|The Hero's Journey
||[Sep. 19th, 2004|06:03 pm]
I've been reading, off an on, a book called Of Other Worlds, a collection of essays and stories by C. S. Lewis. Lewis was a very devout Christian whose conversion happened in part because he became convinced that the many myths in the world regarding the death and rebirth of a king or a god were but precursors to what he and Tolkien referred to as the Great Story, the story of God's incarnation in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.|
It's an interesting perspective and works for me as an article of faith; but, as in so many matters in which faith is involved, it's something you can see either way.
It got me to thinking about the Hero's Journey, though, as delineated by Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces. It's a classic model for how stories work, especially the truly mythic stories. It finds expression in works as varied as the ancient myth of Theseus in the minotaur's cave to Episodes IV, V, and VI of the Star Wars saga (especially Episode IV).
Is the Hero's Journey still relevant, though? Is it a universal model that can be applied not just to myths and stories in western culture and civilization, but in all others as well? Can you tell a great story without using elements from the Hero's Journey? How do you use the Hero's Journey in your own writing (or in the role-playing games that you run -- nod to akumadaimyo)?