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Beowulf Hero's Journey

In this activity, activity overview, template and class instructions, more storyboard that activities, this activity is part of many teacher guides.

Beowulf Hero's Journey Summary Storyboard

Related to both plot diagram and types of literary conflict, the Hero’s Journey is a recurring pattern of stages many heroes undergo over the course of their stories. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, articulated this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from a variety of time periods and regions of the world. He found that they all shared fundamental principles. This spawned the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth . The most basic version has 12 steps, while more detailed versions can have up to 17.

After introducing students to the Hero's Journey, they'll be able to spot how Beowulf fits this structure. Students can choose to identify each step as they read, or wait until they've finished the story to apply the monomyth structure to the story. Using a storyboard, they can easily depict the structure, complete with examples!

The template and activity can be scaffolded or tailored based on your student's needs. The template provided has each cell labeled with the name of the step, but you can choose to add additional information, like a list of scenes, a completed cell, or specific examples.

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Use the story of Beowulf and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey.

  • Click "Start Assignment".
  • Depict and describe how the chosen character's story fits (or does not fit) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.
  • Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.

TEMPLATE - HERO'S JOURNEY

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 9-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: The Hero's Journey

  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/6] Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric .)

How To Apply the Monomyth Structure to Poems

Introduce monomyths, identify different stages, use expressive language, strengthen themes, use visuals, frequently asked questions about beowulf hero’s journey, who is "beowulf’s" mentor character, what is "beowulf’s" threshold crossing, what challenges and tests does beowulf encounter, what is beowulf's reward in the poem "beowulf", what in "beowulf" is the "atonement with the father" stage, what happens after the "return with the elixir" in "beowulf".

stages of hero's journey beowulf

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Home Essay Samples Literature Beowulf

Analysis of the 12 Steps of Hero's Journey in Beowulf

Analysis of the 12 Steps of Hero's Journey in Beowulf essay

Call for Adventure

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Mystery of Ophiuchus

Unraveling the Epic Tale of Beowulf

George J. Kelley

November 17, 2023

stages of hero's journey beowulf

In the timeless epic of Beowulf, we are transported to a world of heroic warriors, terrifying monsters, and noble quests. This enthralling tale of adventure and bravery follows the legendary hero, Beowulf, as he embarks on a perilous journey to rid the kingdom of Denmark from the monstrous grip of Grendel and his vengeful mother. With its rich tapestry of action, mythos, and the battle between good and evil, the story of Beowulf captures the imagination and reminds us of the timeless power of heroism. Join us as we delve into the captivating story of Beowulf: A Hero’s Journey, step-by-step, unraveling the intricacies of this ancient tale.

Grendel’s Mother

Beowulf’s arrival in denmark, grendel’s attacks, beowulf’s boast, the battle with grendel, the battle with grendel’s mother, beowulf’s death, beowulf’s legacy, beowulf’s burial, 1. who is beowulf, 2. what is the story of beowulf about, 3. who is grendel, 4. what is the significance of grendel’s attacks, 5. who is grendel’s mother, 6. what is the “abyss” in the story, 7. how does beowulf’s journey end, 8. what is beowulf’s legacy, 9. how does the story of beowulf reflect anglo-saxon culture, 10. what makes beowulf a classic hero’s journey, 1. who is the main protagonist of beowulf: a hero’s journey, 2. what is the significance of beowulf’s arrival in denmark, 3. what are the characteristics that make beowulf a hero, 4. who is grendel, and why does he attack the people of denmark, 5. what happens during the battle between beowulf and grendel, 6. what challenges does beowulf face in the abyss, 7. how does beowulf meet his demise, 9. how is beowulf honored after his death, 10. what lessons can we learn from beowulf’s hero’s journey, the main characters.

The Main Characters

Beowulf is the legendary hero whose name is synonymous with courage and valor. As the protagonist of the story, Beowulf embodies the ideals of a true warrior. He possesses exceptional strength and fearlessness, making him a formidable adversary to any foe he faces. Beowulf’s unwavering determination and unwavering resolve drive him to protect the kingdom of Denmark from the monstrous threats that plague its citizens. His unwavering loyalty and commitment to his people are not only admirable but also serve as a source of inspiration. Throughout his journey, Beowulf demonstrates his bravery time and time again, facing deadly battles and overcoming seemingly impossible odds. He is a symbol of heroism and serves as a reminder of the triumph of good over evil. Beowulf’s legendary exploits have echoed through the ages, cementing him as a timeless hero in literature and myth.

Beowulf

Learn more about the mythical world of Medusa Gorgon and the influence of Ophiuchus in the realm of art.

Grendel, the malevolent antagonist in the epic tale of Beowulf, is a monstrous creature who instills fear and terror into the hearts of the people of Denmark. As the descendant of Cain, Grendel embodies pure evil and darkness. Described as a “shadow-stalker” and a “dweller in the moors,” Grendel is a creature of the night, lurking in the darkness, preying upon innocent victims. His physical appearance is grotesque, with long claws and a hideous, malformed body. Grendel’s relentless attacks on the kingdom of Denmark leave the once prosperous land in ruins and its people living in constant fear. He is driven by a deep-seated hatred for the joy and merriment found in Heorot, the grand hall of the Danish warriors. Grendel’s insatiable hunger for destruction propels him to relentlessly slaughter the warriors of the kingdom, leaving a trail of bloodshed and despair in his wake. His brutal acts of violence are motivated by his envy of human happiness and his desire to subvert it. Grendel’s presence embodies the primal forces of chaos and darkness, challenging Beowulf to confront the depths of his own courage and honor in order to overcome this monstrous foe.

Grendel’s Mother, a fearsome and vengeful creature, is a pivotal character in the epic story of Beowulf. She is portrayed as a monstrous being, dwelling in an underwater lair, seeking revenge for the death of her son at the hands of Beowulf. Grendel’s Mother is described as a powerful and cunning opponent, capable of great physical strength and dark magic. In the midst of her grief and anger, she emerges from the depths of the murky waters to terrorize the kingdom of Denmark. The battle between Beowulf and Grendel’s Mother is a climactic moment in the hero’s journey, as Beowulf confronts this formidable foe in her watery domain. The encounter tests Beowulf’s courage and strategic prowess as he dives into the treacherous waters to face the wrath of this monstrous creature. The battle is intense and fierce, with both adversaries unleashing their full strength and cunning. Ultimately, Beowulf triumphs over Grendel’s Mother, slaying her with a powerful sword that he discovers in her lair. This victory solidifies Beowulf’s position as a legendary hero and marks a turning point in his journey of self-discovery and redemption. The defeat of Grendel’s Mother paves the way for Beowulf’s subsequent reign and establishes his legacy as a hero of unmatched valor. (For more information on mythical creatures like Grendel’s Mother, check out this article about Ophiuchus and Taurus compatibility .)

The Call to Adventure

The Call To Adventure

Beowulf’s Arrival in Denmark marks the beginning of his heroic journey. Upon hearing of the troubles plaguing the kingdom, Beowulf sets sail with a band of loyal warriors to assist their Danish allies. They arrive on the shores of Denmark, their longships cutting through the turbulent waters, as Beowulf’s strong presence commands attention. The Danish king, Hrothgar, welcomes Beowulf with open arms, grateful for his arrival and hopeful for the salvation he may bring. The bustling halls of Heorot, the magnificent mead hall, become the setting for Beowulf’s first encounter with the menacing Grendel. The scene is set, tension fills the air, and the stage is ready for the clash between the hero and the monster that will test Beowulf’s strength and prowess. The atmosphere is rife with anticipation as Beowulf prepares to face the daunting challenges that lie ahead, fully embodying the role of the valiant hero in his quest to protect the kingdom and defeat the forces of darkness.

Grendel’s Attacks are a pivotal moment in the story of Beowulf, as they mark the catalyst for the hero’s journey. Grendel, an enormous and ferocious monster, haunts the mead hall of King Hrothgar in the kingdom of Denmark. Night after night, he mercilessly attacks the brave warriors who gather there, leaving a trail of death and destruction in his wake. Grendel’s attacks are characterized by their savage brutality, as he tears apart his victims with his bare hands, instilling fear and despair in the hearts of the people. His relentless onslaught creates a sense of helplessness and hopelessness among the Danes, as they struggle to find a way to defeat this formidable foe. The terror and devastation caused by Grendel’s attacks set the stage for Beowulf’s arrival and his subsequent quest to rid the land of this monstrous menace.

The Hero’s Journey Begins

The Hero'S Journey Begins

Beowulf’s Boast is a pivotal moment in the hero’s journey, showcasing his strength, bravery, and self-assurance. As Beowulf arrives in the land of the Danes, he boldly declares his intentions to King Hrothgar. In his boastful speech, Beowulf recounts his previous feats of valor and makes grand claims of his ability to defeat Grendel. He proudly proclaims, “My lord Higlac might think less of me if I let my sword / go where my feet were afraid to, if I hid / behind some broad linden shield: my hands / alone shall fight for me, struggle for life / against the monster” (lines 681-685). With these words, Beowulf showcases his unwavering confidence and refusal to back down from any challenge. His declaration not only impresses King Hrothgar and the people of Denmark, but it also sets the stage for the epic battle that will soon ensue. This moment in the story highlights Beowulf’s larger-than-life personality and his belief in his own prowess as a hero, making it a significant step in his journey.

