© 2015 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

CHECK OUT SHMOOP'S FREE STUDY TOOLS: Essay Lab | Math Shack | Videos

The Hero's Journey

A monomyth for the ages.

Remember when you realized that Avatar was a little too much like Pocahontas? Or that The Matrix was eerily similar to Star Wars? Well, you weren't the first person to think so.

In the late 1940s, folklorist Joseph Campbell drove a gravy train right through the American Consciousness, introducing a concept that people couldn't wait to drop at parties. His idea? The Monomyth.

Introduced in his book The Hero With A Thousand Faces, the idea suggests that all myths, folktales, legends, and bizarre gossip about Kanye's baby bringing about the salvation of mankind share the same general pattern and structure. This pattern, a.k.a. the Hero's Journey, has been found in everything from 3,000-year-old Polynesian myths to Harry Potter.

This course will walk you through the fundamentals: the three main stages of the monomyth, the 17 substages, how they function in great works of literature and pop culture, and how accurately the monomyth applies to...well, everything.

Course Breakdown

*Purchasing by unit includes course material only.

Unit 1. One Myth to Rule Them All

These fifteen lessons will walk you through the stages of the Hero's Journey, using a boatload of different texts (literature, TV shows, movies...the list goes on) to analyze the function and validity of the monomyth.


I am buying...
Price: $23.64
CLICK HERE to learn more
about these options.
Good things come
in affordable packages.
Teachers, want access to all courses for your own use at a low monthly rate?
Subscribe for only as long as you need.
  • Course Length: 3 weeks
  • Grade Levels: 11, 12, College
  • Course Type: Short Course
  • Category:
    • Humanities

Just what the heck is a Shmoop Online Course?

Courses Tutorial