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Pyramus and Thisbe
Pyramus and Thisbe

Pyramus and Thisbe Heroes Journey

The Hero's Journey is a framework that scholar Joseph Campbell came up with that many myths and stories follow. Many storytellers and story-readers find it a useful way to look at tale. (That's actually putting it lightly. Some people are straight-up obsessed.) Chris Vogler adapted Campbell's 17 stages of a hero's journey, which many screenwriters use while making movies. Vogler condensed Campbell's 17 stages down to 12, which is what we're using. Check out a general explanation of the 12 stages.

The story of Pyramus and Thisbe doesn't fit perfectly into the Hero's Journey structure, but we're giving it a shot. As the gross old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat.

Ordinary World

Pyramus and Thisbe are two kids in neighboring houses in the big city of Babylon. Sounds pretty normal to us. Except for the Babylon thing, but that's just the 21st-century American in us speaking.

Call To Adventure

When Pyramus and Thisbe fall in love, their formerly peaceful life is bound for some serious drama.

Refusal Of The Call

Hmmm. The two young lovers sure don't refuse the call. But their neighboring families hate each other, and won't let Pyramus and Thisbe get together.

Meeting The Mentor

Nothin' doin' here.

Crossing The Threshold

Pyramus and Thisbe make a plan to meet at a tomb under a mulberry tree and head off into the wild blue yonder to elope.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

The worst enemy for these two Babylonians in love turns out to be a random bloody-faced lioness, who scares Thisbe away from the tomb and rips up the veil she leaves behind.

Approach To The Inmost Cave

When Pyramus arrives at the tomb, he sees the lioness and the bloody veil, and he unfortunately assumes the worst.

Ordeal

Thinking Thisbe has been devoured, Pyramus stabs himself through the heart with his sword. Unlike in a typical ordeal, our hero doesn't survive this encounter with his own grief.

Reward

Yeah, there's no reward in this tragedy.

The Road Back

And… there's no road back, either. All roads end at the tomb for these doomed lovers.

Resurrection

When Thisbe shows back up at the tomb and figures out what happened, she's overcome with grief of her own and kills herself with Pyramus's sword.

Return With The Elixir

Though Pyramus and Thisbe don't make it through their adventure alive, their blood stains the berries of the mulberry tree red. To this day, the berries are still blood-colored as an eternal monument to their tragic love.

Next Page: Similar Myths Across Cultures
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