The Battle with Grendel In the climactic encounter known as the Battle with Grendel, Beowulf faces off against the fearsome monster who has been wreaking havoc on the kingdom of Denmark. With his superhuman strength and unwavering determination, Beowulf proves himself to be a formidable opponent to Grendel. As the night falls and the mead-hall becomes shrouded in darkness, Beowulf waits, his heart pounding with anticipation. Grendel, driven by his insatiable hunger for destruction, bursts into the hall, his grotesque form illuminated by the flickering torchlight. A fierce and intense struggle erupts between the two adversaries as they exchange powerful blows. Beowulf’s prowess and valor are on full display as he grapples with Grendel, finally dislocating the monster’s arm . The battle unleashes a cacophony of screams and roars, echoing through the hall, as the forces of good and evil collide with a titanic force. In a final act of desperation, Grendel attempts to escape, but his fate has been sealed. Beowulf, with an unyielding grip, tears off Grendel’s arm, sending the wretched creature fleeing into the darkness, defeated and on the brink of death. The mead-hall, once a place plagued by fear, is now filled with triumphant cheers and cries of victory. This epic clash is a pivotal moment in Beowulf’s journey, solidifying his reputation as a legendary hero and setting the stage for the battles yet to come.

The Abyss

The Battle with Grendel’s Mother is a pivotal moment in Beowulf’s heroic journey. After successfully slaying Grendel, Beowulf faces yet another formidable opponent – Grendel’s Mother. Determined to avenge her son’s death, she is a creature of immense strength and ferocity. The battle takes place in the treacherous depths of her lair, a dark and forbidding underwater cavern. Beowulf, armed with a mighty sword, plunges into the depths to confront this fearsome foe. The fight is intense, with both combatants unleashing their full might. Grendel’s Mother proves to be a formidable adversary, nearly overpowering Beowulf at times. However, true to his heroic nature, Beowulf perseveres. In a moment of desperation, he spots an enchanted sword, a weapon designed to slay supernatural beings. With a swift strike, he deals a fatal blow to the monster, ultimately vanquishing her. The Battle with Grendel’s Mother showcases Beowulf’s unwavering determination and showcases his ability to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. This triumph further solidifies his status as a legendary hero, leaving a lasting impact on the tale of Beowulf.

Beowulf’s Death marks a pivotal moment in the epic saga, as the aging hero faces his final battle against a formidable adversary. In his twilight years, Beowulf encounters a fierce fire-breathing dragon that threatens his kingdom. Despite his advanced age, Beowulf valiantly faces the dragon, displaying unwavering courage and determination. The battle is intense and fraught with danger, as the dragon’s fiery breath and razor-sharp claws pose a grave threat to Beowulf’s life. In a dramatic turn of events, Beowulf’s trusted comrade, Wiglaf, proves his loyalty and valor by coming to Beowulf’s aid, reinforcing the theme of honor and loyalty throughout the epic. Together, they engage in a fierce struggle, but Beowulf is mortally wounded in the process. As Beowulf nears his end, he reflects on his life and valiant deeds, ensuring that his legacy lives on. Wiglaf, witnessing the hero’s imminent demise, mourns his leader’s passing. The death of Beowulf marks the end of an era, as the kingdom mourns the loss of its beloved hero and prepares for a new chapter in its history. Through his demise, Beowulf’s noble sacrifice and unwavering dedication to his people serve as a testament to the timeless qualities of heroism and selflessness.

The Transformation and Atonement

The Transformation And Atonement

Beowulf’s Legacy is a testament to the enduring impact of his heroic deeds and the values he embodied. After successfully defeating Grendel and his vengeful mother, Beowulf’s fame and reputation spread far and wide. He returned to his homeland, Geatland, where he ruled as a wise and just king for many years. During his reign, Beowulf’s courageous exploits became legendary, inspiring future generations of warriors and leaders. His unwavering commitment to honor, loyalty, and bravery served as a model for others to follow. Beowulf’s legacy also extended beyond the realm of warfare, as he was known for his generosity and benevolence towards his subjects. He rewarded his loyal warriors with lavish gifts, ensuring their loyalty and devotion. These acts of kindness and fairness solidified Beowulf’s place in history as not only a hero but a compassionate leader. Even in death, Beowulf’s legacy lived on, as he was mourned by his people and his noble deeds continued to be recounted in tales and songs, inspiring future generations to strive for greatness.

Rebirth and the Return

Rebirth And The Return

Beowulf’s Burial marks the poignant conclusion of this epic tale, as the fallen hero is laid to rest in a grand ceremony befitting his legendary status. After Beowulf’s valiant battle against the dragon, he succumbs to his injuries, leaving behind a legacy of bravery and heroism. His loyal followers mourn his passing, and preparations are made for his burial. A magnificent pyre is constructed, adorned with treasures from far-flung lands and symbols of his victories. The pyre is set ablaze, flames reaching towards the heavens as a testament to Beowulf’s indomitable spirit. As the fire crackles and consumes the wood, Beowulf’s loyal warriors bid their final farewell to their fallen leader. They honor him with solemn words, recounting his heroic deeds and the lasting impact he has made on their lives. The ashes of Beowulf, the mighty hero, are then collected and placed in a grand tomb, a solemn reminder of his sacrifice and the endurance of his legend. In the end, Beowulf’s burial becomes a symbol of his immortality, as his memory lives on in the hearts of those who witnessed his heroic journey.

Conclusion

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Beowulf is the legendary hero and protagonist of the ancient Anglo-Saxon epic poem, “Beowulf.” He is renowned for his exceptional strength, bravery, and his unwavering dedication to protecting the innocent.

The story of Beowulf follows the hero’s quest to rid the kingdom of Denmark from the monstrous grip of Grendel and his mother. It explores themes of heroism, honor, and the eternal battle between good and evil.

Grendel is a fearsome monster who terrorizes the people of Denmark. He is depicted as a relentless and bloodthirsty creature, driven by his hatred for humanity and compelled to unleash havoc and destruction.

Grendel’s attacks symbolize the never-ending struggle between chaos and order, darkness and light. They serve as a call to action for Beowulf, prompting him to embark on his heroic journey and confront the forces of evil.

Grendel’s Mother is a formidable and vengeful creature who seeks revenge for the death of her son. She dwells in an underwater lair and possesses her own supernatural powers, making her a formidable opponent for Beowulf.

The “Abyss” refers to the pivotal moment in Beowulf’s journey when he faces the ultimate challenge: battling Grendel’s Mother. This symbolic descent into the depths represents a test of Beowulf’s strength, courage, and resolve.

Beowulf’s journey concludes with his ultimate sacrifice, as he faces a fearsome dragon in his old age, defending his kingdom one last time. Though he perishes in the battle, his legacy endures, leaving behind a legacy of heroism and honor.

Beowulf’s legacy is one of heroism and inspiration. His heroic deeds and selflessness serve as a reminder of the enduring power of courage and honor, influencing generations to come.

The story of Beowulf reflects the values and ideals of Anglo-Saxon culture, such as loyalty to one’s king, the importance of kinship, and the belief in fate and destiny. It provides insights into the society, customs, and beliefs of the time.

Beowulf embodies the archetype of the classic hero’s journey, as he receives a call to action, faces and overcomes various trials and foes, experiences transformation and atonement, and ultimately leaves behind a significant impact on his world.

  • Beowulf- Hero’s Journey by Ashley Deaner

The main protagonist of the story is Beowulf, a legendary Geatish warrior.

Beowulf’s arrival in Denmark marks the beginning of his heroic journey and the start of his quest to rid the land of the monstrous Grendel.

Beowulf possesses extraordinary strength, courage, and noble ideals. He is also known for his loyalty, bravery, and determination in the face of danger.

Grendel is a fearsome monster, descendant of Cain, and he attacks the people of Denmark out of envy and resentment towards their happiness and prosperity.

During the battle, Beowulf manages to overpower Grendel, tearing off his arm and ultimately causing his death. This victory brings relief and joy to the people of Denmark.

In the Abyss, Beowulf faces the daunting challenge of battling Grendel’s vengeful mother, who seeks retribution for the death of her son. This battle tests Beowulf’s strength and courage to their limits.

Beowulf meets his demise while fighting a fierce dragon in his old age. Despite his valiant efforts, he is fatally wounded during the battle.

Beowulf’s legacy lies in his heroic deeds and his unwavering commitment to protect others. He is remembered as a great warrior and leader who selflessly fought for the greater good.

After his death, Beowulf is given a grand and honorable burial. His people celebrate his life and mourn his passing, recognizing his immense contributions and sacrifices.

Beowulf’s hero’s journey teaches us the importance of courage, honor, and selflessness. It emphasizes the value of standing up against evil and protecting others, even in the face of great challenges and adversity.

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Last updated on Aug 10, 2023

The Hero's Journey: 12 Steps to a Classic Story Structure

The Hero's Journey is a timeless story structure which follows a protagonist on an unforeseen quest, where they face challenges, gain insights, and return home transformed. From Theseus and the Minotaur to The Lion King , so many narratives follow this pattern that it’s become ingrained into our cultural DNA. 

In this post, we'll show you how to make this classic plot structure work for you — and if you’re pressed for time, download our cheat sheet below for everything you need to know.

FREE RESOURCE

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Hero's Journey Template

Plot your character's journey with our step-by-step template.

What is the Hero’s Journey?

The Hero's Journey, also known as the monomyth, is a story structure where a hero goes on a quest or adventure to achieve a goal, and has to overcome obstacles and fears, before ultimately returning home transformed.

This narrative arc has been present in various forms across cultures for centuries, if not longer, but gained popularity through Joseph Campbell's mythology book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces . While Campbell identified 17 story beats in his monomyth definition, this post will concentrate on a 12-step framework popularized in 2007 by screenwriter Christopher Vogler in his book The Writer’s Journey .

