The Hero's Journey Webquest

Introduction

The Hero's Journey is a writing mechanism quite literally as old as literature itself. While that specific term didn’t gain popularity until the mid-1900s, it was used through out history as one of, if not the most, common story structure.

In this WebQuest you’re going to go on your own little hero’s journey to discover the ins and outs of the concept, how to recognize it, adapt it, and re-work it. Let’s get started by watching this YouTube video going over the basics of The Hero’s Journey.

 

Consider this WebQuest your call to adventure. As your wise mentor it was my honor and duty to entrust you with the knowledge found in this introduction. So, get ready to plunge into the special world of the Task section. I know you can do it Hero.

Task

Welcome to the Special World! I hope you're ready Hero as you have many Trials ahead of you that will be crucial in your journey of understanding. Consider this your road map and things to think about as you move along.

1. Watch and read the following material to gain a deeper understanding of the Hero's Journey.

2. Think about how you could apply The Hero's Journey to texts you've engaged with. This can include things we've discussed in class, movies, video games, T.V. shows, and literally any kind of media you can think of.

3. As you burrow deeper into the hole of understanding, think about how the stories you've chosen break away from the formula.

4. The final words of wisdom I can give you before you face your trials is this, be ready to discuss all of this. You will be expected to write a paper detailing a piece of media of your choice and exploring it through the lens of the Hero's Journey. Consider that to be your "Returning with the Either" moment.

Process

Time for the real journey to begin. Your first task is sit through this monstrous 20 MINUTE VIDEO! If you manage to survive this you'll have a deeper understanding of what it means to recognize and break away from the Hero's Journey.

Congratulations on making it through that trial Hero. But much like the head on a Hydra, getting through one video only means there will be another one waiting to take its place. For this trial we will narrow your field of view and focus on the quintessential "modern" interpretation of the Hero's Journey.

These trials are tough, but you Hero, have proven yourself to be tougher. For that, I will reward you with this. A PDF of Joseph Campbell's The Hero With a Thousand Faces, the very genesis of the Hero's Journey. This is not required reading but if you have the time I recommend looking it over. Often times a hero must look to the past to gain wisdom for the future.

http://www.rosenfels.org/Joseph%20Campbell%20-%20The%20Hero%20With%20A%20Thousand%20Faces,%20Commemorative%20Edition%20%282004%29.pdf

Your final trial will be your most perilous. This info-graph will outline the Hero's Journey through the lens of Gilgamesh, one of the world's oldest pieces of literature. Do not underestimate the knowledge to be gained from this. The Hero's Journey has been an important part of story telling since story telling was invented.

https://coggle.it/diagram/WA0mxP_0faFnnBjt/t/gilgamesh's-hero's-journey

Evaluation

Well done Hero. You've overcome the trials laid before you and have obtained a deep understanding of the Hero's Journey. However, you aren't done quite yet. Though you have managed to best the challenges presented by the Special World, one task still remains. I told you from the beginning you would have to write a paper exploring the Hero's Journey through a piece of media of your choice. The time has come for you to begin that process.

Outline:

1. Write a 3-6 page paper discussing how a piece of media (book, movie, video game, etc.) explores the Hero's Journey. DO NOT just give me a summary of the story and say how each act is part of the Hero's Journey. Give me some insight, how does it break away from the formula, does it do anything different or interesting with it, are the characters confined to one role or do they fulfill multiply roles outlined in the Hero's Journey, etc. 

2. MLA format and citations, Times New Roman, 12-point font. As a side note, try to come up with a title that relates to the media you are exploring. Something more interesting than "The Hero's Journey and X"

3. Papers will be due 2 weeks after the assigning of this WebQuest.

4. Be careful about using Star Wars or Gilgamesh as your media of choice since they were outlined in this WebQuest. If you feel you have some grand insight on them that was not presented here, more power to you. But in general, I would recommend to steer away from these two.

Conclusion

By now I'm sure you're sick of having the Hero's Journey formula drilled into your skull. But through all the repetition I hope you were able to see the small differences that make the Hero's Journey such a ubiquitous and fascinating part of the writing process. Some call it inconsistent, some call it flexible but either way it is an essential building block of literature and one you will most assuredly be encountering for the rest of your life. 

Knowing all this you could say, your normal world might not be the same anymore.