A brief outline of
Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey
- The Departure:
- The Ordinary World
- The hero starts at home. Even if she is not happy here,
she is at least able to comprehend the world around her.
- The Call to Adventure
- The hero is compelled to leave her world. A herald
appears that gives her purpose and a sense of the quest ahead.
- Refusal of the Call
- The hero resists leaving. She sees what needs to be
done, but she's reluctant to do it.
- Supernatural Aid
- The hero encounters a Mentor who inspires the hero
to take action. The Mentor trains and prepares her for the
- Crossing the First Threshold
- The hero overcomes some obstacle between her world and the
world outside. She leaves her old life behind and starts her
- The Intitiation:
- The Road of Trials
- The hero has a series of adventures which lead her progressively
closer to the objective of the quest. The hero finds
friends and allies.
- The Ordeal:
- The hero alone has a confrontation with her nemesis. During
this fight, she is transformed in some major way (see
- The Ultimate Boon:
- The hero completes her quest and acquires
- The Return:
- Refusal of the Return:
- Now that she's succeded, the hero wants to stay in paradise
and not go back home.
- Crossing the Return Threshold:
- On the way back, the hero has one last battle to fight.
Often this is with the true antagonist (the nemesis' boss).
- Master of Two Worlds:
- The hero returns triumphant and shares her boon
with the public.
The Hero's Journey is often depicted graphically as a circle.
I'm not even going to try to draw it here. Roughly,
though, The Ordinary World is at 12:00, Crossing the First Threshold
is at 9:00, The Ordeal is at 6:00 and Crossing the Return Threshold
is at 3:00. The path is travelled counter-clockwise.
Campbell's book about the Hero's Journey is
The Hero With a Thousand Faces.