The 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey

A circular illustration of the 12 steps of the hero's journey with an adventurous character in the center.

The Hero's Journey is a model for both plot points and character development : as the Hero traverses the world, they'll undergo inner and outer transformation at each stage of the journey. The 12 steps of the hero's journey are: 

  • The Ordinary World. We meet our hero.
  • Call to Adventure. Will they meet the challenge?
  • Refusal of the Call. They resist the adventure.
  • Meeting the Mentor. A teacher arrives.
  • Crossing the First Threshold. The hero leaves their comfort zone.
  • Tests, Allies, Enemies. Making friends and facing roadblocks.
  • Approach to the Inmost Cave. Getting closer to our goal.
  • Ordeal. The hero’s biggest test yet!
  • Reward (Seizing the Sword). Light at the end of the tunnel
  • The Road Back. We aren’t safe yet.
  • Resurrection. The final hurdle is reached.
  • Return with the Elixir. The hero heads home, triumphant.

Believe it or not, this story structure also applies across mediums and genres (and also works when your protagonist is an anti-hero! ). Let's dive into it.

1. Ordinary World

In which we meet our Hero.

The journey has yet to start. Before our Hero discovers a strange new world, we must first understand the status quo: their ordinary, mundane reality.

It’s up to this opening leg to set the stage, introducing the Hero to readers. Importantly, it lets readers identify with the Hero as a “normal” person in a “normal” setting, before the journey begins.

2. Call to Adventure

In which an adventure starts.

The call to adventure is all about booting the Hero out of their comfort zone. In this stage, they are generally confronted with a problem or challenge they can't ignore. This catalyst can take many forms, as Campbell points out in Hero with a Thousand Faces . The Hero can, for instance:

  • Decide to go forth of their own volition;
  • Theseus upon arriving in Athens.
  • Be sent abroad by a benign or malignant agent;
  • Odysseus setting off on his ship in The Odyssey .
  • Stumble upon the adventure as a result of a mere blunder;
  • Dorothy when she’s swept up in a tornado in The Wizard of Oz .
  • Be casually strolling when some passing phenomenon catches the wandering eye and lures one away from the frequented paths of man.
  • Elliot in E.T. upon discovering a lost alien in the tool shed.

The stakes of the adventure and the Hero's goals become clear. The only question: will he rise to the challenge?

Neo in the Matrix answering the phone

3. Refusal of the Call

In which the Hero digs in their feet.

Great, so the Hero’s received their summons. Now they’re all set to be whisked off to defeat evil, right?

Not so fast. The Hero might first refuse the call to action. It’s risky and there are perils — like spiders, trolls, or perhaps a creepy uncle waiting back at Pride Rock . It’s enough to give anyone pause.

In Star Wars , for instance, Luke Skywalker initially refuses to join Obi-Wan on his mission to rescue the princess. It’s only when he discovers that his aunt and uncle have been killed by stormtroopers that he changes his mind.

4. Meeting the Mentor

In which the Hero acquires a personal trainer.

The Hero's decided to go on the adventure — but they’re not ready to spread their wings yet. They're much too inexperienced at this point and we don't want them to do a fabulous belly-flop off the cliff.

Enter the mentor: someone who helps the Hero, so that they don't make a total fool of themselves (or get themselves killed). The mentor provides practical training, profound wisdom, a kick up the posterior, or something abstract like grit and self-confidence.

Harry holding the Marauder's Map with the twins

Wise old wizards seem to like being mentors. But mentors take many forms, from witches to hermits and suburban karate instructors. They might literally give weapons to prepare for the trials ahead, like Q in the James Bond series. Or perhaps the mentor is an object, such as a map. In all cases, they prepare the Hero for the next step.

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5. Crossing the First Threshold

In which the Hero enters the other world in earnest.

Now the Hero is ready — and committed — to the journey. This marks the end of the Departure stage and is when the adventure really kicks into the next gear. As Vogler writes: “This is the moment that the balloon goes up, the ship sails, the romance begins, the wagon gets rolling.”

From this point on, there’s no turning back.

Like our Hero, you should think of this stage as a checkpoint for your story. Pause and re-assess your bearings before you continue into unfamiliar territory. Have you:

  • Launched the central conflict? If not, here’s a post on types of conflict to help you out.
  • Established the theme of your book? If not, check out this post that’s all about creating theme and motifs .
  • Made headway into your character development? If not, this character profile template may be useful:

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A story is only as strong as its characters. Fill this out to develop yours.

6. Tests, Allies, Enemies

In which the Hero faces new challenges and gets a squad.

When we step into the Special World, we notice a definite shift. The Hero might be discombobulated by this unfamiliar reality and its new rules. This is generally one of the longest stages in the story , as our protagonist gets to grips with this new world.

This makes a prime hunting ground for the series of tests to pass! Luckily, there are many ways for the Hero to get into trouble:

  • In Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle , Spencer, Bethany, “Fridge,” and Martha get off to a bad start when they bump into a herd of bloodthirsty hippos.
  • In his first few months at Hogwarts, Harry Potter manages to fight a troll, almost fall from a broomstick and die, and get horribly lost in the Forbidden Forest.
  • Marlin and Dory encounter three “reformed” sharks, get shocked by jellyfish, and are swallowed by a blue whale en route to finding Nemo.

The shark scares Marlin and Dory in Finding Nemo

This stage often expands the cast of characters. Once the protagonist is in the Special World, he will meet allies and enemies — or foes that turn out to be friends and vice versa. He will learn a new set of rules from them. Saloons and seedy bars are popular places for these transactions, as Vogler points out (so long as the Hero survives them).

7. Approach to the Inmost Cave

In which the Hero gets closer to his goal.

This isn’t a physical cave. Instead, the “inmost cave” refers to the most dangerous spot in the other realm — whether that’s the villain’s chambers, the lair of the fearsome dragon, or the Death Star. Almost always, it is where the ultimate goal of the quest is located.

Note that the protagonist hasn’t entered the Inmost Cave just yet. This stage is all about the approach to it. It covers all the prep work that's needed in order to defeat the villain.

In which the Hero faces his biggest test of all thus far.

Of all the tests the Hero has faced, none have made them hit rock bottom — until now. Vogler describes this phase as a “black moment.” Campbell refers to it as the “belly of the whale.” Both indicate some grim news for the Hero.

The protagonist must now confront their greatest fear. If they survive it, they will emerge transformed. This is a critical moment in the story, as Vogler explains that it will “inform every decision that the Hero makes from this point forward.”

The Ordeal is sometimes not the climax of the story. There’s more to come. But you can think of it as the main event of the second act — the one in which the Hero actually earns the title of “Hero.”

9. Reward (Seizing the Sword)

In which the Hero sees light at the end of the tunnel.

Our Hero’s been through a lot. However, the fruits of their labor are now at hand — if they can just reach out and grab them! The “reward” is the object or knowledge the Hero has fought throughout the entire journey to hold.

Once the protagonist has it in their possession, it generally has greater ramifications for the story. Vogler offers a few examples of it in action:

  • Luke rescues Princess Leia and captures the plans of the Death Star — keys to defeating Darth Vader.
  • Dorothy escapes from the Wicked Witch’s castle with the broomstick and the ruby slippers — keys to getting back home.

Luke Sjywalker saves Princess Leila

10. The Road Back

In which the light at the end of the tunnel might be a little further than the Hero thought.

The story's not over just yet, as this phase marks the beginning of Act Three. Now that he's seized the reward, the Hero tries to return to the Ordinary World, but more dangers (inconveniently) arise on the road back from the Inmost Cave.

More precisely, the Hero must deal with the consequences and aftermath of the previous act: the dragon, enraged by the Hero who’s just stolen a treasure from under his nose, starts the hunt. Or perhaps the opposing army gathers to pursue the Hero across a crowded battlefield. All further obstacles for the Hero, who must face them down before they can return home.

11. Resurrection

In which the last test is met.

Here is the true climax of the story. Everything that happened prior to this stage culminates in a crowning test for the Hero, as the Dark Side gets one last chance to triumph over the Hero.

Vogler refers to this as a “final exam” for the Hero — they must be “tested once more to see if they have really learned the lessons of the Ordeal.” It’s in this Final Battle that the protagonist goes through one more “resurrection.” As a result, this is where you’ll get most of your miraculous near-death escapes, à la James Bond's dashing deliverances. If the Hero survives, they can start looking forward to a sweet ending.

12. Return with the Elixir

In which our Hero has a triumphant homecoming.

Finally, the Hero gets to return home. However, they go back a different person than when they started out: they’ve grown and matured as a result of the journey they’ve taken.

But we’ve got to see them bring home the bacon, right? That’s why the protagonist must return with the “Elixir,” or the prize won during the journey, whether that’s an object or knowledge and insight gained.

Of course, it’s possible for a story to end on an Elixir-less note — but then the Hero would be doomed to repeat the entire adventure.

Examples of The Hero’s Journey in Action

To better understand this story template beyond the typical sword-and-sorcery genre, let's analyze three examples, from both screenplay and literature, and examine how they implement each of the twelve steps. 

The 1976 film Rocky is acclaimed as one of the most iconic sports films because of Stallone’s performance and the heroic journey his character embarks on.

