Hero Quest Diagram Custom Essay

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The Hero Quest (or Journey Myth) is an interpretive framework first formulated by Joseph Campbell, in his book Hero With a Thousand Faces (1956). It is a way to analyze stories through a particular lens, and allows us to see interesting themes emerge about what a culture values or believes. Campbell’s work compared thousands of fables, myths, religions, folklore, and other stories from around the world and across the centuries, and he noticed a pattern emerging in all of the stories. From this study he developed the monomyth, what he called the pattern which seems to be the same regardless of time, culture, or language.

One of the uses of the Hero Quest is to consider: what is the Quest for in the story? What does this object reveal about a culture’s values? For example, if a hero is attempting to defeat an evil sorceror who wants to control the world, we can assume that the culture values a free society and does not like totalitarian rule. Or, the Quest might be to obtain a talisman that will reveal the hero’s true origins and powers, and therefore we can assume that the hero’s journey is an inner one–a “coming of age” story of growth and maturity. And thus, the culture values the individual.

When applying the Hero Quest, the main stages (Separation, Initiation, Return) are the primary method of dividing the narrative. Not all elements listed on your handout will show up in every story. These stages always happen in order–there is never going to be an Initiation before the Separation, for example.

In the assignment that follows, you are to fill out the worksheet by applying the Hero Quest to a film or novel you are very familiar with. The worksheet breaks down the Hero Quest by stage and element; not all blocks will be filled in because those elements may not apply to your story.

Choose a film or novel with which you are very familiar–it can be any kind of movie or book. Apply the 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey to your selection by filling out the worksheet; remember, not all elements will show up in your chosen work, so not all blocks will necessarily be filled out. However, there should be enough to show the three main stages in your analysis. Below is an example using the film Star Wars: A New Hope. Here are some other strong examples of films and novels that make use of the hero’s journey:

Harry Potter and the Sorceror’s Stone (book or film)

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (book or film)

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (film)

Braveheart (film)

Twilight Saga (book or film)

Finding Nemo(film) almost any Disney or Pixar film for that matter


The Old Man and the Sea (book)

Moses, Samson, Jesus Christ (book)

1.Ordinary World
This is where the audience meets the hero and learns of his/her life, personality and surroundings.
2. Call to Adventure
This is where the hero is presented with a challenge or opportunity to undertake a quest or solve a problem. To take up the quest the hero must leave the familiarity of his or her Ordinary World.
3. Refusal of the Call
This is the typical reaction to want to avoid risking the adventure and the changes that will result. The hero generally says ?I can?t do it.?
4. Meeting with the Mentor
The hero meets someone with unusual knowledge or power that can help him/her to begin the journey into a new world.
5. Crossing the First Threshold
This is the step where the Hero leaves his ordinary world.
6.Tests, Allies, Enemies
This is the hero’s next step. The hero has entered a new and strange special world. He/she is tested by situations and enemies, but also meets a band of allies along the way.
7.Approach the Inmost Cave
The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.
8. Supreme Ordeal
This is the central crisis of the story in which the hero faces his/her greatest fear and risks death. The hero now finds a new identity
and is permanently changed.
9. Reward
The hero takes possession of the treasure won by facing death. This usually coincides with a celebration.
10. The Road Back
This is where the hero uses his/her newfound strength and knowledge to complete the adventure and begin the return to his/her Ordinary World. There are still challenges ahead but the hero is now armed and prepared to face them.
11. Resurrection
This is the final proof and accomplishment of the mission in the Call to Adventure. The hero is now master of his/her world.
12. Return With the Elixir The hero returns home or continues the journey, bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero has been transformed. The hero can use his/her newfound power and wisdom to benefit their friends, family, community and the world.

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