Quest Cycles Applying the Hero Quest to the crises in our lives Linda S. Griggs

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"We do not risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us."

Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth


Hero Quest Cycle

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hero quest cycle

Mythologist Joseph Campbell coined the term "hero quest" back in the 1940's, to describe the path followed by all the great heroes -- both ancient and modern.

Campbell sees this cycle in tales like that of Jason and the Golden Fleece, and in Parsifal's search for the Holy Grail. Talking with Bill Moyers, he uses Luke Skywalker's "Star Wars" adventure as a good example of the hero quest cycle -- pointing to how Luke gets the "call" from Obiwan and Princess Leah, gathers up Chewbaca and Han Solo, meets all those strange beings at the bar/threshold to space, battles Storm Troopers and other enemies in preparation for the big show down with Darth Vadar (his father), and finally returns to the world with the "boon of success" in that triumphant final celebration scene.

Campbell also sees the hero cycle in the details of Christ's death and resurrection. For Campbell, all great heroic action, regardless of the culture, can be described in terms of this cycle.


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