The hero is shown in the world as it exists, considered by those in it to be ordinary and uneventful.
Refusal of the Call
The Ordinary World
Meeting with the Mentor
Someone or something presents the hero with a problem, challenge, or an adventure. This can be an event or a person.
The Call to Adventure
Return with the Elixir
The hero is reluctant or frightened to accept the call and begin the journey. The hero feels the fear of the unknown and tries to turn away from the adventure, however briefly. Alternately, another character may express the uncertainty and danger ahead.
The Road Back
Crossing the Threshold
The hero comes across a veteran traveler of the Special World who provides training, equipment, weapons, or advice that will help on the journey.
Approach to the Inmost Cave
A "point of no return" is crossed. The hero commits to the journey and enters into the Special World.
Approaching the Inmost Cave
The hero faces the initial tests/conflicts and sorts out allegiances in the Special World.
Tests, Allies, and Enemies
The hero and new-found allies are reminded of the main challenge that lies ahead in the Special World.
The hero reaches their original goal, confronts death, or faces their greatest fear. All the hard work and training is put to the test.
The hero receives something for their victory or failure,
and must accept the consequences.
The Hero must complete the adventure, leave the Special World, and get the "treasure" home safely.
The hero is tested a final time on the threshold of home, and is purified by a final sacrifice and a higher level of rebirth.
The hero finally masters the problem. The hero returns home bearing some element of the treasure (elixir) that has the power to heal or transform the Ordinary World, just as the hero has been transformed.
Teacher, counselor, trainer, and encourager to the hero.
The protagonist of the story. Usually, this character is brave and honorable, but needs to learn something in the story.
This is a gifted item that helps the hero on their journey. Often has (real or imagined) magical or supernatural powers.
The Magic Wand
A pattern of narrative that describes the typical adventure of the archetype known as The Hero, the person who goes out and achieves great deeds on behalf of the group, tribe, or civilization.
The Hero's Story
The Hero's Journey
Phrase coined by American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell to describe the narrative pattern he discovered.
The Elements of Story
A typical character, action, or situation that seems to represent universal patterns of human nature. Also known as "universal symbol," may be a character, a theme, a symbol, or even a setting.
Explaining the mystery of life; Explaining the universe; Validating the existing social order; Guiding the individual through the stages of life.
Four Reasons We Read
Four Keys to Life
Four Functions of Myth
Four Horseman of the Apocalypse