NOTE TO TEACHERS: Click here to download TWM’s Hero’s Journey Worksheet for movies that are works of fiction. Adapt this movie worksheet for the needs and abilities of the class.
This worksheet will help students trace the stages and identify the archetypes of the Hero’s Journey/Monomyth. It is based on the ideas of Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell, as developed and applied to film by Chris Vogler. The stages and archetypes of the Hero’s Journey set out below have been adapted from Vogler’s book The Writers Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers, 3rd Edition.
There are several formulations of the stages of the Hero’s Journey. One way to approach teaching the Hero’s Journey is to have students find at least two of the methods on the Internet, one suggested by Campbell and the other by Vogler. Alow students to choose and apply the system of analysis that they prefer. This can be done in groups or individually. TWM has used Vogler’s stages and his description of the archetypes, however, the section on the stages can be easily adapted to Campbell’s configuration.
This worksheet is designed to be used in conjunction with TWM’s Stages and Archetypes of the Hero’s Journey — Introducing the Monomyth. TWM lesson plans on the story of the quest are listed at Literature Subject Index. Each contains notes on responses to the questions set out below and assignments relating to the use of the Journey/Monomyth in the form it takes in the movie. Teachers will observe that TWM focuses on finding the story of the quest in films other than action/adventures to demonstrate that the Monomyth can be found in many different types of stories.
Many of the suggested questions have no single correct answer. For these, an acceptable response will be one which is supported by facts and reveals that the student is thinking about the story.
Modify the worksheet as necessary for the grade and ability level of the class. A form of the worksheet in Microsoft Word suitable to be modified and distributed to students can be found at Word Processing Version of the Worksheet. Depending on the sophistication of the class and its prior exposure to the Hero’s Journey, teachers may want to distribute the worksheet and review it with the class before showing the film. This will allow students to refer to prompts or make notes while watching. Teachers may want to conduct a short class discussion relating to how the Journey applies to the movie before the class watches the film, leaving a full explication for discussion after the movie has been shown. After the movie and the full discussion, allow students, individually or in groups, to respond to the questions in the worksheet. Alternatively, at the end of a unit on the Hero’s Journey, students can be asked to fill out the worksheet before any discussion and the responses can be used as a summative assessment to evaluate students’ understanding of the Hero’s Journey and its archetypes.
HERO’S JOURNEY WORKSHEET
Answer the questions below on a separate sheet of paper. Each answer should consist of one properly constructed paragraph that is free standing and which explains the reasons for the answer. Each response should cite evidence from the story to support its conclusion. For example, a paragraph on the stage of the Ordinary World for the movie “The Wizard of Oz” might be: “In the ‘Wizard of Oz’ the Ordinary World is a farm in Kansas inhabited by a young and untested Dorothy Gale who dreams of an exciting colorful life in the world beyond the gray drudgery of the life she sees around her. Despite the fact that Dorothy loves her guardians, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, the farm is a world that is unsuitable for Dorothy because it does not match Dorothy’s dreams. The Ordinary World becomes unbearable when Miss Gulch takes Toto, Dorothy’s beloved dog. This is the world to which a changed and self-assured Dorothy returns with the elixir of self-confidence.”
I. Write a short single-paragraph description of the Hero’s Journey described in this story. As you think about the story by responding to the other questions on this worksheet, you should feel free to revise your description of the journey.
II. For each stage of the Hero’s Journey describe the action of the film, if any, which manifests the stage. Specify the attributes of the stage to which these actions relate.
For any skipped stages, simply state that the stage is not contained in the quest shown in the film. Some stories of the Hero’s Journey appear to combine some of the stages. When that happens write one paragraph and indicate the stages to which it applies. The stages of the Hero’s Journey are briefly described below:
SECTION ONE — Introduction to Setting, Characters & Conflict
1. The Ordinary World;
2. The Call to Adventure;
3. Refusing the Call;
4. Meeting with the Mentor: and
5. Crossing the First Threshold.
SECTION TWO — Action, Climax, Triumph
6. Tests, Allies, and Enemies;
7. Approach to the Inmost Cave;
8. Ordeal; and
SECTION THREE — Resolution and Denouement
10. The Road Back;
11. Resurrection; and
12. Return with the Elixir.
III. Identify the archetypes of the Hero’s Journey that appear in the movie and, for each, describe the function it performs in telling the film’s story.
The following are the archetypes associated with the story of a quest.
1. The Hero;
2. The Mentor;
3. Threshold Guardians;
4. The Herald;
6. The Shadow; and
7. The Trickster.
IV. Describe any other archetypes that appear in the story and the functions they perform.
1. The father;
2. The mother;
3. The Child; and
4. The Maiden.