Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

Chad Yapyapan

Gerta Xhelo

Kirill Yeretsky

Matthew Winkler

Michael Feuser

Sound Designer
Stephen LaRosa

Wing Luo

Robertino Zambrano

Motion Graphics Animator


Additional Resources for you to Explore
The Hero Archetype in Literature, Religion, and Popular Culture: (along with a useful PowerPoint presentation teachers can download at this URL: )
Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (users embark on their own hero's journey):
An American Masters Lesson from PBS for Teachers on George Lucas, the Power of Myth, and the Hero's Journey:
And an interactive approach to the Hero's Journey:
And of course, information about Joseph Campbell's works on the subject, on the Joseph Campbell Foundation site:
The Hero With A Thousand Faces
The Hero's Journey (semi-biographical film):
Compare the stories of (a) Odin hanging from the world tree, Yggdrasil, (b) the Buddha seated under the Bodhi Tree, and (c) the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Do all of these religious episodes follow the pattern of the hero’s journey? Find a comparable story from another continent. Does it follow the hero’s journey pattern?
Challenge the paradigm. Is the hero’s journey formula so flexible that it can be applied to any story with a main character and a beginning-middle-end story arc? Try to identify a successful book or movie that defies the hero’s journey pattern. Consider how that story could be modified to conform to the hero’s journey. Compare the two versions.
Bill Moyers interviews Joseph Campbell
Video featuring respected screenwriter Chris Vogler's interpretation of Campbell's work
New Mexico State University iTunesU course on Mythology