an individual understands his/her responsibility; often a rite of passage into adulthood.
sometimes the initiate undergoes an ordeal and assumes a new role as an adult.
an extraordinary feat which must be accomplished to save the day.
the search for someone or something needed to save the day.
the difficulties which the hero must undergo to accomplish the task, usually involves traveling
an official ceremony; may be a part of the initiation or rite of passage
a loss of innocence or a fall from grace which often includes expulsion from paradise.
as in the cycles in nature; an actual spiritual death, equated with the seasons of fall and winter, evening.
again, like nature, renewal, equated with spring and summer, morning.
the joining, often of opposites, which restores peace.
battle between good and evil
we want good to win.
natural world vs. mechanical world
usually nature is good, technology is evil.
innate wisdom vs. educated stupidity
some characters, though ignorant, exhibit a natural wisdom. This is often shown in animals. Others, though educated, have no "street smarts" a make poor decisions.
may be physical or psychological
usually bestowed upon by a mentor to the hero
the gods help (or hurt) the hero
light vs. dark
light represents hope and illumination; dark indicates hopelessness and the unknown. Light shines from heaven=goodness, dark draws one into it=evil, sin
heaven vs. hell
supreme beings and mythological gods live in the skies; evil forces, including Satan, come from the underworld
haven vs. wilderness
havens are places of comfort and safety=Camelot and Garden of Eden. Wilderness is any place of danger
water vs desert
water is life; birth; rebirth and baptism vs. lack of life, desolation, and Jesus is tempted by Satan in the desert
fire vs ice
fire is knowledge and life vs iice represents ignorance and death
usually rises from a rather lowly birth to become a leader or king after facing many trials
young person from the provinces
taken from home and returns with a new perspective
innocents who train for the quest
teachers or counselors for the initiates
usually an older person who gives the hero wise counsel
protector of rituals and traditions
loyal to hero at all cost
a true and loyal friend; often a servant
a wise fool, a rascal, a troublemaker
evil figure with ultimately a good heart
redeems himself by the end of the story
sacrificed animal or human who takes on the sins and punishment for others
person banished from society
fate is against them
female character who provides life and nourishment
beautiful woman who brings about the distruction of the hero
the woman on a pedestal who inspires the hero, but with whom the hero has no physical relationship
a married woman involved in an illicit affair
damsel in distress
must be rescued by the hero, who is often trapped when he comes to her aide
monsters who threaten the hero