Matrix, Neo confronts the Oracle.[citation needed] In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo takes Trinity as a lover. [citation needed] The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. ... The Matrix Reloaded is the second installment of The Matrix series, written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. ...


Woman as Temptress

His awareness expanded, the hero may fixate on the disunity between truth and his subjective outlook, inherently tainted by the flesh. This is often represented with revulsion or rejection of a female figure. [C][5]


Modern applications: In The Matrix Reloaded, Persephone attempts to seduce Neo. [citation needed] In Star Wars, there is tension between Luke and Han Solo over their love for Princess Leia -- this is resolved in Episode VI, Return of the Jedi when Luke finds out that Leia is actually his sister. Luke is also tempted by the dark side itself, as demonstrated by his vision in the cave on Dagobah.[citation needed] The Matrix Reloaded is the second installment of The Matrix series, written and directed by the Wachowski brothers. ... Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a science fiction film that debuted in 1983, and re-released with changes in 1997 and 2004. ... In various theories of magic and religion, the Dark Side describes the less benevolent approaches to use of the magical forces. ... Dagobah is both a planet and the system in which it resides, in the fictional Star Wars universe. ...


Atonement with the Father

The hero reconciles the tyrant and merciful aspects of the father-like authority figure to understand himself as well as this figure.[C]


Biblical applications: In the gospels, Jesus wrestles with his impending death in the Garden of Gethsemane, before submitting to his Father's will. This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... The Garden of Gethsemane. ...


Modern applications: In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke confronts Darth Vader and learns that he is his father and a former Jedi; in Return of the Jedi, he is reconciled with the reformed Vader.[citation needed] In The Matrix Revolutions, the Oracle explains to Neo that she and the Architect are two programs that work together to keep the Matrix working, the latter to "balance the equation" and the former to "unbalance" it.[citation needed] Darth Vader is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. ... Movie poster Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, is a science fiction film that debuted in 1983, and re-released with changes in 1997 and 2004. ... The Oracle is a fictional character portrayed by Gloria Foster (and later, by Mary Alice) within the Matrix series of films created by the Wachowski brothers. ... I am the Architect. ...


Apotheosis

The hero's ego is disintegrated in a breakthrough expansion of consciousness. Quite frequently the hero's idea of reality is changed; the hero may find an ability to do new things or to see a larger point of view, allowing the hero to sacrifice himself.[C]


Modern applications: In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke sacrifices a part of himself (losing his hand) rather than turn to the dark side.[citation needed] In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo surrenders to Agent Smith, allowing the latter to virally absorb him, allowing Neo's essence to be proliferated among the army of Smiths, destroying them all, but requiring Neo to sacrifice his life.[citation needed]


The Ultimate Boon

The hero is now ready to obtain that which he has set out, an item or new awareness that, once he returns, will benefit the society that he has left.[C]


Modern applications: In the climactic scene of Star Wars, Luke uses the Force to successfully destroy the Death Star by firing torpedoes down a narrow ventilation shaft of the Death Star.[citation needed] In The Matrix Neo overcomes death and becomes the One, fully mastering his control over the Matrix.[citation needed]


Return

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.[C]


Classic examples: After obtaining Nirvana, Buddha doubted whether he could communicate the path to enlightenment. (Actually, some Buddhist traditions hold that this was only cunning politics by Buddha: by saying this he gave people the impression that he didn't want to teach them, which made them curious and eager to hear all about it).


The Magic Flight

When the boon's acquisition (or the hero's return to the world) comes against opposition, a chase or pursuit may ensue before the hero returns.[C]


Classic examples: In many fairy tales and folktales, it is literally a magic flight, with the hero or heroine transforming objects to stop the pursuit (The Master Maid, The Water Nixie) or transforming himself and any companions to hide themselves (Farmer Weathersky or Foundling-Bird). A fairy tale is a story, either told to children or as if told to children, concerning the adventures of mythical characters such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, giants, and others. ... Folklore is the ethnographic concept of the tales, legends, or superstitions current among a particular ethnic population, a part of the oral history of a particular culture. ... Tsarevna Frog by Viktor Vasnetsov: a frog metamorphoses into a princess Shapeshifting is a common theme in mythology and folklore, as well as in science fiction and fantasy. ... The Master Maid is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Asbjørnsen and Moe. ... The Water Nixie or The Water-Nix is a fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, tale number 79. ... Farmer Weathersky is a Norwegian fairy tale collected by Peter Chr. ... Foundling-Bird is a German fairy tale collected by the Brothers Grimm, number 51. ...