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky

  • Ordinary World. Rocky Balboa is a mediocre boxer and loan collector — just doing his best to live day-to-day in a poor part of Philadelphia.
  • Call to Adventure. Heavyweight champ Apollo Creed decides to make a big fight interesting by giving a no-name loser a chance to challenge him. That loser: Rocky Balboa.
  • Refusal of the Call. Rocky says, “Thanks, but no thanks,” given that he has no trainer and is incredibly out of shape.
  • Meeting the Mentor. In steps former boxer Mickey “Mighty Mick” Goldmill, who sees potential in Rocky and starts training him physically and mentally for the fight.
  • Crossing the First Threshold. Rocky crosses the threshold of no return when he accepts the fight on live TV, and 一 in parallel 一 when he crosses the threshold into his love interest Adrian’s house and asks her out on a date.
  • Tests, Allies, Enemies. Rocky continues to try and win Adrian over and maintains a dubious friendship with her brother, Paulie, who provides him with raw meat to train with.
  • Approach to the Inmost Cave. The Inmost Cave in Rocky is Rocky’s own mind. He fears that he’ll never amount to anything — something that he reveals when he butts heads with his trainer, Mickey, in his apartment.
  • Ordeal. The start of the training montage marks the beginning of Rocky’s Ordeal. He pushes through it until he glimpses hope ahead while running up the museum steps.
  • Reward (Seizing the Sword). Rocky's reward is the restoration of his self-belief, as he recognizes he can try to “go the distance” with Apollo Creed and prove he's more than "just another bum from the neighborhood."
  • The Road Back. On New Year's Day, the fight takes place. Rocky capitalizes on Creed's overconfidence to start strong, yet Apollo makes a comeback, resulting in a balanced match.
  • Resurrection. The fight inflicts multiple injuries and pushes both men to the brink of exhaustion, with Rocky being knocked down numerous times. But he consistently rises to his feet, enduring through 15 grueling rounds.
  • Return with the Elixir. Rocky loses the fight — but it doesn’t matter. He’s won back his confidence and he’s got Adrian, who tells him that she loves him.

Moving outside of the ring, let’s see how this story structure holds on a completely different planet and with a character in complete isolation. 

The Martian 

In Andy Weir’s self-published bestseller (better known for its big screen adaptation) we follow astronaut Mark Watney as he endures the challenges of surviving on Mars and working out a way to get back home.

Matt Demon walking

  • The Ordinary World. Botanist Mark and other astronauts are on a mission on Mars to study the planet and gather samples. They live harmoniously in a structure known as "the Hab.”
  • Call to Adventure. The mission is scrapped due to a violent dust storm. As they rush to launch, Mark is flung out of sight and the team believes him to be dead. He is, however, very much alive — stranded on Mars with no way of communicating with anyone back home.
  • Refusal of the Call. With limited supplies and grim odds of survival, Mark concludes that he will likely perish on the desolate planet.
  • Meeting the Mentor. Thanks to his resourcefulness and scientific knowledge he starts to figure out how to survive until the next Mars mission arrives.
  • Crossing the First Threshold. Mark crosses the mental threshold of even trying to survive 一 he successfully creates a greenhouse to cultivate a potato crop, creating a food supply that will last long enough.
  • Tests, Allies, Enemies. Loneliness and other difficulties test his spirit, pushing him to establish contact with Earth and the people at NASA, who devise a plan to help.  
  • Approach to the Inmost Cave. Mark faces starvation once again after an explosion destroys his potato crop.
  • Ordeal. A NASA rocket destined to deliver supplies to Mark disintegrates after liftoff and all hope seems lost.
  • Reward (Seizing the Sword). Mark’s efforts to survive are rewarded with a new possibility to leave the planet. His team 一 now aware that he’s alive 一 defies orders from NASA and heads back to Mars to rescue their comrade.
  • The Road Back. Executing the new plan is immensely difficult 一 Mark has to travel far to locate the spaceship for his escape, and almost dies along the way.
  • Resurrection. Mark is unable to get close enough to his teammates' ship but finds a way to propel himself in empty space towards them, and gets aboard safely.
  • Return with the Elixir. Now a survival instructor for aspiring astronauts, Mark teaches students that space is indifferent and that survival hinges on solving one problem after another, as well as the importance of other people’s help.

Coming back to Earth, let’s now examine a heroine’s journey through the wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail and her… humanity. 

The memoir Wild narrates the three-month-long hiking adventure of Cheryl Strayed across the Pacific coast, as she grapples with her turbulent past and rediscovers her inner strength.

Reese Witherspoon hiking the PCT

  • The Ordinary World. Cheryl shares her strong bond with her mother who was her strength during a tough childhood with an abusive father.
  • Call to Adventure. As her mother succumbs to lung cancer, Cheryl faces the heart-wrenching reality to confront life's challenges on her own.
  • Refusal of the Call. Cheryl spirals down into a destructive path of substance abuse and infidelity, which leads to hit rock bottom with a divorce and unwanted pregnancy. 
  • Meeting the Mentor. Her best friend Lisa supports her during her darkest time. One day she notices the Pacific Trail guidebook, which gives her hope to find her way back to her inner strength.
  • Crossing the First Threshold. She quits her job, sells her belongings, and visits her mother’s grave before traveling to Mojave, where the trek begins.
  • Tests, Allies, Enemies. Cheryl is tested by her heavy bag, blisters, rattlesnakes, and exhaustion, but many strangers help her along the trail with a warm meal or hiking tips. 
  • Approach to the Inmost Cave. As Cheryl goes through particularly tough and snowy parts of the trail her emotional baggage starts to catch up with her.  
  • Ordeal. She inadvertently drops one of her shoes off a cliff, and the incident unearths the helplessness she's been evading since her mother's passing.
  • Reward (Seizing the Sword). Cheryl soldiers on, trekking an impressive 50 miles in duct-taped sandals before finally securing a new pair of shoes. This small victory amplifies her self-confidence.
  • The Road Back. On the last stretch, she battles thirst, sketchy hunters, and a storm, but more importantly, she revisits her most poignant and painful memories.
  • Resurrection. Cheryl forgives herself for damaging her marriage and her sense of worth, owning up to her mistakes. A pivotal moment happens at Crater Lake, where she lets go of her frustration at her mother for passing away.
  • Return with the Elixir. Cheryl reaches the Bridge of the Gods and completes the trail. She has found her inner strength and determination for life's next steps.

There are countless other stories that could align with this template, but it's not always the perfect fit. So, let's look into when authors should consider it or not.

When should writers use The Hero’s Journey?

3jQDdq8HREc Video Thumb

The Hero’s Journey is just one way to outline a novel and dissect a plot. For more longstanding theories on the topic, you can go this way to read about the ever-popular Three-Act Structure or here to discover Dan Harmon's Story Circle and three more prevalent structures .

So when is it best to use the Hero’s Journey? There are a couple of circumstances which might make this a good choice.

When you need more specific story guidance than simple structures can offer

Simply put, the Hero’s Journey structure is far more detailed and closely defined than other story structure theories. If you want a fairly specific framework for your work than a thee-act structure, the Hero’s Journey can be a great place to start.

Of course, rules are made to be broken . There’s plenty of room to play within the confines of the Hero’s Journey, despite it appearing fairly prescriptive at first glance. Do you want to experiment with an abbreviated “Resurrection” stage, as J.K. Rowling did in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone? Are you more interested in exploring the journey of an anti-hero? It’s all possible.

Once you understand the basics of this universal story structure, you can use and bend it in ways that disrupt reader expectations.

Need more help developing your book? Try this template on for size:

FREE RESOURCE

Get our Book Development Template

Use this template to go from a vague idea to a solid plan for a first draft.

When your focus is on a single protagonist

No matter how sprawling or epic the world you’re writing is, if your story is, at its core, focused on a single character’s journey, then this is a good story structure for you. It’s kind of in the name! If you’re dealing with an entire ensemble, the Hero’s Journey may not give you the scope to explore all of your characters’ plots and subplot — a broader three-act structure may give you more freedom to weave a greater number story threads. ​​

Which story structure is right for you?

Take this quiz and we'll match your story to a structure in minutes!

Whether you're a reader or writer, we hope our guide has helped you understand this universal story arc. Want to know more about story structure? We explain 6 more in our guide — read on!

6 responses

PJ Reece says:

25/07/2018 – 19:41

Nice vid, good intro to story structure. Typically, though, the 'hero's journey' misses the all-important point of the Act II crisis. There, where the hero faces his/her/its existential crisis, they must DIE. The old character is largely destroyed -- which is the absolute pre-condition to 'waking up' to what must be done. It's not more clever thinking; it's not thinking at all. Its SEEING. So many writing texts miss this point. It's tantamount to a religions experience, and nobody grows up without it. STORY STRUCTURE TO DIE FOR examines this dramatic necessity.

↪️ C.T. Cheek replied:

13/11/2019 – 21:01

Okay, but wouldn't the Act II crisis find itself in the Ordeal? The Hero is tested and arguably looses his/her/its past-self for the new one. Typically, the Hero is not fully "reborn" until the Resurrection, in which they defeat the hypothetical dragon and overcome the conflict of the story. It's kind of this process of rebirth beginning in the earlier sections of the Hero's Journey and ending in the Resurrection and affirmed in the Return with the Elixir.

Lexi Mize says:

25/07/2018 – 22:33

Great article. Odd how one can take nearly every story and somewhat plug it into such a pattern.

Bailey Koch says:

11/06/2019 – 02:16

This was totally lit fam!!!!

↪️ Bailey Koch replied:

11/09/2019 – 03:46

where is my dad?

Frank says:

12/04/2020 – 12:40

Great article, thanks! :) But Vogler didn't expand Campbell's theory. Campbell had seventeen stages, not twelve.

Comments are currently closed.

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Joseph Campbell & The Hero’s Journey

In 1949, scholar  joseph campbell published his 1st book, the hero with a thousand faces. in this book, campbell introduced us to his theory that myths from around the globe share a fundamental structure, the monomyth ..

