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The Monomyth


... find his sense of self magic device that confers supernatural power on Hero famous amulets - Dorothy s shoes - Harry s ... The Harry Potter ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Monomyth

The Monomyth
  • The Heros Journey

Joseph Campbells Monomyth
  • Monomyths (one myth) look surprising alike.
  • A cyclical story
  • Hero undergoes a transformation
  • Offers a sacrifice to save the world

The cycle has multiple steps that most heroes
follow. The hero learns the truth about his
world and himself. The journey symbolizes the
search for individual identity and the cultures
concept of the idealized member of society.
The Broad Stages of the Monomyth
  • Departure (Separation) from the real world
  • Initiation into a symbolic, psychological shadow
  • Return to the real world with some kind of
    transformation that will help that world

Departure (Separation)
  • Call to Adventure
  • Helpers/Amulets
  • The Crossing of the first Threshold
  • The Belly of the Whale

The Call to Adventure
  • Hero is introduced
  • In a relatively safe place (though we recognize
    he cannot stay there forever).
  • The hero doesnt fit or is ostracized, or danger
    is lurking.
  • Though we see some obvious good traits in our
    hero, he is also imperfect.
  • We recognize that he has some growing to do
    before we can accept him as an ideal member of

Examples of the Call to Adventure
The Lion King
  • Simba in The Lion King is a rather doted upon
    and bratty prince, therefore he is imperfect
    not our idealized concept of a hero, a productive
    member of society.
  • We also see that the Pride Lands are not safe for
    him, since Scar is determined to remove Simba
    from the line of succession therefore, the real
    world is only relatively safe for him the
    danger of Scar is lurking.

Other Examples of the Call to Adventure
  • Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz
  • - happy with Aunt Em, but the nasty old lady
    down the street wants to get rid of her dog,
  •  Odysseus in The Odyssey
  • - happy in Ithaca
  • - is called to rescue Helen from Troy.
  • cannot refuse the call, since he is a
  • tributary king to Agamemnon who
  • swore allegiance to Menelaus

  • John Cotton in Bless the Beasts and Children
  • - capable of being the leader of the Apaches
  • - as a Christ-figure, he chooses to gather the
    lesser people of the camp into his group.
  • - he is safe, but the people he cares for are
  • - Note Christ also follows the cycle of the
    monomyth, so of course, Cotton will as well.

The Call to Adventure Begins
  • The Herald arrives
  • a character or event that entices the hero to
    leave his real world.
  • Hero may accept the invitation or he may refuse
    the call.
  • to achieve heroic status, he must accept the
    call, even if, like Frodo, it is an unwilling

The Herald as an Event
  • The Twister pulls Dorothy out of Kansas and lands
    her in the land of Oz
  • The Golden Apple incident forces Odysseus away
    from Ithaca

  • In Bless the Beasts and Children both an event
    and character act as the Herald.
  • - the slaughter of the buffalo (event)
  • - Lally 2s urging (character)
  • forces Cotton to leave the camp to rescue the

  • hero encounters helpers, (inanimate and animate)
  • these help hero achieve his goal (saving his
    world) and help him find his sense of self

Amulets (Inanimate helpers)
  • magic device that confers supernatural power on
  • famous amulets
  • - Dorothys shoes
  • - Harrys invisibility cloak
  • - Odysseus bag of winds

Characters (animate helpers)
  • either human or nonhuman
  • help Hero achieve goal. (Some of these characters
    may die in their efforts.)
  • helpers include
  • Timon and Pumbaa,
  • Tinman, Cowardly Lion, and Scarecrow
  • Goodenow, Lally brothers, Teft, etc.

The Herald (Helper)
  • a powerful mentor who helps the hero both
    physically and mentally.
  • Sometimes an ominous character that can be scary
  • Heralds include
  • The Fairy Godmother in Cinderella
  • Rafiki in The Lion King
  • Glinda, The Good Witch of the North in The Wizard
    of Oz
  • Athena in The Odyssey

The Steadfast Friend
  • heros constant friend
  • keeps Heros spirits up and helps Hero stay
    focused on achieving the all-important goal
  • Well-known steadfast friends include
  • Sam Gamgee in The Lord of the Rings
  • Ron in The Harry Potter series
  • Toto in The Wizard of Oz

The Corruptible Everyman
  • fairly rare, character is quite important
  • symbolically represents flaws within the hero
  • starts out on the side of the hero, eventually
    betrays Hero
  • redeems itself by sacrificing itself for the hero
    or quest
  • Corruptible Everymen include
  • Boromir from The Lord of the Rings
  • Judas from The New Testament
  • Judas Truck from Bless the Beasts and Children