In The Matrix after Neo's first successful defeat of Agent Smith in the subway battle, he must run through a gauntlet of Agents to get to the phone at the Heart O' the City Hotel.[citation needed]


Rescue from Without

The hero may need to be rescued by forces from the ordinary world. This may be because the hero has refused to return or because he is successfully blocked from returning with the boon. The hero loses his ego.[C]


Modern application: In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke is rescued by the Millennium Falcon as he hangs on an antenna beneath Cloud City after a battle with Darth Vader.[citation needed] In The Matrix: Revolutions, Neo is physically trapped in the limbo-like Mobil Avenue subway station construct, and Morpheus and Trinity have to help him escape.[citation needed]


The Crossing of the Return Threshold

The hero returns to the world of common day and must accept it as real.[C]


Master of Two Worlds

Because of the boon or due to his experience, the hero may now perceive both the divine and human worlds.[C]


Modern application: In Return of the Jedi, Luke becomes a Jedi. He has mastered the force and defeated the one true temptation, the Dark Side.[citation needed] In The Matrix Neo returns from death now able to see the green code that makes up the Matrix world. In The Matrix Reloaded, Neo destroys several Sentinels in the real world using only his mind.[citation needed] The Matrix is a 1999 science fiction action film written and directed by Larry and Andy Wachowski and starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano and Hugo Weaving. ...


Biblical application: In the Christ story, Jesus is able to return to the ordinary world after resurrection.


Freedom to Live

The hero bestows the boon to his fellow man.[C]


Modern application: In "The Return of the Jedi" Luke has overcome the Empire and his rebellion is free to live and thrive, the ending scene establishes the peace restored by Luke's victory.[citation needed] In The Matrix Revolutions, Neo realizes that machine life is as valid as human life and gives his own life in order to reconcile the worlds of man and machine.[citation needed]


Classic examples: Christ returns to the ordinary world after his resurrection, but not as an ordinary man. He can seem to be as others are and interact with them, but his body is a "glorified" body, capable of assuming visible and palpable form, but freed from the bonds of space and time. He is now able to give life to others through his own death and resurrection. Other traditional examples of something similar are Elijah, Enoch, and Khidr, the "immortal prophet" of the Sufis. Christ is the English term for the Greek word (Christós), which literally means The Anointed One. ... Look up Resurrection in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Elijah, 1638, by Ribera, José de This article is about the prophet in the Hebrew Bible. ... Enoch (from Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Standard Tiberian meaning initiated, dedicated, disciplined; Greek: ενωχ, ; traditional English: Enoch) is a Hebrew name. ... Al-Khadir (right) and Dhul-Qarnayn, here referring to Alexander the Great, marvel at the sight of a salted fish that comes back to life when touched by the Water of Life. ... Sufism (Arabic تصوف taṣawwuf) is a system of esoteric philosophy commonly associated with Islam. ...


"The hero's journey"

The phrase, "the hero's journey," to describe the monomyth first entered into popular discourse through two documentaries. The first, released in 1987, The Hero's Journey: The World of Joseph Campbell was accompanied by a 1990 companion book, The Hero's Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work (with Phil Cousineau and Stuart Brown, eds.). The second was Bill Moyer's series of seminal interviews with Campbell, released in 1988 as the documentary (and companion book) The Power of Myth. The phrase was then referenced in the title of a popular guidebook for screenwriters released in the 1990's, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, by Christopher Vogler [7]. Though they used the phrase in their works, Cousineau, Moyers, and Vogler, all attribute the phrase and the model of The Hero's Journey to Joseph Campbell. This article is about the book and documentary on Joseph Campbell. ... This article is about the book and documentary on Joseph Campbell. ... Phil Cousineau (1952- ) is an author, screenwriter, and documentary filmmaker. ... Bill Moyer (September 17, 1933 _ October 21, 2002) was a United States social change activist, author, and founding member of the Movement for a New Society. ... The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. ... Year 1990 (MCMXC) was a common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar). ... Christopher Vogler is a Hollywood screenwriter. ... Joseph John Campbell (March 26, 1904 – October 31, 1987) was an American mythology professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. ...


Criticism

Thoughtless use of monomyth structure is often blamed for lack of originality and clichés in popular culture, especially big-budget Hollywood films. In addition to the popularity of Campbell-influenced guides such as The Writer's Journey, the influential book Screenplay by Syd Field also proposed an ideal three-act structure, which is easily compatible with modern screenwriters' attempts to craft a monomyth. However, since the peak popularity of cinematic monomyth narratives in the 1990s, some would-be blockbuster movies that have been seen as conscious attempts to follow the structure have met with indifference from critics and often disappointing performance at the box office, as in the case of Eragon and the second and third movies in the Matrix trilogy. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about the screenwriting guru; for information on the British comedian, see Sid Field. ... (first in series) | Eldest >> Eragon is a novel written by Christopher Paolini. ... The Matrix series is a media franchise consisting primarily of three films: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions. ...


Notes

Note [C]: Campbell, Joseph. The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949. The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ... The Princeton University Press is a publishing house, a division of Princeton University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ...

  1. ^ Monomyth website accessed November 28, 2006.
  2. ^ The hero's journey: Joseph Campbell on his life and work. Edited and with an Introduction by Phil Cousineau. Forward by Stuart L. Brown, Executive Editor. New York: Harper and Row, 1990.
  3. ^ Leeming, David Adams. Mythology: The Voyage of the Hero. New York: Harper & Row. 1981.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ There is some debate as to whether this is truly a universal feature of myths, or a specific example of a broader category of "temptation away from the true path". Although most of Campbell's book uses examples from many cultures, his chapter on "Woman As the Temptress" draws examples exclusively from Judeo-Christian stories. See [2].

This article is about the book and documentary on Joseph Campbell. ... Judeo-Christian (or Judaeo-Christian) is a term used to describe the body of concepts and values which are thought to be held in common by Judaism and Christianity, and typically considered (sometimes along with classical Greco-Roman civilization) a fundamental basis for Western legal codes and moral values. ...

References

  • Campbell, Joseph. The hero with a thousand faces. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1949.
  • Joyce, James. Finnegans wake. 1939.
  • MacKey-Kallis, Susan. The hero and the perennial journey home in American film. University of Pennsylvania Press (2001). ISBN 0-8122-1768-3
  • Vogler, Christopher. The writer's journey: mythic structure for writers. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 1998.
  • Voytilla, Stuart and Vogler, Christopher. Myth & the Movies: Discovering the myth structure of 50 unforgettable films. Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions, 1999. ISBN 0-941188-66-3

The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) is the seminal work of comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell. ... The Princeton University Press is a publishing house, a division of Princeton University, that is highly respected in academic publishing. ... For the street ballad which the novel is named after, see Finnegans Wake. ... Christopher Vogler is a Hollywood screenwriter. ...

Books based upon interviews with Campbell

  • The hero's journey: Joseph Campbell on his life and work. Edited and with an Introduction by Phil Cousineau. Forward by Stuart L. Brown, Executive Editor. New York: Harper and Row, 1990.
  • The power of myth (with Bill Moyers and Betty Sue Flowers, ed.), 1988

The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. ... Bill Moyers Bill D. Moyers (born June 5, 1934 as Billy Don Moyers) is an American journalist and socialist public commentator. ... Betty Sue Flowers is the director of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and a Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. ...

DVD/Discography

The Power of Myth is a book and six part television documentary first broadcast on PBS in 1988 as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth. ...

See also

Vladimir Propp Vladimir Yakovlevich Propp was a Russian structuralist scholar who analysed the basic plot components of Russian folk tales to identify their simplest irreducible narrative elements. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Monomyth - Encyclopedia, History, Geography and Biography (3176 words)
The monomyth (often referred to as the Hero's Journey) is a cyclical journey found in myths suggested by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) [1].
Campbell's account of the monomyth explains its ubiquity through a mixture of Jungian archetypes, unconscious forces of mind from the Freudian conception, and Arnold van Gennep's structuring of rites of passage rituals.
Since the late 1960s, with the introduction of Post-structuralism, theories such as the monomyth (which are dependent upon approaches based in Structuralism) have lost ground in the academy.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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