What do Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, and Frodo all have in common with the heroes of ancient myths? What if I told you they are all variants of the same hero? Do you believe that? Joseph Campbell did. He studied myths from all over the world and published a book called The Hero With A Thousand Faces, retelling dozens of stories and explaining how each represents The Monomyth or Hero’s Journey.
What makes a hero? This TED-Ed lesson by Matthew Winkler describes the cycle of the Hero’s Journey, first conceived by Joseph Campbell in 1949.
From one to twelve, these stories include variations of these key events: Status quo, a call to adventure, assistance, departure, trials, approach, crisis, treasure, result, return, new life, resolution, and status quo again, “but upgraded to a new level. Nothing is quite the same” for the hero.
Does this cycle apply to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or The Lord of the Rings? Can it be found in Black Panther, Moana, The Wizard of Oz, The Lion King, or Star Wars? The video challenges viewers to look for this pattern, not only in our favorite books, comic books, movies, and television shows but within our own lives, as well:
Listen for your call to adventure. Accept the challenge. Conquer your fear and claim the treasure you seek, and then do it all over again.
Watch these related videos next:
• The Importance of Setting in a Story
• The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
• Sylvester and the Magic Pebble read by Reid Scott
• Stop-motion animation goes high tech at Laika
• How did animators create the Spider-Verse?
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