C ampbell formulated this theory over 5 years, spending 9 hours a day reading mythology from around the world. The Monomyth structure is divided into 3 events with additional stages in between. The stories of Osiris, Prometheus, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, and many other tales from history use this structure. It has inspired many artists and storytellers, such as, Jim Morrison of The Doors, Bob Dylan, creator of Star Wars George Lucas, Bob Weir, and Jerry Garcia of the band, The Grateful Dead. While countless stories follow this Monomyth structure, we will use the original Star Wars Trilogy as an example for exploring this process.

The Seventeen Stages of the Monomyth

The Seventeen Stages of the Monomyth

The Cycle of Mythology

Stage 1: Separation

I n the first stage of the hero’s journey, we find our protangonist living life in a typically mundane situation. The  Star Wars , Luke Skywalker lives as a talented yet lowly and pretty damn whiny moisture farmer on Tatooine.

Until…

1. Call to Adventure – By some chance the hero will become aware of information or actions that call for them to go on a quest. The lovable and recently acquired droid R2-D2 plays a holographic message of Princess Leia pleading for Luke’s soon to be mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s assistance.

2. Refusal of the Call – Overwhelmed by the information, the hero refuses the call and makes excuses as to why they cannot answer it. Luke refuses Obi-Wan’s request to join him on his mission, stating that he has responsibilities at home.

Luke's Supernatural Aid is in the form of a Lightsaber

Luke’s Supernatural Aid is in the form of a Lightsaber and newfound Knowledge of the Force

3. Supernatural Aid – Once a commitment to the quest is made by the hero, they are provided with a special weapon or power that will assist them along the way. Obi-Wan gifts Luke his fathers lightsaber and explains some Force 101.

4. Crossing the Threshold – The moment when the hero actually embarks upon the journey. After Luke discovers that his family has been murdered and that nothing is left for him at home, he decides to join Obi-Wan on the quest to save Princess Leia, cause that sounds way cooler than hanging at the farm where your entire family was just massacred.

5. Belly of the Whale – The final separation between the hero and their home. Luke and Kenobi bail out from Tatooine with their new bros Han Solo and Chewbacca.

Stage 2: Initiation

The Empire Strikes Back is nothing but a road of trials for our hero, Luke

The Empire Strikes Back is nothing but a road of trials for our hero, Luke.

6. The Road of Trials – A series of usually 3 trials and tests, the hero often fails one or more of these test. In Luke’s journey the destruction of the Death Star is his first test and one that he passes. His second and third tests do not end so well. While training with Yoda on Dagobah, Luke fails in his truly mastering himself and the force. Thirdly, in the duel between himself and his newly revealed father, Darth Vader, he is defeated, injured, and almost killed.

7. The Meeting with the Goddess – Our hero experiences a love that has the power and significance to that of a mother. Luke begins to have strong feelings for Leia, his unbeknownst sister.

8. Woman as Temptress – The temptation to abandon the journey for material or other gain. Luke is close to being seduced to the dark side as the Emperor feeds his rage against his father and especially with the prospect that if he will not turn, perhaps his sister will.

9. Atonement with the Father – In this stage, the hero must confront and be initiated by whoever holds the ultimate power in their life. Luke battles Darth Vader and once again is on the losing side of the fight. Nearing death from the Emperor’s attacks, Luke begs his father to help save him from certain death.

Star-Wars-Trivia-Original-Ending-Luke-Dark-Side

Anakin & Luke Meet for the 1st Time

10. Apotheosis – The spiritual death and rebirth of the hero. Darth Vader hears his son’s cries for help and returns to the light, deciding to destroy the Emperor in a self sacrificial action. By bringing his father back to the light, Luke has finally become a true jedi.

11. The Ultimate Boon – The stage of achievement of the goal. Luke is a jedi, has defeated the Empire, the dark side, saved his father, and all his friends and family are safe.

12. Refusal of the Return – The hero basking in their newly found bliss, may not want to return to their previous life and share this bliss with his fellow man. Luke does the opposite of this, upon his reunification with his friends, he shares with Leia that they are siblings. He then goes on to train her and new jedi in the ways of the force.

Stage 3: Return

13. The Magic Flight – The daring escape made after obtaining the boon. Luke carries his fathers body onto a transport and flees the Death Star before its complete destruction.

The Return

The Millennium Falcon in Magical Flight

14. Rescue from Without – When powerful guides or mentors help bring the hero back to normal life. When Anniken, Obi-Wan, and Yoda appear from the ether to acknowledge Luke and his newfound jedi knighthood.

15. Crossing the Return Threshold – Retaining, integrating, and sharing wisdom learned on the quest. Luke shares his knowledge of the force with future jedi.

16. Master of Two Worlds – The hero has achieved a balance between the material and spiritual world. Luke has sorted all of his family issues, become a man and a jedi.

17. Freedom to Live – By becoming a master of the two worlds, the hero is free from regrets of the past and worries of the future, this leaves them to live in the moment. Luke has resolved all the  conflicts in his life, he is free to live at one with the force.

Each of Us are the Heroes in Our own Journey

The Monomyth is a method of story telling that is innate to humans. Cultures from around the world share it’s structure in their stories. Every human, whether they are aware of it or not, is on their own hero’s journey. By studying Joseph Campbell’s work we can better our own understanding of the tests, trials, and progress along our journey.

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Tamlorn Chase

Tamlorn Chase hails from the coastal town of Santa Barbara, where he works as a wilderness guide, wildlife filmmaker, and environmental activist. Protecting the natural world is his profession and passion.

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12 Hero’s Journey Stages Explained (+ Free Templates)

From zero to hero, the hero’s journey is a popular character development arc used in many stories. In today’s post, we will explain the 12 hero’s journey stages, along with the simple example of Cinderella.

The Hero’s Journey was originally formulated by American writer Joseph Campbell to describe the typical character arc of many classic stories, particularly in the context of mythology and folklore. The original hero’s journey contained 17 steps. Although the hero’s journey has been adapted since then for use in modern fiction, the concept is not limited to literature. It can be applied to any story, video game, film or even music that features an archetypal hero who undergoes a transformation. Common examples of the hero’s journey in popular works include Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, The Hunger Games and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

  • What is the hero's journey?

Stage 1: The Ordinary World

Stage 2: call of adventure, stage 3: refusal of the call, stage 4: meeting the mentor, stage 5: crossing the threshold, stage 6: tests, allies, enemies, stage 7: the approach, stage 8: the ordeal, stage 9: reward, stage 10: the road back, stage 11: resurrection, stage 12: return with the elixir, cinderella example, campbell’s 17-step journey, leeming’s 8-step journey, cousineau’s 8-step journey.

  • Free Hero's Journey Templates

What is the hero’s journey?

The hero’s journey, also known as the monomyth, is a character arc used in many stories. The idea behind it is that heroes undergo a journey that leads them to find their true selves. This is often represented in a series of stages. There are typically 12 stages to the hero’s journey. Each stage represents a change in the hero’s mindset or attitude, which is triggered by an external or internal event. These events cause the hero to overcome a challenge, reach a threshold, and then return to a normal life.

The hero’s journey is a powerful tool for understanding your characters. It can help you decide who they are, what they want, where they came from, and how they will change over time. It can be used to

  • Understand the challenges your characters will face
  • Understand how your characters react to those challenges
  • Help develop your characters’ traits and relationships

Hero's Journey Stages

In this post, we will explain each stage of the hero’s journey, using the example of Cinderella.

You might also be interested in our post on the story mountain or this guide on how to outline a book .

12 Hero’s Journey Stages

The archetypal hero’s journey contains 12 stages and was created by Christopher Vogler. These steps take your main character through an epic struggle that leads to their ultimate triumph or demise. While these steps may seem formulaic at first glance, they actually form a very flexible structure. The hero’s journey is about transformation, not perfection.

Your hero starts out in the ordinary world. He or she is just like every other person in their environment, doing things that are normal for them and experiencing the same struggles and challenges as everyone else. In the ordinary world, the hero feels stuck and confused, so he or she goes on a quest to find a way out of this predicament.

Example: Cinderella’s father passes away and she is now stuck doing chores and taking abuse from her stepsisters and stepmother.

The hero gets his or her first taste of adventure when the call comes. This could be in the form of an encounter with a stranger or someone they know who encourages them to take a leap of faith. This encounter is typically an accident, a series of coincidences that put the hero in the right place at the right time.

Example: An invite arrives inviting the family to a royal ball where the Prince will choose a wife.

Some people will refuse to leave their safe surroundings and live by their own rules. The hero has to overcome the negative influences in order to hear the call again. They also have to deal with any personal doubts that arise from thinking too much about the potential dangers involved in the quest. It is common for the hero to deny their own abilities in this stage and to lack confidence in themselves.

Example: Cinderella accepts the call by making her own dress for the ball. However, her stepmother refuses the call for her by not letting her go to the ball. And her step-sisters ruin her dress, so she can not go.

After hearing the call, the hero begins a relationship with a mentor who helps them learn about themselves and the world. In some cases, the mentor may be someone the hero already knows. The mentor is usually someone who is well-versed in the knowledge that the hero needs to acquire, but who does not judge the hero for their lack of experience.

Example: Cinderella meets her fairy godmother who equips her with everything she needs for the ball, including a dress and a carriage.

The hero leaves their old life behind and enters the unfamiliar new world. The crossing of the threshold symbolises leaving their old self behind and becoming a new person. Sometimes this can include learning a new skill or changing their physical appearance. It can also include a time of wandering, which is an essential part of the hero’s journey.

