Characteristics of a “Hero” The mythological hero is typically someone, usually male, who has “found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience,” and has sacrificed his life to a cause much larger than himself Most importantly, the hero must be assessed through his actions and how he conducts himself in social situations. His actions must always be recognized by their noble purpose.
The Journey Cycle The journey of a hero begins with a character that desires/requires a certain amount of growth in one or more aspect of his life The hero’s journey, or quest, is one of passage into a new level of wisdom and maturity. There are three stages a character must complete in order to be considered a hero.
1. Departure First the hero must experience the world outside of his well-known and well-defined comfort zone, and be introduced to a “new level of awareness, skill, and responsibility.” The world that is unknown can be represented in many different ways, such as “a distant land, a forest, a kingdom underground, beneath the waves, or above the sky, a secret island, lofty mountaintop, or profound dream state.”
Departure cont… The first encounter that the hero has is usually with a protective figure that acts as a form of supernatural aid With this newfound confidence, the hero is able to cross the threshold into even the most perilous environments and situations.
2. Initiation The hero’s initiation is only successful if he passes through a series of trials. This stage in the cycle is littered with mini quests and moments of illumination for the hero, all revealing momentary glimpses of what is to be gained in accomplishing the main objective
3. The Return Inevitable in any quest taken on by a hero, he must return, making a complete, circular journey, bringing back with him his boon and wisdom. This action is usually very difficult for the hero for fear of rejection or being unable to communicate his message.
Sources Campbell, Joseph. “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.” Princeton, New Jersey:PrincetonUP, 1949. Ubelhor, Anthony. “The Hero’s Journey Defined.” Date Visited: March 18. Last Updated: Unknown