The Hero With a Thousand Faces

Artists influenced by the work

In Pathways to Bliss: Mythology and Personal Transformation, a book drawn from Campbell's late lectures and workshops, he says about artists and the monomyth:

Artists are magical helpers. Evoking symbols and motifs that connect us to our deeper selves, they can help us along the heroic journey of our own lives. [...]

The artist is meant to put the objects of this world together in such a way that through them you will experience that light, that radiance which is the light of our consciousness and which all things both hide and, when properly looked upon, reveal. The hero journey is one of the universal patterns through which that radiance shows brightly. What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There's always the possibility of a fiasco. But there's also the possibility of bliss.[8]

The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced a number of artists, musicians, poets, and filmmakers, including Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, and George Lucas. Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, and Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead had long noted Campbell's influence and agreed to participate in a seminar with him in 1986, entitled "From Ritual to Rapture".[9]

Stanley Kubrick introduced Arthur C. Clarke to the book during the writing of 2001: A Space Odyssey.[10]

George Lucas' deliberate use of Campbell's theory of the monomyth in the making of the Star Wars movies is well documented. On the DVD release of the famous colloquy between Campbell and Bill Moyers, filmed at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch and broadcast in 1988 on PBS as The Power of Myth, Campbell and Moyers discussed Lucas's use of The Hero with a Thousand Faces in making his films.[11] Lucas himself discussed how Campbell's work affected his approach to storytelling and film-making.[12]

Dan Harmon, the creator of the TV show Community, has stated that he has used the monomyth as inspiration for his work.[13]

Christopher Vogler, a Hollywood film producer and writer, wrote a memo for Disney Studios on the use of The Hero with a Thousand Faces as a guide for scriptwriters; this memo influenced the creation of such films as Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. Vogler later expanded the memo and published it as the book The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers, which became the inspiration for a number of successful Hollywood films and is believed to have been used in the development of the Matrix series.

Novelist Richard Adams acknowledges a debt to Campbell's work, and specifically to the concept of the monomyth.[14] In his best known work, Watership Down, Adams uses extracts from The Hero with a Thousand Faces as chapter epigrams.[15]

Author Neil Gaiman, whose work is frequently seen as exemplifying the monomyth structure,[16] says that he started The Hero with a Thousand Faces but refused to finish it: "I think I got about half way through The Hero with a Thousand Faces and found myself thinking if this is true—I don't want to know. I really would rather not know this stuff. I’d rather do it because it's true and because I accidentally wind up creating something that falls into this pattern than be told what the pattern is."[17]

Many scholars and reviewers have noted how closely J. K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter books hewed to the monomyth schema.[18] To date, however, Rowling has neither confirmed that she used Campbell's work as an inspiration, nor denied that she ever read The Hero with a Thousand Faces.

The sixth and final season of Lost also recognizes Campbell's theories on the hero. During one of the bonus features, they discuss the journey of the main characters and how each is a hero in their own way. Before each little segment of this particular feature, they quote Campbell and then expound on that particular quote by discussing the various characters.

Singer Janelle Monáe, in the liner notes of her 2010 album, The ArchAndroid, cites Hero as one of her inspirations for the track "57821".

Mark Rosewater, head designer of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game, cites "The Hero's Journey" as a major inspiration for "The Weatherlight Saga", an epic storyarc that went from 1997 to 2001, and spanned multiple cardsets, comic books, and novels.

Jenova Chen, lead designer at thatgamecompany, also cites "The Hero's Journey" as the primary inspiration for the game Journey for PlayStation 3.[19]

This content is from Wikipedia. GradeSaver is providing this content as a courtesy until we can offer a professionally written study guide by one of our staff editors. We do not consider this content professional or citable. Please use your discretion when relying on it.