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The Hero’s Journey

Published June 13, 2016 by Susan Woodward

When beginning our work with the Cultural Mythology tales, we started with Joseph Campbell and The Hero’s Journey.

Using the following PowerPoint presentation, I walked them through the steps of The Hero’s Journey as they were taught to me.

The Hero’s Journey

After discussing the outline of the monomyth, the students worked to apply what they understood to their stories about Greek and Roman Heroes.  They talked about the ideas in their groups, and then each member focused on one of the three stages of the Hero’s Journey (Departure, Initiation, or Return). Each person’s job was to apply what they understood about that stage to the story they had read.

In an attempt to appeal to my more creative students who love to draw, each group created a poster for its chosen hero.  The posters were comprised of four parts:

  • a white sheet (at the top)- This was an “introduction” and contained the hero’s name, a brief synopsis of his journey, and three character traits (with supportive evidence) that the hero exhibited throughout his journey;
  • either a green (for growth) or a yellow (for knowledge) sheet- This represented the Departure stage. Students outlined the steps of the Departure as they understood them from the story; how did he need to grow? What knowledge was he attempting to attain?
  • either a red (for passion) or an orange (for creative ingenuity) sheet- This was to represent the Initiation state.  Again, students depicted the elements of the Initiation as they understood them on this sheet; how did he solve problems? What motivated him to continue?
  • either a blue (for truth) or a purple (for valor) sheet- This was to represent the Return stage.  And like the others, the students attempted to outline the Return stage as they understood it; what truth does he bring back to his people? How does he prove himself worthy of the title of hero? What has he accomplished for the good of all?

This is a few of their posters:

Aeneas EDITEDHercules EDITEDHercules Labors EDITEDOdysseus 2 EDITEDOdysseus EDITEDTheseus EDITED

Because many of the Greek heroes stories are intertwined, When I displayed them on the bulletin board, I fit them together like a puzzle. Each hero poster was taped together so that the finished product was almost diamond shaped; it made for easy jigsaw.

Greek Heroes Collage

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