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Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth

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The Hero s Journey Joseph Campbell An American professor, writer, and orator best known for his work in the fields of comparative mythology and comparative religion. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth


1
Joseph Campbells Monomyth
The Heros Journey
2
Joseph Campbell
  • An American professor, writer, and orator best
    known for his work in the fields of comparative
    mythology and comparative religion.
  • In 1949 Joseph Campbell made a big splash in the
    field of mythology with his book The Hero With a
    Thousand Faces. This book built on the pioneering
    work of German anthropologist Adolph Bastian, who
    first proposed the idea that myths from all over
    the world seem to be built from the same
    "elementary ideas."

3
Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) named
these elementary ideas "archetypes," which he
believed to be the building blocks not only of
the unconscious mind, but of a collective
unconscious. In other words, Jung believed that
everyone in the world is born with the same basic
subconscious model of what a "hero" is, or a
"mentor" or a "quest," and that's why people who
don't even speak the same language can enjoy the
same stories.
4
Campbell's contribution was to take this idea of
archetypes and use it to map out the common
underlying structure behind religion and myth. He
proposed this idea in The Hero With a Thousand
Faces, which provides examples from cultures
throughout history and all over the world.
Campbell eloquently argues that all stories are
fundamentally the same story, which he named the
"Hero's Journey," or the "monomyth." This sounds
like a simple idea, but it suggests an incredible
ramification, which Campbell summed up with his
adage "All religions are true, but none are
literal." That is, he concluded that all
religions are really containers for the same
essential truth, and the trick is to avoid
mistaking the wrappings for the diamond.
5
George Lucas had already written two drafts of
Star Wars when he rediscovered Joseph Campbell's
The Hero With a Thousand Faces in 1975 (having
read it years before in college). This
blueprint for "The Hero's Journey" gave Lucas the
focus he needed to draw his sprawling imaginary
universe into a single story. The Wachowski
Brothers' film The Matrix is also carefully built
on the same blueprint.
6
  • Campbell sites three stages of the Heros
    Journey. Each stage contains various elements
    that build the protagonists character, bringing
    him closer to his (her) self knowledge the true
    purpose of the quest.
  • Stage I Departure
  • Stage II Initiation
  • Stage III Return

7
I. Departure (or Separation) The Call to
Adventure
  • The quest begins with the hero in a state of
    neurotic anguish. The quest is often announced to
    the hero by another character who acts as a
    "herald."

8
Refusal of the Call
  • In many stories, the hero initially refuses the
    call to adventure. When this happens, the hero
    suffers somehow, and eventually chooses the quest.

9
Supernatural Aid
  • Along the way, the hero often encounters a
    helper, usually a wise old man, who gives the
    hero both psychological and physical weapons.

10
Crossing of the First Threshold
  • The hero eventually must cross into a dark
    underworld, where he will face evil and darkness,
    and thereby find true enlightenment. Before this
    can occur, however, the hero must cross the
    threshold between his home world and the new
    world of adventure. Often this involves facing
    off against and quelling a threshold guardian.

11
Belly of the Whale
  • Having defeated the threshold guardian, the hero
    finds himself in a place of darkness where he
    begins his true adventure, perhaps discovering
    his true purpose. This belly of the whale is a
    frightening and restricting place, from which the
    hero must somehow escape. The name for this stage
    of the monomyth is based upon the story of Jonah.

12
II. Initiation The Road of Trials
  • Once in the other world, the hero is repeatedly
    challenged with mental and physical obstacles
    that must be overcome. Often these take the form
    of a test, by which the hero improves his skills
    and proves his worth.

13
Meeting with the Goddess
  • After overcoming the Road of Trials, the hero
    often encounters a goddess-like woman beautiful,
    queenlike, or motherly. The hero faces the
    goddess and in doing so, faces his anima. By
    uniting with the goddess, he becomes a whole
    person, reconciling his feminine nature with his
    masculine nature. This can also be a negative
    encounter when the goddess is replaced by The
    Temptress. Campbell cites the lure of the woman,
    leading the hero astray (the hero is assumed to
    be male).

14
Woman as Temptress
  • In some Hero's Quests, the hero will encounter
    the goddess, but before he can unite with her, he
    must prove his worthiness by overcoming the
    temptation of the Woman as Temptress.

15
Atonement with the Father
  • The hero may encounter a father-like figure of
    patriarchal authority. 'Father' and 'son' are
    often pitted against each other for mastery of
    the universe. To understand the father, and
    ultimately himself, the hero must reconcile
    with this ultimate authority figure.

16
Apotheosis
  • The Hero's Ego is disintegrated in a breakthrough
    expansion of consciousness. Quite frequently
    his/her idea of reality is changed, he/she may
    find him/herself able to do new things or able to
    see a larger point of view, allowing him/her to
    sacrifice self.

17
The Ultimate Boon
  • Having reconciled with the father and achieved
    personal enlightenment, the hero's psychological
    forces are again balanced. His new found
    knowledge, or boon, also has potential to benefit
    society.

18
III. Return Refusal of the Return
  • Having found bliss and enlightenment in the
    underworld, the hero may not want to return with
    the boon.

19
Magic Flight
  • A mad dash is made by the hero to return with the
    prize.

20
Rescue from Without
  • The hero may need to be rescued from without by
    humanity.

21
Crossing of the Return Threshold
  • Before the hero can return to the real world, he
    must confront another threshold guardian. The
    first threshold was a symbolic death this is now
    a symbolic rebirth.

22
Master of the Two Worlds
  • Once the final threshold is crossed, the hero is
    now free to move back and forth between the two
    worlds at will. He has mastered the conflicting
    psychological forces of the mind.

23
Freedom to Live
  • With the journey now complete, the hero has found
    true freedom, and can turn his efforts to helping
    or teaching humanity.

24
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