Example: Cinderella hops into the carriage and heads off to the ball. She has transformed from a servant into an elegant young lady. 

As the hero goes on this journey, they will meet both allies (people who help the hero) and enemies (people who try to stop the hero). There will also be tests, where the hero is tempted to quit, turn back, or become discouraged. The hero must be persistent and resilient to overcome challenges.

Example: At the ball, Cinderella meets the prince, and even see’s her stepmother and stepsister. She dances with Prince all night long making her step-sisters extremely jealous.

The hero now reaches the destination of their journey, in some cases, this is a literal location, such as a cave or castle. It could also be metaphorical, such as the hero having an internal conflict or having to make a difficult decision. In either case, the hero has to confront their deepest fears in this stage with bravery. In some ways, this stage can mark the end of the hero’s journey because the hero must now face their darkest fears and bring them under control. If they do not do this, the hero could be defeated in the final battle and will fail the story.

Example: Cinderella is having a great time at the ball and nearly forgets about the midnight rule. As she runs away in a hurry, her glass slipper falls off outside the palace.

The hero has made it to the final challenge of their journey and now must face all odds and defeat their greatest adversary. Consider this the climax of the story. This could be in the form of a physical battle, a moral dilemma or even an emotional challenge. The hero will look to their allies or mentor for further support and guidance in this ordeal. Whatever happens in this stage could change the rest of the story, either for good or bad. 

Example: Prince Charming looks all over the kingdom for the mysterious girl he met at the ball. He finally visits Cinderella’s house and tries the slippers on the step-sisters. The prince is about to leave and then he sees Cinderella in the corner cleaning.

When the hero has defeated the most powerful and dangerous of adversaries, they will receive their reward. This reward could be an object, a new relationship or even a new piece of knowledge. The reward, which typically comes as a result of the hero’s perseverance and hard work, signifies the end of their journey. Given that the hero has accomplished their goal and served their purpose, it is a time of great success and accomplishment.

Example: The prince tries the glass slipper on Cinderella. The glass slipper fits Cinderella perfectly, and they fall in love.

The journey is now complete, and the hero is now heading back home. As the hero considers their journey and reflects on the lessons they learned along the way, the road back is sometimes marked by a sense of nostalgia or even regret. As they must find their way back to the normal world and reintegrate into their former life, the hero may encounter additional difficulties or tests along the way. It is common for the hero to run into previous adversaries or challenges they believed they had overcome.

Example: Cinderella and Prince Charming head back to the Prince’s castle to get married.

The hero has one final battle to face. At this stage, the hero might have to fight to the death against a much more powerful foe. The hero might even be confronted with their own mortality or their greatest fear. This is usually when the hero’s true personality emerges. This stage is normally symbolised by the hero rising from the dark place and fighting back. This dark place could again be a physical location, such as the underground or a dark cave. It might even be a dark, mental state, such as depression. As the hero rises again, they might change physically or even experience an emotional transformation. 

Example: Cinderella is reborn as a princess. She once again feels the love and happiness that she felt when she was a little girl living with her father.

At the end of the story, the hero returns to the ordinary world and shares the knowledge gained in their journey with their fellow man. This can be done by imparting some form of wisdom, an object of great value or by bringing about a social revolution. In all cases, the hero returns changed and often wiser.

Example: Cinderella and Prince Charming live happily ever after. She uses her new role to punish her stepmother and stepsisters and to revitalise the kingdom.

We have used the example of Cinderella in Vogler’s hero’s journey model below:

stages of hero's journey beowulf

Below we have briefly explained the other variations of the hero’s journey arc.

The very first hero’s journey arc was created by Joseph Campbell in 1949. It contained the following 17 steps:

  • The Call to Adventure: The hero receives a call or a reason to go on a journey.
  • Refusal of the Call: The hero does not accept the quest. They worry about their own abilities or fear the journey itself.
  • Supernatural Aid: Someone (the mentor) comes to help the hero and they have supernatural powers, which are usually magical.
  • The Crossing of the First Threshold: A symbolic boundary is crossed by the hero, often after a test. 
  • Belly of the Whale: The point where the hero has the most difficulty making it through.
  • The Road of Trials: In this step, the hero will be tempted and tested by the outside world, with a number of negative experiences.
  • The Meeting with the Goddess: The hero meets someone who can give them the knowledge, power or even items for the journey ahead.
  • Woman as the Temptress: The hero is tempted to go back home or return to their old ways.
  • Atonement with the Father: The hero has to make amends for any wrongdoings they may have done in the past. They need to confront whatever holds them back.
  • Apotheosis: The hero gains some powerful knowledge or grows to a higher level. 
  • The Ultimate Boon: The ultimate boon is the reward for completing all the trials of the quest. The hero achieves their ultimate goal and feels powerful.
  • Refusal of the Return: After collecting their reward, the hero refuses to return to normal life. They want to continue living like gods. 
  • The Magic Flight: The hero escapes with the reward in hand.
  • Rescue from Without: The hero has been hurt and needs help from their allies or guides.
  • The Crossing of the Return Threshold: The hero must come back and learn to integrate with the ordinary world once again.
  • Master of the Two Worlds: The hero shares their wisdom or gifts with the ordinary world. Learning to live in both worlds.
  • Freedom to Live: The hero accepts the new version of themselves and lives happily without fear.

David Adams Leeming later adapted the hero’s journey based on his research of legendary heroes found in mythology. He noted the following steps as a pattern that all heroes in stories follow:

  • Miraculous conception and birth: This is the first trauma that the hero has to deal with. The Hero is often an orphan or abandoned child and therefore faces many hardships early on in life. 
  • Initiation of the hero-child: The child faces their first major challenge. At this point, the challenge is normally won with assistance from someone else.
  • Withdrawal from family or community: The hero runs away and is tempted by negative forces.
  • Trial and quest: A quest finds the hero giving them an opportunity to prove themselves.
  • Death: The hero fails and is left near death or actually does die.
  • Descent into the underworld: The hero rises again from death or their near-death experience.
  • Resurrection and rebirth: The hero learns from the errors of their way and is reborn into a better, wiser being.
  • Ascension, apotheosis, and atonement: The hero gains some powerful knowledge or grows to a higher level (sometimes a god-like level). 

In 1990, Phil Cousineau further adapted the hero’s journey by simplifying the steps from Campbell’s model and rearranging them slightly to suit his own findings of heroes in literature. Again Cousineau’s hero’s journey included 8 steps:

  • The call to adventure: The hero must have a reason to go on an adventure.
  • The road of trials: The hero undergoes a number of tests that help them to transform.
  • The vision quest: Through the quest, the hero learns the errors of their ways and has a realisation of something.
  • The meeting with the goddess: To help the hero someone helps them by giving them some knowledge, power or even items for the journey ahead.
  • The boon: This is the reward for completing the journey.
  • The magic flight: The hero must escape, as the reward is attached to something terrible.
  • The return threshold: The hero must learn to live back in the ordinary world.
  • The master of two worlds: The hero shares their knowledge with the ordinary world and learns to live in both worlds.

As you can see, every version of the hero’s journey is about the main character showing great levels of transformation. Their journey may start and end at the same location, but they have personally evolved as a character in your story. Once a weakling, they now possess the knowledge and skill set to protect their world if needed.

Free Hero’s Journey Templates

Use the free Hero’s journey templates below to practice the skills you learned in this guide! You can either draw or write notes in each of the scene boxes. Once the template is complete, you will have a better idea of how your main character or the hero of your story develops over time:

The storyboard template below is a great way to develop your main character and organise your story:

stages of hero's journey beowulf

Did you find this guide on the hero’s journey stages useful? Let us know in the comments below.

Hero’s Journey Stages

Marty the wizard is the master of Imagine Forest. When he's not reading a ton of books or writing some of his own tales, he loves to be surrounded by the magical creatures that live in Imagine Forest. While living in his tree house he has devoted his time to helping children around the world with their writing skills and creativity.

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Hero’s Journey: A Guide to Becoming The Hero Of Your Story

What will your story be?

Be the hero of your story . It’s common advice from motivational speakers and life coaches, a call to arms to take centre stage and tackle life’s challenges head-on, to emerge victorious in the face of adversity, to transform through hardship. 

As humans, hardwired to view the world and share experiences through the medium of stories, myths often act as powerful motivators of change. From ancient cave paintings to the Star Wars and its Death Star to Harry Potter and his battle against evil, the hero’s journey structure is a familiar one. It’s also one you need to know if you want to know how to write a book , but I digress. 

This article will outline the stages, and psychological meaning, of the 12 steps of Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey. So, are you ready to become the hero of your story? Then let the adventure begin…

Who is Joseph Campbell? 

Joseph Campbell was an American professor of literature at Sarah Lawrence College, and an expert of mythology that once spent five years in a rented shack, buried in books for nine hours each day. His greatest contribution is the hero’s journey, outlined in his book The Hero with A Thousand Faces . Campbell was able to synthesise huge volumes of heroic stories, distilling a common structure amongst them.

Near the end of his life, Campbell was interviewed by Bill Moyers in a documentary series exploring his work, The Power of Myth .

Throughout their discussion, Campbell highlighted the importance of myth not just in stories, but in our lives, as symbols to inspire us to flourish and grow to our full potential.

How is the hero’s journey connected to self development?

You might be wondering what storytelling has to do with self-development. Before we dive into the hero’s journey (whether that is a male or a female hero’s journey), context will be useful. Joseph Cambell was heavily inspired by the work of Carl Jung, the groundbreaking psychologist who throughout his life worked on theories such as the shadow, collective unconscious, archetypes, and synchronicity.

the hero's journey steps

Jung’s greatest insight was that the unconscious is a vast, vibrant landscape, yet out sight from the ordinary conscious experience. Jung didn’t only theorize about the unconscious; he provided a huge body of work explaining the language of the unconscious, and the way in which it communicates with the conscious mind.

