Tag Archives: Joseph Campbell

The Hero’s Journey

23 Mar

The Hero’s Journey is a basic pattern that its proponents argue is found in many myths, legends and fairy tales from all over the world. This widely distributed pattern was described by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces as the ‘monomyth’ (a term that he borrowed from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake). Campbell held that numerous myths from disparate times and regions share fundamental structures and stages, which he summarized in The Hero with a Thousand Faces as follows: “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”. This sounds like the basic structure of virtually every fantasy story ever written but what is particularly interesting is that Campbell goes one stage further and ascribes this same structure to the religious narratives of Buddha, Moses and Christ and argues that classic myths from many other cultures follow this basic pattern.

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