Modern Adaptations

Christopher Vogler’s Adaptation of the Monomyth

Campbell’s monomyth has previously been mapped to such diverse applications as storytelling, screenwriting and psychotherapy. Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structure for Writers links the stages of Campbell’s monomyth to contemporary storytelling, claiming that “despite its infinite variety, the hero’s story is always a journey” (p. 7). Vogler highlights the importance of translating the monomyth from the literal to the figurative with his mention of the “many stories that take a hero on an inward journey, one of the mind” (p. 7). Moreover, Vogler shares that the power of the monomyth comes from its flexible interpretation – “The stages can be deleted, added to, and drastically shuffled without losing any of their power. The values of the Hero’s Journey are what’s important” (p. 19).

Acts and Stages

The grid below highlights Vogler’s adaptation of Campbell’s original seventeen stages into twelve.

Act One: The Departure

Act One: The Departure

1. The Ordinary World

2. The Call to Adventure

3. Refusal of the Call

4. Meeting with the Mentor

5. Crossing the Threshold

Act Two: The Initiation

Act Two: The Initiation

6. Test, Allies and Enemies

7. Approach to the Innermost Cave

8. The Ordeal

9. Reward

Act Three: The Return

Act Three: The Return

10. The Road Back

11. The Resurrection

12. Return with the Elixir

Works Cited

Campbell, J. (1968). The hero with a thousand faces (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Vogler, C. (1992). The Writer’s Journal: Mythic Structure for Storytellers & Screenwriters (3rd ed.). Studio City, CA: Michael Wiese Productions.