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Title - Joseph Campbell's 12 steps of the Hero's Journey

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Question 1 - Choose one characters (Oedipus, Hamlet, Marlow, Kurtz, J. Alfred Prufrock) and Apply the 12 Steps of the Hero's Journey.

Answer - Joseph Campbell proposed a set of unique steps to understand the underlying monomyth in a Hero's Journey. He emphasized that there will be few distinct stages in each and every Hero's journey. The key phases of the journey include living an ordinary life in an ordinary world with out of balance or the order. Then there will be call for the adventure and he turns out to take up the adventure. However there will be denial at first for the call from the supernatural being or diety and later will hear to the mentor and follows it up. Later he moves ahead of the ordinary life limitations, crosses over the threshold of no returns and finally will perform heroic deeds and accomplishes what is set for him in this life. The following part of the write-up is presented to draw inference of hero's journey to the shakesphere character Hamlet.

Campbell's steps as applied to Hamlet:

Hamlet perfectly fits the 12 stages alleged by Campbell (Campbell 20). Hamlet is a tragic hero, who started ordinary life in an ordinary world, which is out of balance and order. This is the time when he receives the call for action from the supernatural. He doubted whether to accept the same or not. He ultimately moved forward for the call of duty and even sacrificed his life achieving the heroic status in life. This ultimately worked on to achieve the balance in world. For him the balance of the world mean restoring the justice and benefiting his kingdom and his people. However the life is not very harmonious for Hamlet, it is a tragic journey, wherein he moved ahead for avenging his murdered father, worked for confronting his immoral mother. Overthrown his uncle from the throne. During the course of time, Hamlet lost his life as well.

Separation

At the start of play, there is call for quest for Hamlet in an ordinary life and in an ordinary world, out of balance. Hamlet becomes cynical with untimely death of his father and premature marriage of his mother with his father's brother. The hero in Hamlet starts enlightened, once after confronting with the ghost of his father. His father's ghost revealed the unnatural cause of his death and this made Hamlet decided to take revenge on Claudius. Thereafter Hamlet accepts the call to set thing right.

Initiation

There is doubt and unbelief at the starting. He is not sure, whether the ghost is true and whether the information given by ghost is all truth. This created indecisiveness and subsequently caused tragic events and tragic deaths unfortunately. At some time in this initiation, Hamlet even turned to take up suicide, but later became consolidated to take up the quest. These are tests and challenges Hero encountered in his journey to reach the final destiny. Later Hamlet devises a play to test the confession of his father and got proof that he was true (Shakespeare 50). There is a mentor too in the journey, Archetypal aid and wise old man. There are foes too like Polonius, the loyal servant of Claudius. Killing of Polonius marked the first threshold, the point of no return to Hamlet. Later in the course of journey, to take avenge of his father death by killing his uncle. His worst obstacle came in the form of the son of Polonius, Laertes, who outraged at Hamlet for killing Polonius and causing the death of Ophelia. He is archetypal shadow of the main hero and the main hero is supposed to face that in any story.

Return

Finally Hamlet sacrificed his life and restored back the order in the ordinary world. The ultimate boom that enabled the return is the killing of the Claudius and restoring the order in the world. The end of the rotten state of affairs in Denmark is embarked by return of Hamlet. Hamlet has achieved true heroic status and became winner of the world, mastering the living world by getting forgiveness from Laertes for the murder of Claudius. Hero's journey is marked by freedom to live and freedom to die, for Hamlet it is the second one (Shakespeare 80).

Reflection:

Though it is a mythical interpretation, it has inferences to common person's life in general. A human psyche and interpretation to the daily challenges is what that can be observed from the story. Departure, Initiation and Return can be seen in daily lives while facing the challenges. Hamlet's journey is just an allegory for anyone's professional life in general. There occurs several phases in professional life, challenges similar to the objectives of the hero's journey, Lack of confidence and trust as in the case of barriers of separation from the ordinary life. Further moving ahead crossing the threshold, once moving out of that makes the journey analogous to initiation and return of the order and normalcy. The necessary motivation to be positive and go ahead in professional life can be obtained by interpreting the hero's journey phases to the occurrences one can see in life.

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Question 2 - Pick a poem or pair of poems and write an analytical essay describing your relationship to the poem(s).

Answer - Poem and relationship with life:

Author: Ashley Lipscomb

Why do I do this?

Why do I study all hours of the night?

Why do I put up such a fight?

I do it because one day I will celebrate new baby born

And one day help a family mourn.

It makes me have courage and determination

It teaches me how to handle my dissatisfaction

Some people will curse or bless you

But everyday they will teach you something new

That is why I study all night.

And, why I put us such a fight

Because one day, a nurse I will be

To help people like you and me.

The key theme of the poem is the self motivation of the nurse student to prepare for her future. She wants to get motivated to study all hours of night, by getting the inspiration to study from her vision of the future. Her vision that she can help someone in life and get appreciation and blessing, makes her move hard to take up the pain in the working. She works hard just to get her goal fulfilled. Her dissatisfaction is handled as well she derives the courage and determination to move forward from the spirit of satisfaction she is going to get by helping others in life as nurse. There are several connections to this poem and theme with my daily life. The pain and dissatisfactions in life need to be tackled by taking up the motivation from looking at brighter side of the future. As a nurse, more specifically the poem provides the areas, where one can get inspiration from. The poem is specifically a drive to move forward and take up a hero's journey. This may be a threshold of no return for a nurse's hero journey in life.

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