The Monomyth (The Hero's Journey): Home

An introduction to the framework of the traditional hero's adventure

What is the Monomyth?

The Monomyth is a term coined by Joseph Campbell. Commonly referred to as "The Hero's Journey," it examines the stages of the hero who goes on an adventure, faces a crisis and wins, then returns victorious. 

Why it Matters

The monomyth has continued importance as a tool for analysis, as well as a guide for creating narratives of all kinds. By charting a story along its stages, a user is able to ascertain what a story is lacking, as well as ensuring all of the important elements are included. The framework is currently being used in research, literary analysis, digital game design, advertising and marketing, as well as by screenwriters and authors. 

What Makes a Hero?

Connections to Myth, Folklore, & Religions

The monomyth was originally developed based on myths, folk tales, and religious stories from all over the world. This framework was built by Joseph Campbell upon the works of many scholars, including  Otto Rank, Lord Fraiser, and Vladimir Propp, and broke down the common features and elements of these memorable stories from mankind. 

Some traditional examples of the monomyth in myth, folklore, and religion are: the Odyssey, King Arthur, the Buddha, Sonjata, and Psyche. 

About This Project

This guide was created by 2019 GVSU Summer Library Scholar, Kristie DeVlieger. Kristie is a senior double majoring in Writing and English Literature. Through workshop sessions, writing groups, and as a fiction reader for Fishladder, she noticed a need for a tool to guide student writers, and believes the Monomyth may be a solution. Maya Hobscheid, Instructional Design Librarian, and Hazel McClure, Liberal Arts Department Head, were Kristie's library mentors. The University Libraries continues to maintain this guide while keeping the voice and intent of the original student creator intact. Please email the library with questions or concerns. More information about the GVSU Library Scholars Summer program is available on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship website.

  • Last Updated: Sep 24, 2020 6:21 PM
  • URL: https://libguides.gvsu.edu/monomyth