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Monday, August 8, 2011


Mythic Journeys and Men Who Stare At Goats
By Leslie D. Soule

So I watched the movie The Men Who Stare at Goats, starring George Clooney. I didn’t think I’d like this movie, but it promised to be quirky, if nothing else – so I gave it a shot and watched it. Well, it didn’t take long before I began to recognize elements of the mythic “hero’s journey” in the plot. Also, it did have its funny moments – like seeing Ewan McGregor, Mr. Obi-Wan Kenobi himself, saying “But I don’t even know what a Jedi IS!”

Uh huh. Sure ya don’t. *wink*

Basically, the hero’s journey is the cycle that a character goes through in their quest to become a better version of themselves (or a worse version, if you’re like Darth Vader). In the beginning, we are introduced to someone who has either lost their way or has yet to find it. They are called to action, and usually they meet up with some sort of older, mentor figure. This stage is important because the hero is still weak and vulnerable. The mentor provides guidance and protection. But eventually, the mentor must leave and it is up to the hero to take over. Of course, this is after they’ve together hit a metaphorical “rock bottom” of existence and can go no further. Writers have come up with all sorts of clever ways to save their heroes from the pit of despair, including unbelievable and often hilarious incidences of Deus Ex Machina where they are saved by an incredibly fortunate turn of events.

Then it’s time for the EPIC BATTLE, where the forces of good must inevitably win or I throw the popcorn bucket at the movie screen and demand my ten dollars back. Just kidding.

But if you want to see an example of how the hero’s journey goes, leave a comment telling me what your favorite childhood television show was, and you’ll be entered to win an ebook copy of my mythological short story “Trial By Fire,” which released June 29.


Debby said...

Heroes and epics are so great. thanks so much
debby236 at gmail dot com

Dawn said...

The Hardy Boys ....thanks for sharing with us

shadow_kohler said...

my favorite tv show when i was younger was tales of the crypt! i love that show! :)