The nature of the unconscious

Due to its vast nature, the unconscious doesn’t operate like the conscious mind, which is based in language, logic, and rationality. The unconscious instead operates in the imaginal realm — using symbols and meaning that take time to be deciphered and understood consciously. Such symbols surface in dreams, visualizations, daydreams, or fantasies.

For Jung, the creative process is one in which contents of the unconscious mind are brought to light. Enter storytelling and character development — a process of myth-making that somehow captures the truth of deep psychological processes. 

Campbell saw the power of myth in igniting the unconscious will to grow and live a meaningful life. With that in mind, his structure offers a tool of transformation and a way to inspire the unconscious to work towards your own hero’s journey.

The 12 steps of the hero’s journey

The hero’s journey ends where it begins, back at the beginning after a quest of epic proportions. The 12 steps are separated into three acts: 

  • departure (1-5)
  • initiation (5-10)
  • return (10-1)

The hero journeys through the 12 steps in a clockwise fashion. As Campbell explains:

“The usual hero adventure begins with someone from whom something has been taken, or who feels there is something lacking in the normal experience available or permitted to the members of society. The person then takes off on a series of adventures beyond the ordinary, either to recover what has been lost or to discover some life-giving elixir. It’s usually a cycle, a coming and a returning.”

Let’s take a closer look at each of the steps below. Plus, under each is a psychological symbol that describes how the hero’s journey unfolds, and how when the hero ventures forth, he undergoes an inner process of awakening and transformation.

1. The ordinary world

The calm before the storm. The hero is living a standard, mundane life, going about their business unaware of the impending call to adventure. At this point, the hero is portrayed as very, very human. There could be glimpses of their potential, but these circumstances restrict the hero from fulfilling them. Although well within the hero’s comfort zone, at this stage, it’s clear something significant is lacking from their life.

Psychological symbol

This is represented as a stage of ignorance, pre-awakening. Living life by the status quo, on other people’s terms, or simply without questioning if this is what you want. At this point life is lived, but not deeply satisfying.

2. Call to adventure

Next is a disruption, a significant event that threatens the ways things were. This is a challenge that the hero knows deep down will lead to transformation and change, and that the days of normality, “the way things are,” are numbered. The hero confronts the question of being asked to step into their deeper potential, to awaken the power within, and to enter a new, special world.

Many of us embark on inner-journeys following hardship in life — the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, physical or mental illness. This stage occurs when it becomes apparent that, to move through suffering, one has to look within, to adventure into the soul.

3. Refusal of the call

No compelling story would be complete without friction. The hero often resists this call to adventure, as fear and self-doubt surface at full force, and the purpose of this new life direction is questioned. Can the reluctant hero journey forth? Do they have the courage?

The only way to grow and live a deeply fulfilling life is to face the discomfort of suffering. Campbell himself once said: “ The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek .” At this stage, fears, and anxieties about delving deep into the psyche arise. The temptation is to remain blissfully ignorant, to avoid discomfort, and to stay in your familiar world.

4. Meeting a mentor

As the hero faces a crisis of confidence , a wise mentor figure appears.

hero's journey steps

This character offers inspiration, guidance, or understanding that encourages the hero to have the self-belief to start this new adventure. In many stories, a mentor is someone else who has embarked on the hero’s journey, or someone who attempted, and failed. This person reflects the importance of this mission, reminding the hero their calling far exceeds their fear.

When the journey of exploration has to begin, people or situations enter your life at just the right time, guiding you in the right direction. This could be a close friend, a peer, a professional, such as a coach or therapist, or even a fictional character in a film or book. In most cases, these are chance encounters that contain a sense of knowing before the hero leaves on his or her adventure.

5. Crossing the threshold

This is a pivotal moment in the hero’s journey, as the initiation begins. This occurs when the hero fully commits to their quest, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. This is the point of no return, where the reluctant hero embarks on their adventure, and has accepted that the way things were must change. The hero enters a new zone, one in which the call to adventure must be accepted. The hero’s resolve is hardened, and they understand they have a responsibility to confront what is ahead of them.

Whatever your life was before the call to action, this is a crossroads which is accepted, knowing your life may never be the same. This is a point of empowerment, where you realize that journeying within will lead you to greater self-understanding, even if those insights will dramatically change your life direction. 

6. Test, allies, enemies

Now the hero has ventured outside of their comfort zone, the true test begins. This is a stage of acclimatizing to unknown lands. Unknown forces work against them, as they form bonds with allies who join them along the way, or face formidable enemies or encounters that have to be conquered. Throughout this testing time, the hero will be shaped and molded through adversity, finding deeper meaning in their life and mission.

Once the journey of self-discovery is underway, the initial burst of inspiration might be tested by the difficulty of the task. You might meet people who are able to offer advice or guide you, or those who reflect areas of yourself you have to work on. 

Often, these are inner experiences, in the forms of memories, emotions, or outward tests, such as difficult circumstances that challenge your resolve and commitment to your new life direction.

7. Approach to the inmost cave

Having already crossed the threshold into the unknown and the uncertain, having faced obstacles and enemies, and having begun to utilize their qualities along the way, the next stage is another threshold. 

This is the beating heart of the hero’s challenge, where again self-doubt and fear can arise, as another threshold has to be crossed. This is often a period of respite, giving the hero time to pause and reflect. Will the hero make the leap?

The hero’s journey has ups and downs. There may be quick wins in the beginning — your new life direction may go well, or inner-work may lead you to a new place of calm or confidence. But then, out of nowhere, comes an even bigger challenge, surfacing as a question mark to the person you’ve become. Life often has a way of presenting the right challenges at the right time…

This is the life-or-death moment. This can be a meeting with an ultimate enemy or facing the hero’s deepest fear. There is an awareness that if the hero fails, their new world, or their life, could be destroyed. 

Everything the hero has fought for up to this point, all the lessons learned along the journey, all the hidden potentials actualized, will have to be utilized to survive this supreme ordeal, for the hero to be victorious. Either way, the hero will undergo a form of death, and leave the ordeal forever changed.

There are inner challenges that have to be confronted on the journey of self-discovery. This might be in the form of trauma that has to be confronted and healed, people with whom you have to have difficult conversations, or fears you have to face, actions that in the past you never thought you’d be capable of. But, with the skills you’ve learned along the way, this time you’ll be ready. But it won’t be easy.

9. Reward (seizing the sword)

Through great adversity comes triumph. Having confronted their greatest fear, and survived annihilation, the hero learns a valuable lesson, and is now fully transformed and reborn — with a prize as a reward. 

the hero's journey steps

This object is often symbolized as a treasure, a token, secret knowledge, or reconciliation, such as the return of an old friend or lover. This prize can assist in the return to the ordinary world — but there are still a few steps to come.

When confronting deep inner fears or challenges, you are rewarded with deep insights or breakthroughs. That might be in the form of achieving a significant goal or inwardly having a sense of peace or reconciliation with your past, or moments that have previously felt unresolved. As a spiritual process, this may also be the realization that behind suffering and pain lies freedom or inner peace.

10. The road back

Having traveled into distant, foreign lands and slain the dragon, now it’s time for the hero to make their return journey. This stage mirrors the original call to adventure and represents another threshold. 

The hero may be understanding their new responsibility and the consequences of their actions, and require a catalyst to make the journey back to the ordinary world with their prize.

The hard work has been done, the ultimate fear confronted, new knowledge found. Now, what’s the next step? For many, the initial stages of growth come with a period of renunciation or are symbolized by an outward journey away from home, or away from familiarity. 

Then comes the stage of returning to familiarity, or the things left behind — be it family, friends, locations, or even behaviors that were once loved and sacrificed during the journey.

11. Resurrection

When it appears the hero is out of the woods, there comes a final confrontation — an encounter with death itself. Transformed inwardly and with a personal victory complete, the hero faces a battle that transcends their individual quest, with its consequences far-reaching, for entire communities or even humanity itself. 

heroes journey

This purification solidifies the hero’s rebirth, as their new identity fully emerges just in time to return to the ordinary world.

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is secondary to self-transcendence. In other words, once inner battles have been faced, and the alchemy of psychological transformation is underway, the next stage is to apply the newfound insights and knowledge to a bigger cause — supporting others, or standing up a mission that will benefit the wider world.

12. Return with the elixir

Following the final battle, the hero finally returns home. By now, personal transformation is complete, they’re returning home a different person. Having faced indescribable hardship, the hero returns with added wisdom and maturity. The elixir is the treasure they’ve returned with, ready to share with the ordinary world. This could be a sense of hope , freedom, or even a new perspective to assist those originally left behind.

The hero has a new level of self-awareness, seeing the ordinary world through fresh eyes. They’ve left internal conflict behind. There’s an understanding that things will never be the same, but that the hero’s journey was part of their destiny. 

Then comes the ultimate prize: a final reconciliation, acceptance from the community, celebration, redemption. Whatever the prize, there are three elements: change , success , and proof of the journey .

Following a transformative psychic process, there’s an understanding of what is within your control. The “ordinary world” may have many elements that remain the same, but this is accompanied by a realization that when you change, so does your reality. Previously modes of thinking may be replaced, as bridges are built with your past, giving opportunity for a renewed approach to life.

What can we learn from the hero’s journey?

At the time of writing this article, I’m in the UK visiting my family for the first time in 18 months. As I walked down paths I’d walked throughout my childhood, I was struck by how much I’ve changed over the years. A passage from T.S Eliot’s poem Little Gidding came to mind:

“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring. Will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the first time.”

