We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is the Monomyth?

By S. Ashraf
Updated Feb 28, 2024
Our promise to you
LanguageHumanities is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At LanguageHumanities, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

"Monomyth," or hero’s journey, is a term used to describe a basic narrative pattern that is commonly found in many myths or stories told in a variety of cultures from around the world. The monomyth pattern was first described by Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Campbell noted that numerous myths from a variety of regions and historical times have some fundamental stages and structures in common. In all, he identified 17 different steps in a monomyth.

Only a very few myths include all 17 steps. Some myths might have many of the steps, and others have only a few. The 17 steps of the monomyth can be grouped into different sections. One of the most common groupings used is to divide the 17 steps into three stages.

The first stage is called departure. It begins when the hero becomes aware of a world outside the area where he or she has always lived. Usually, the hero receives a quest from a messenger who acts as a guide. Although a hero might refuse the quest, eventually he or she will be forced to leave either by events or supernaturally.

Once the hero's journey starts, he or she might meet with a messenger who gives the hero magical powers or a weapon. Next, the hero will need to cross a threshold, possibly guarded by a gatekeeper who must be defeated. After crossing the threshold, the hero finds himself or herself alone in a new world.

The second stage of the monomyth is referred to as initiation. In the new world, the hero faces a number of challenges or tests that make him or her more self-reliant by polishing his or her skills and improving his or her character. A male hero likely will encounter a woman who will either teach him the power of unconditional love or force him to overcome his selfishness and return to his quest.

In this stage, the hero might meet a father figure or mother figure with whom the hero needs to reconcile in order to understand himself or herself. As a result of these encounters, the hero reaches a new understanding of the purpose of life and himself or herself. At this point, the hero usually becomes a selfless person who puts others before himself or herself.

The final stage of the monomyth is return. After the quest is accomplished, the hero begins a return journey, usually accompanied by a protector. To complete the journey home, the hero must cross the threshold again and defeat another gatekeeper to become reborn. Upon return, the hero will have balanced his or her mind and character by understanding the differences between his or her home and the new world.

LanguageHumanities is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

LanguageHumanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

LanguageHumanities, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.