The Hero's Journey or Monomyth
What is the Hero's Journey?
It is a plot of a story, a story told a million times over in myths, folklore, religious texts, novels, films, plays and poems. It follows a similar pattern of an individual deciding to start out on a quest or journey, who is tested and grows during the journey, and who returns a transformed person, able to serve others.
Joseph Campbell's term 'monomyth', also referred to as 'the hero's journey', refers to a basic pattern found in many narratives from around the world. Campbell held that numerous myths from disparate times and regions share fundamental structures and stages.
Campbell describes some 17 stages or steps along this journey. Very few myths contain all 17 stages - some myths contain many of the stages, while others contain only a few; some myths may focus on only one of the stages, while other myths may deal with the stages in a somewhat different order. These 17 stages may be organised in a number of ways, including division into three sections: Departure [sometimes called Separation], Initiation, and Return. 'Departure' deals with the hero's adventure prior to the quest; 'Initiation' deals with the hero's many adventures along the way; and 'Return' deals with the hero's return home with knowledge and powers acquired on the journey.
[for a contemporary version related to Hollywood scriptwriting see 510+ stage Hero's Journey, Monomyth, Screenplay, Story, Structure, Templates... - images from this were used in the service showing similar structures of star wars/harry potter, slumdog millionaire/the godfather etc]