The Hero’s Journey
I chose the movie Hercules. He is the son of the Greek Good, Zeus. He is turned into half-god, half-mortal by evil Hades, God of the Underworld, who plans to overthrow Zeus. Hercules is raised on Earth and retains his god-like strength, but when he discovers his immortal heritage Zeus tell shim that to return to Mount Olympus he must become a True Hero. Hercules becomes a famous hero with the help of this friend Pegasus and his personal trainer, Phil the satyr. Hercules battles monsters, Hades and the Titans, but it is his self-sacrifice to rescue his love Meg which makes him a True Hero.
What elements of ‘the Heroes Journey’ are evident in your selected narrative media?
Stage One–Ordinary world:
A baby Hercules is born to Hera and Zeus, and later adopted by Amphitryon and his wife.
Stage Two-Call to adventure:
Hercules’s call to adventure is when he is told that he is a son of Olympus and goes off in search of answers. Then, he finds Zeus in the temple and Zeus tells him that he needs to prove himself a true hero and then he can join the gods on Mount Olympus.
Stage Three–Refusal of the call:
There isn’t really any refusal of the call on Hercules’s part, he was very eager!
Stage Four– Meeting with mentor:
Hercules, after Zeus’s advice, goes to see the famous hero trainer, Philoctetes. Phil, as Hercules comes to call him, becomes his mentor and friend, counseling him throughout the film.
Stage Five–Crosses the threshold:
When Phil decides that Hercules is ready to put his training into action they head out the Thebes, the city with many troubles, in desperate need of a hero.
Stage Six–Test, allies and enemies:
When Hercules arrives in Thebes Megara finds him and tells him that two kids have been trapped. So naturally Hercules goes to prove his heroism. Little did he know that hydra would be waiting in the cave. His first big test was defeat the beast.
Hercules keeps up his training for becoming a hero by defeating every monster that an angry Hades throws his way.
Stage Eight–Ordeal (Death & Rebirth):
When Hades comes and offers Hercules a deal, his strength for the release of Megara, Hercules willingly accepts, even though the Titans have risen and Hercules is the only one who could stop them. Then, Megara dies after saving Hercules.
Stage Nine-Reward (seizing the force):
Hercules sets out to save Megara, the girl he loves, from truly dying by going to the Underworld to get her soul.
Stage Nine-Road Back:
Hercules rescues Megara from the Underworld without dying.
Hercules, through showing true heroism by saving Megara, becomes a god and can finally live with the other gods on Mount Olympus.
Stage Eleven- Return with elixir:
Hercules, after thinking about it, decided that he wanted to remain mortal because even though he got what he wanted, becoming a god, he realizes that his love for Megara overshadowed everything and that he wanted to stay with her.
Which archetypal hero is featured?
In this case the archetypal hero that is featured is “the hero”. Hercules was a protagonist whose life was a series of well-marked adventures or circumstances. He bravely was trained and fought every monster that became in front of him to be a true hero. His ultimate goal was to become a god. He also gave his life for the girl that he loves and then stayed with her at the end on earth.
How does the hero change throughout the story?
At the beginning Hercules was born with the gods. Then he was adopted by Amphitryon and his wife. He became an apprentice of the famous hero trainer, Philoctetes. He got in love with Megara. He gave his life for Megara by going to the Underworld to rescue her soul. At the end, he becomes a true hero and one of the gods on Mount Olympus, but he decides to stay on Hearth with Megara.
What other archetypal characters are featured?
- The Task: In this case Hercules task was to become a true hero. He obtained this by giving his life for Megara.
- The initiation: We can see Hercules since he got born, and later when he grew up found out the true about him-self.
- The Journey: The journey of Hercules was to become a true hero so he can join the gods.
- The Fall: In this case I consider the fall when Hercules make a deal with Hades to give his powers away to save Megara. I couldn’t say that it was at the beginning when he was stolen to earth, because he was not aware of that.
- Death and Rebirth: This phase is familiarized when Hercules threw him-self to the lake of death to save Megara, and then he revived once he gained back his strengths again.
- Battle between Good and Evil: We can see this when Hercules fought every monster that Hades sent after him to kill him.
Archetypal Symbols and Associations:
- Light-Darkness: I assume that the light can be represented after Hercules gain the intellectual illumination when he became a god, and the darkness represents while he was on earth with out known his true origin. He was feeling despaired and had a sense of not belonging to earth.
- Supernatural Intervention: In this case Hercules had supernatural intervention of his father Zeus after he gave him some advises and Pegasus to protect him.
- Underworld: In this movie the Underworld is where Hades lives with the deaths.
- Heaven-Hell: They call “heaven” the Mount of Olympus where the gods were and “hell” the Underworld where Hades resides with all the deaths.
- The Crossroads: The crossroads in this case is when Hercules took the decision to give his life for Megara by jumping to the lake of death. This was the prove a true hero that he needed to become a god.
How does your selected narrative media represent Jung’s three basic myth archetypes (primordial, universal, recurrent)?
The primordial characteristic of Hercules was his strength. Since he was young he experienced a supernatural power that told him somehow he didn’t belong to earth. As he grew up he realizes that he is a son of the gods.
In this case the universal characteristics was the desire to find the true about one-self. Some time people feel like there are things in life that they are not really informed of. Hercules always wanted to find out why he was so different to the people around him. He was not sure either if he belongs to his current family neither.
Hercules as most of the people have been concerned with their creation and the meaning of their existence. This is a characteristic and concerns that is universal, therefore, archetypal.
How does it depict Jung’s ideas of the ‘Shadow’, the ‘Amina’, and the ‘Persona’? Does the hero/protagonist accomplish Jungian individuation? Why or why not?
As Jung suggested in his article “Carl Jung and Archetypes” the shadow; “the shadow holds emotions such as jealousy and repressed desires such as avarice, which most people would prefer not to recognize as apart of their being. The villain is a shadow character” (p. 4). In this case the villain character is Hades, Zeus brother. He always wanted to take control of the Mountain of Olympus, and jealous of his brother Zeus.
According to Jung in his article “Archetypal/Mythological/ Approaches to Literary Criticism” the anima; “is the feminine impulses within the male subconscious; nurturing, loving, emotional, sensitive, vulnerable” (p. 1). In this case the anima is Megara. She was the Hercules’ true love, and made him very emotional, and vulnerable. She helped Hercules to find his sensitive part of personality.
According to Jung persona; “Often the personal is perceived as quite different from one’s true self. The chief function of the persona is to mediate between the ego and the world outside” (p. 5.). In this case Hercules is the hero, and his is the persona character. Before he became a god, he had to live a mortal live which was the social personality or actor’s mask that everyone puts on the face of the world.
References: Jung C. “Carl Jung Archetypes” (p. 4). Jung C. “Carl Jung Archetypes” (p. 5). Jung C. “Archetypal/Mythological/Jungian Approaches to Literary Criticism” (p. 1).