I reflected on the notion of coming full circle — to begin a journey, outwardly or inwardly, before finding yourself back at the beginning, transformed. In spiritual traditions, the circle is a powerful symbol of timelessness, death and rebirth, totality, and wholeness. Aptly, the 12 steps of the hero’s journey are depicted as a circle. It’s not a coincidence.

What can we learn from the hero’s journey? In a way, it is similar to the writer’s journey. Above all else, it’s a reminder that we each within us have a purpose, a quest and a mission in this life that can and will invoke our truest potential. The path isn’t easy — there are many, many challenges along the way. But at the right time, people and situations will come to our aid.

If you’re able to confront the mission head-on and take bold steps along the way — just like all the heroes of fiction before you, from Shakespeare’s characters to Luke Skywalker and Rey from the universe brought to us by George Lucas —  then you will be transformed, and then you can return to where you started, reborn, ready to share your gifts and your lessons with the world.

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Author exploring the soul of self-development, the mystery of existence, and the heartful path to maximising the human potential. Get your free copy of my book, Mindsets for Mindfulness , for practical guidance to overcome the ego on the journey of growth. More at MindThatEgo .com and on YouTube .

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IMAGES

  1. Week 1: Beowulf and the Hero's Journey

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  2. 12 Hero's Journey Stages Explained (Free Templates)

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  3. Beowulf

    stages of hero's journey beowulf

  4. Beowulf Hero's Journey Summary Storyboard

    stages of hero's journey beowulf

  5. Beowulf Hero's Journey Storyboard Part Two Storyboard

    stages of hero's journey beowulf

  6. Stages of a Hero's Journey in Beowulf by Ian Zakos

    stages of hero's journey beowulf

VIDEO

  1. Beowulf (Characters+Story)

  2. Beowulf Auriga

  3. Hero of Aetheric

  4. The Legendary Hero: Beowulf and the Tale of Courage"

  5. the hero's journey

  6. Финальная Арка Белобога

COMMENTS

  1. Beowulf's Heroic Journey

    After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.) Student Instructions. Use the story of Beowulf and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey. Click "Start Assignment". Depict and describe how the chosen character's story fits (or does not fit) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.

  2. Beowulf Hero's Journey Flashcards

    Beowulf's fight with Grendel's mom in her cave under the acid water. Beowulf offers the head of Grendel to Hrothgar and in return he receives treasures. Beowulf goes back to Geatland, shares his treasure, and eventually becomes king, ruling for 50 years. Beowulf gives up his crown to become a warrior again and goes to fight the dragon He kills ...

  3. The Hero's Journey: Examples of Each Stage

    Reviewing hero's journey examples can simplify this concept and aid in understanding. Explore each step of the journey and clear examples. ... You'll recognize the following stages: Ordinary world - Greatland is Beowulf's ordinary world. Call to adventure - Beowulf heard stories of Grendel, who had killed many men. ...

  4. Is Beowulf a Hero? 7 Stages of the Heroic Journey for a Hero ...

    7 Stages of the Heroic Journey. 1. call to adventure. 2. reversal of fortune. 3. tests and helpers. 4. triumph. 5. hero is called to help again. 6. hero is no longer the warrior he once was. 7. hero's failure. Ultimately, Beowulf is not a triumphant hero, as he does not defeat his final foe; however, he is a tragic hero and his story follows ...

  5. Analysis of the 12 Steps of Hero's Journey in Beowulf

    The writer skillfully traces Beowulf's progression through the stages of the hero's journey, including the call to adventure, facing challenges, and receiving rewards. The essay demonstrates a thorough understanding of the epic poem's narrative structure, highlighting key moments and passages to support each stage of the journey.

  6. Stages of a Hero's Journey in Beowulf by Ian Zakos on Prezi

    Stage 5: Crossing the Threshold. First happened when Beowulf was staking out Grendel in the mead hall. Was the first example of an epic battle in Beowulf. "They knew too well the way it was before, how often the Danes had fallen prey to death in the mead-hall. But the Lord was weaving a victory on his war-loom for the weather-geats" Lines 693-697.

  7. Hero's Journey Stages- Beowulf Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like "Heard how Grendel filled nights with horror and quickly commanded a boat fitted out.", "Then he stepped to another still body, clutched at Beowulf with his claws, grasped at a strong-hearted wakeful sleeper- and was instantly seized himself, claws bent back as Beowulf leaned up on one arm.", "He twisted in pain, and the bleeding ...

  8. What is a Hero's Journey? (Beowulf)

    What exactly is a "Hero's Journey"? In this video, it will describe the process of a Hero's Journey and have examples from the famous poem, Beowulf. This vid...

  9. 12 STAGES OF HERO'S JOURNEY by Myiah Jordan on Prezi

    12 STAGES OF HERO'S JOURNEY: Beowulf STAGE 5: Crossing the first Threshold STAGE 2: The "Call" to Adventure STAGE 1: Life in the Ordinary World When Beowulf hears about the trouble with Grendel. When Beowulf goes on a journey to Danes. Beowulfs ordinary world is Geat. STAGE 7:

  10. Beowulf- Hero's Journey by Ashley Deaner on Prezi

    Works Cited Return Beowulf- Hero Journey "Approach" Photograph. Beowulf blogpost. Web. 25 Sept. 2014 "Beowulf" Photograph. Screen Rant. Web. 23 Sept. 2014 "Beowulf's Boat" Photograph. TNation. Web. 24 Sept. 2014 "Death" Photograph. Quilds Outpost.Web. 28 Sept. 2014 "Ending"

  11. Beowulf and the Hero's Journey

    The poem Beowulf is known to follow the adventure of the hero described in Campbell's monomyth. The hero's journey consists of three rites of passages: separation, initiation, and return. Beowulf endures each of these stages throughout the epic poem, so his journey does follow Campbell's monomyth. The separation is the first stage a hero ...

  12. Hero's Journey

    The Hero's Journey Beowulf. Worksheets and Handouts . beowulf__raffel_translation_.pdf: File Size: 6506 kb: File Type: pdf: Download File. pre-reading_questions.docx: File Size: ... Stages of the Hero's Journey. The Monster Grendel Sections 1-3. Arrival of the Hero Sections 4-5 . Unferth's Challenge Sections 6-7.

  13. PDF The Hero'S Journey: Beowulf, Film, and Masculinity Katherine Marie Ismeurt

    process of the hero's journey. Beowulf as a text and film version provide an excellent starting point for tracing the process that a male character must go through in order to properly become a hero. I will examine this process in both of these versions of the story through a Jungian psychoanalytical lens.

  14. Hero's journey

    Illustration of the hero's journey. In narratology and comparative mythology, the hero's journey, also known as the monomyth, is the common template of stories that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, is victorious in a decisive crisis, and comes home changed or transformed.. Earlier figures had proposed similar concepts, including psychoanalyst Otto Rank and amateur anthropologist Lord ...

  15. PDF Exploring the 12 Stages of the Hero's Journey

    And if they take on that case, they're going to be at risk. So whether you employ all twelve steps of Vogler's Hero's Journey stages or not, the Refusal of the Call to Adventure can help to amp up your tension and conflict by raising the risks and stakes involved. 3. To Create Empathy and Character Depth.

  16. The Story of Beowulf: A Hero's Journey

    Unraveling the Epic Tale of Beowulf. George J. Kelley. November 17, 2023. Legends Mythology

  17. The Hero's Journey Explained: A Breakdown of its Different Stages

    That brings us to the different stages The Hero's Journey is divided into: The Ordinary World. The Call to Adventure. Refusal of the Call. Meeting with the Mentor. Crossing the Threshold to the Special World. Tests, Allies and Enemies. Approach to the Innermost Cave. The Ordeal.

  18. The Hero's Journey in Beowulf by Mikayla B on Prezi

    Beowulf L. 2575-2580. The captain of evil discovers himself in a handgrip harder than anything he had ever encountered in any man on the face of the earth. Every bone in his body quailed and recoiled, but he could not escape. He was desperate to flee to his den and hide with the devil's litter, for in all his days he had never been clamped or ...

  19. Hero's Journey: Get a Strong Story Structure in 12 Steps

    9. Reward (Seizing the Sword) In which the Hero sees light at the end of the tunnel. Our Hero's been through a lot. However, the fruits of their labor are now at hand — if they can just reach out and grab them! The "reward" is the object or knowledge the Hero has fought throughout the entire journey to hold.

  20. Joseph Campbell & The Hero's Journey

    Stage 1: Separation. In the first stage of the hero's journey, we find our protangonist living life in a typically mundane situation.The Star Wars, Luke Skywalker lives as a talented yet lowly and pretty damn whiny moisture farmer on Tatooine. Until… 1. Call to Adventure - By some chance the hero will become aware of information or actions that call for them to go on a quest.

  21. 12 Hero's Journey Stages Explained (+ Free Templates)

    12 Hero's Journey Stages Explained (+ Free Templates) December 19, 2022. From zero to hero, the hero's journey is a popular character development arc used in many stories. In today's post, we will explain the 12 hero's journey stages, along with the simple example of Cinderella. The Hero's Journey was originally formulated by American ...

  22. Hero's Journey: A Complete Guide to the Hero's Journey Steps

    The 12 steps of the hero's journey. The hero's journey ends where it begins, back at the beginning after a quest of epic proportions. The 12 steps are separated into three acts: departure (1-5) initiation (5-10) return (10-1) The hero journeys through the 12 steps in a clockwise fashion. As Campbell explains: