Explaining the Hero’s Journey

analytical Essay
796 words
796 words

In Joseph Campbell’s book, The Hero With A Thousand Faces, he talks about the “Monomyth,” otherwise better known as, the “Hero’s Journey”. This is the major theme throughout this book as well as the majority of Joseph Campbell’s studies. Campbell’s idea of the hero’s journey can be seen in many books, movies, television series, etc. That is an idea I will discuss at a later date. For this paper I would like to discuss and explain the hero’s journey, as well as give my opinions on the idea. This is a very interesting and eye opening idea that Campbell has presented us with and has made The Hero With A Thousand Faces one of the most important books of the past one hundred years.
First, what is the monomyth or the hero’s journey? Well The University of California at Berkeley defines the “Hero’s Journey” as “The tale every culture tells. The journey's path is described variously, but in general it includes the call to adventure, a supernatural aide or mentor, initiation by trials and adventures, victory, and return.” There are seventeen stages of the journey, and not all of them are used in every myth. Some myths may only use a handful and some my use ten of them, but they are used in some way or another and are repeated throughout different religions, which raises some questions in my mind which I will discuss later. For the sake of length I will be discussing the divisions of the stages rather than each individual stage itself. The divisions are separated as follows, Departure, Initiation, and Return.
The Departure division is made up of the five first stages, The Call to Adventure, Refusal of the Call, Supernatural Aid, The Crossing of the First Threshold, and The Belly of the Whale. This division can simply be descri...

... middle of paper ... The Odyssey we see a good example of “the crossing of the return threshold” when Odysseus returns to Ithaca and applies what he learned on his journey by being patient and relying on the gods for help and advice.
The “Hero’s Journey” is a very eye opening idea that Joseph Campbell has presented us with. It really makes me wonder what myths were derived from each other and which religion is influenced by another religion. It’s been very easy for me to get wrapped up and lost in some of the things Campbell wrote, and I could be completely overthinking the entire thing. It makes me wonder what religion is real and where did some of these mythological stories come from if they weren’t influenced by another myth? I hope I have influenced you to raise the same questions by bringing up these ideas and comparing these myths over the three divisions Campbell gives us.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how campbell's "monomyth" is the major theme throughout his book, the hero with a thousand faces, and the majority of his studies.
  • Explains that the monomyth of the hero's journey is defined by the university of california at berkeley as "the tale every culture tells." there are seventeen stages, but not all are used in every myth.
  • Explains that the departure division is made up of the five first stages — the call to adventure, refusal of call, supernatural aid, crossing the first threshold, and the belly of the whale.
  • Explains the initiation division, which is made up of six stages: the road of trials, the meeting with the goddess, woman as temptress, atonement with the father, apotheosis, and the ultimate boon.
  • Analyzes the final five stages of the hero's journey, including refusal of return, the magic flight, rescue from without, crossing the return threshold, master of two worlds and freedom to live.
  • Opines that the "hero's journey" is an eye-opening idea presented by joseph campbell. it makes them wonder what myths were derived from each other and which religion is influenced by another religion.
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