The Hero’s Journey

Authored by: Lily Alexander

The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638914
eBook ISBN: 9781315637525
Adobe ISBN:


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“The Hero’s Journey” (THJ) is a phrase coined by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces first published in 1949 (see also the revised 1968 edition, and collections: Campbell 1990, 2011). Quickly becoming a catchphrase and new critical idiom, THJ refers to a formula that has inspired and governed the best adventure stories ever written, as well as those filmed and scripted into the road movies, the space/time travel TV series and video games. Yet, what Campbell defined as THJ is pivotal to many realms of human existence and to a range of disciplines, including anthropology, psychology, education, social studies, and the scholarship on ritual and religion. Unsurprisingly, THJ has a vital significance to myth, literature, cinema, television, comic books, and interactive media.

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