Monomyth: The Hero's Journey

In the hero’s journey, the boy grows up in the ordinary world, until a mysterious herald summons him to an adventure.  You see he has…a destiny.  The hero often rejects this call—it is too strange, too mysterious, but at last, he accepts.  He adventures along the way, aided by his friends and companions, with sometimes a token female. In the end, the hero descends into the realm of death and confronts the ultimate enemy—a shadow that represents his dark side, his evil and submerged half. Having faced and conquered his dark side, the hero returns, far stronger than before.

Campbell summarizes these elements, which became known as the Hero's Journey, in these words:

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.

Campbell goes on to make an exhaustive list of all the possible steps in the Journey. But we don't need to write a game that contains every motif ever to appear in a mythical story. Instead we're going to focus on the most important elements – the ones that have to be there. These are:

Booklist: Epics

Booklist: Hero's and Heroine's Journey

Joseph Campbell's 12 Stages in the Hero's Journey

A visual representation of the cycle

Another hero's journey chart

Literary Myth Forms and the Harry Potter Saga A fantastic site that perfectly, succinctly explains the hero's journey.

The full explanation for teachers and students

The hero's journey chart compared with Star Wars

The Monomyth website details the Hero's Journey plot with a stunning diagram.

Other Hero's Journey sites appear on The Hero's Journey Resource Page.

Hero's Journey Articles and Lesson Plans

The Journey: A Guide to Archetypes

Harry Potter and the Hero's Journey

My Fairy Tale Resources

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