Analyze a Film Closely Following the Steps of Joseph Campbell’s Mythic Hero’s Journey





Analyze a Film Closely Following the Steps of Joseph Campbell’s Mythic Hero’s Journey

According to Campbell’s theory of the hero’s journey, the initiation stage follows departure. The first phase of initiation is the road of trials. This involves a chain of trials, which the hero has to undergo in order to achieve his or her goal. During this process, the leading actor makes several friends and enemies. Campbell asserts, “These trials are his personal evolution from personal limitations to unrealized potential” (Campbell 89). In Dark knight rises, Bruce’s business organizations experience economic failure and this ordeal creates enmity between him and Bane. The intense fight leaves him with severe injuries on his spine. Nonetheless, he still has some allies such as Fox who helps him throughout the trials (Rosen, Lucy, and Cohn 36).

The next initiation step entails meeting with the goddess. Campbell describes this woman as the hero’s sister, mother or lover. He explains the power of this female representative by claiming, “She is encompassing beauty, unrevealed mystery, and unification of good and evil” (Bloom, Harold, and Hobby 50). As a tool of molding the hero, this female figure may have a negative or positive effect on the champion. For example, in Dark knight rises, Selina entices Bruce into Bane’s trap. Although he gets back to his heroic path, he faces the consequences of his selfish pleasures (Rosen, Lucy and Cohn 36). Campbell terms women who lead men to sin as temptresses.

The sequence of the superman’s initiation stage ends with apotheosis. In this segment, the leading actor becomes conscious of the real meaning of existence. He or she also increases his or her focus on the ultimate goal. In The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell supports this assertion by stating, “the life-wish and death wish are the two drives that not only move the individual from within but also animate for him the surrounding world”(Campbell 150). This affirmation coincides with Bruce’s experience in the film. As he makes an effort to break out of prison, his fear of passing away increases. This appreciation of existence makes him highly focused on attaining freedom.

The last phase of a hero’s journey involves his or her return. One segment in this stage is the champion’s refusal to return. As Campbell phrases it, upon acclimatization to the new world, the hero views his or her former lifestyle as substandard. However, the hero has to return home despite this protest. The proceedings in the film support this assumption. For example, Bruce has no choice but to return to the outside world and face his challenges. For example, he has to fight his worst enemy, Bane. Despite his fear of death, he has to face Bane in order to prevent him from harming innocent civilians.

The next step is the magical flight. In this step, the leading actor has to use his newly earned powers for the benefit of the entire world (Greenwald 79). However, the success of his or her treasures depends on the strategies used to obtain these blessings. In Dark Knight Rises, Bruce risks his life in order to prevent Bane from detonating a bomb. He obtains help from various people such as Commissioner Gordon. This event supports Campbell’s hypothesis that relates a champion’s patronage from the public to his or her integrity.

Another step in the return segment of a hero’s journey is the aspect regarding mastery of the two worlds. Under this feature, the hero decides on various components of the human and divine worlds. It is at this point that the champion appreciates the connectivity between the two characteristics. Campbell supports his theory by stating,

“Freedom to pass back and forth across the world division, from the perspective of the apparitions of time to that of the causal deep and back—not contaminating the principles of the one with those of the other, yet permitting the mind to know the one by virtue of the other—is the talent of the master” (Campbell 213).

In the film, Bruce confirms this assertion by sacrificing his treasures for the sake of the less privileged. He transforms his home into an orphanage to cater for boys with no parents. This deed shows desirable skills in his words.



Works Cited

Bloom, Harold, and Blake Hobby. The Hero‘s Journey. New York: Bloom’s Literary Criticism, 2009. Print.

Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Novato, Calif: New World Library, 2008. Print.

Greenwald, Laura. Heroes with a Thousand Faces: True Stories of People with Facial Deformities and Their Quest for Acceptance. Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Clinic Press, 2007. Print.

Rosen, Lucy, and Scott Cohn. The Dark Knight Rises. New York, N.Y: Harper Festival, 2012. Print.

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