Study Guide

Hero and Leander The Hero's Journey

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The Hero's 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 Hero and Leander 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

Leander is just your average dude, chilling out in his hometown of Abydus. On the other side of the Hellespont, Hero is busy being a virginal priestess of Aphrodite. Well, she's not that busy actually. She just kind of hangs by herself most of the time.

Call To Adventure

When these two spot each other, it's love at first sight.

Refusal Of The Call

At first, Hero resists Leander's amorous advances. Guess he's not as smooth as he thought.

Meeting The Mentor

Leander turns into Hero's mentor of love, convincing her that any self-respecting priestess of the goddess of love shouldn't be a virgin.

Crossing The Threshold

Together, Hero and Leander cross the threshold of love, if you catch our drift.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

Hero and Leander get along great, but the Hellespont lies between them. Their biggest enemy is this body of water that Leander has to swim across every night to be with his love.

Approach To The Inmost Cave

One night, a storm blows in, whipping the Hellespont into a fury. As Leander walks down the shore toward the churning water, he knows he's in for a rough time.


Unfortunately, the wind blows out Hero's light, and Leander loses his way in rough waters and drowns.


Yeah, there's definitely no reward of any kind here—only sorrow.

The Road Back

There's no road back for Leander. He's totally and completely dead.


No resurrection here either. When Hero finds Leander's body on the shore, she's so overcome with grief that she kills herself. Now they're both dead.

Return With The Elixir

Sorry, myth's over.

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