Hero's Journey Stages

Stages:

Hero’s Journey may apply to a narrative even if not all of Campbell’s Hero's Journey stages are included. Hero’s Journey may describe the development of a story that is also described by a different narrative structure. Usually presented as a circle, these six significant stages are useful in identifying or applying and developing a Hero’s Journey narrative (for more detailed stages, see Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 2008; Chris Vogler’s http://thewritersjourney.com/).

1. Leaving home/Recognition of need:
A sympathetic hero experiences a precipitating event or gains awareness of a need that often only the hero can fulfill. The hero must leave home to accomplish the quest.

2. Help from strangers/Accepting guidance and aid:
Hero finds a wise mentor or guide and later finds others—people, animals, nature, robots—both real and supernatural to help the hero along his journey.

3. Traveling from known to unknown/ Committing to risk:
Hero recommits to the quest as he or she leaves the comfort of the world he or she knows and enters new territory. As risk increases, so does tension in the story.

4. Danger and reward/Confronting fears to earn renewal:
Hero endures hardships, tests, and ordeals to train, prove him or herself worthy, and/or achieve quest.

5. Reverse trip/Renewal:
Hero makes the return trip establishing renewal of self, earth, and/or kin or community. One last hurdle often appears just as risk seems to be gone and tension abates.

6. Return home with gift/Sense of mastery and well-being:
Hero returns home having accomplished the quest. Hero offers physical gift or token or necessary knowledge he or she has won to mentor, loved one, or community. Homecoming is often joyous.

Stages

Hero’s Journey may apply to a narrative even if not all of Campbell’s Hero's Journey stages are included. Hero’s Journey may describe the development of a story that is also described by a different narrative structure. Usually presented as a circle, these six significant stages are useful in...
Example

In the film Clash of the Titans (1981, 2010), a retelling of a Greek myth, Perseus leaves his adopted home of Joppa to prove himself worthy and to find out how to save the woman he loves and Joppa from the Kraken, a sea monster. His mentor Ammon gives him guidance. He faces many obstacles...
Learning Applications

When to apply this structure: A strong signal that a storyline matches the Hero's Journey narrative structure is a sense of the heroic. The story often includes risking something vital, especially the main character's life, for a worthy and often impossible-seeming goal. The journey...