Explaining the Hero’s Journey

796 Words2 Pages

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 ... ...to 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.

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