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Discover clues into the creation of popular stories: Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey," and more.
Mar 21, 2021
The Privileged Hero - Black Panther
A fight over the throne of Wakanda opposes two different ideas of justice. Revenge can be sweet but effective leadership requires more substance.
Feb 21, 2021
The Naive Hero - Clarice Starling
Clarice Starling doesn't have experience, but she has instinct and determination. She's going to need both to catch a killer and lots of help from a cannibal psychopath.
Jan 31, 2021
The Disguised Hero - Django
Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained touches on the harsh realities of human nature and the difficulties of going undercover.
Jan 3, 2021
The Shortsighted Hero - Mulan
Sometimes taking one's "place" in society requires breaking with tradition. In this adaption of an ancient Chinese tale, Mulan carves a place for herself but sets her aims low. Still, she serves as an example of courage in the struggle to be one's self.
Dec 12, 2020
The Stubborn Hero - Antigonê
Can a woman in ancient Greece win an argument and remain living? Sophocles has us pondering the ambiguity of right and wrong as the gods remain silent over human disputes.
Nov 14, 2020
The Incompetent Hero: Psyche
Ancient Roman author, Apuleius, makes his heroine the butt of a joke, but is Psyche as pathetic as she seems?
Oct 11, 2020
The Subversive Hero: Joker
The hero's journey can be used for villains, too, and it may have you rooting for the bad guy.
Sep 8, 2020
Fictionalizing a Hero: Hamilton
Creator Lin-Manuel Miranda makes strategic storytelling choices to keep viewers entertained as opposed to well-informed.
Aug 24, 2020
The Forgotten Hero: Theseus
Before George Washington and King Arthur, Theseus created a democracy and pulled a sword out a stone. He also made the Labyrinth famous.
Aug 3, 2020
The Killer Hero: Hercules
You think you know someone until you do a background check... A look at Hercules's punishment after killing his wife and young children using Joseph Campbell's Hero's Journey.
Jul 20, 2020
Creating the Chosen One: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
J.K. Rowling harnesses ancient myth for her Hero: Harry Potter, and psychologists explain why the hero's journey is so relatable.
Jul 7, 2020
Creating the Chosen One: The Matrix
Techniques from ancient myth help create Lana and Lilly Wachowski's hero: Neo. Another look at fate versus free will considers the role of society on individual thought.
Jul 7, 2020
Writing a Tragic Hero - Oedipus the King
Sophocles's legendary hero, Oedipus, and his struggles with fate as he unwittingly marries his own mother. Discover why this tragic character has endured for thousands of years.
Jul 5, 2020
How to Write a Hero: Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens
Rey's character, written by Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt, has her controversies. This episode compares the hero with her predecessors through plot structures and character archetypes found in ancient mythology.
Jul 5, 2020
How to Write a Hero: Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace
The trouble behind George Lucas's legendary hero: Anakin Skywalker. This episode compares the successes of A New Hope with The Phantom Menace through the findings of Joseph Campbell, Vladimir Propp, and Otto Rank from their research of ancient myths.
Jul 5, 2020
How to Write a Hero: Star Wars IV: A New Hope
The secrets behind George Lucas's legendary hero: Luke Skywalker. This "hero's journey" analyzed through the research of Joseph Campbell, Vladimir Propp, and Otto Rank compares to plot structures and character archetypes found in ancient myth.