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188 stage Hero's Journey (Monomyth)

The Hero's Journey (Monomyth) is the template upon which the vast majority of successful stories and Hollywood blockbusters are based upon. In fact, ALL of the hundreds of Hollywood movies we have deconstructed (all available at are based on this 188+ stage template.

Understanding this template is a priority for story or screenwriters. This is the template you must master if you are to succeed in the craft.

[The terminology is most often metaphoric and applies to all successful stories and screenplays, from The Godfather (1972) to Brokeback Mountain (2006) to Annie Hall (1977) to Lord of the Rings (2003) to Drugstore Cowboy (1989) to Thelma and Louise (1991) to Apocaplyse Now (1979)].



a) Attempts to tap into unconscious expectations the audience has regarding what a story is and how it should be told.

b) Gives the writer more structural elements than simply three or four acts, plot points, mid point and so on.

c) Gives you a tangible process for building and releasing dissonance (establishing and achieving catharses, of which there are usually four).

d) Gives you a universal structural template upon which you can superimpose your situational story. This is why stories such as Alien (1979), Gladiator (2000), Midnight Cowboy (1969), American Beauty (1999), The Graduate (1967) and many others (all deconstructed at the URL below) appear to be different but are all constructed, almost sequence by sequence, in the same way.

and more...

[simply go to or or or for full details]


Most of the time we don't notice it, but screenplays consist of much more structure and symbolism than is commonly assumed. And that is right, because they should be designed for maximum impact.

Take the role of water. At the stage of the Near Death Experience, romantic lovers part in the rain (50 First Dates, 2004), protagonists are tortured with water (Green Mile, 1999), protagonists happen to be on vessels that sink (War of the Worlds, 2005) and heroes are submerged underwater (Jaws, 1977). The role of water is ancient and works on the audience subconsciously; it signifies baptism / dirt to cleanliness / washing away the Old and emergence of the New Self.

Or take mirrors. The hero often looks at himself (or herself) in a mirror whilst in the Ordinary World (Bonnie and Clyde (1967), An Officer and a Gentleman (1983), Thelma and Louise (1991)). Mirrors most often signify dissatisfaction with the Ordinary Self and dissatisfaction with the Period of Obscurity. It is this that pushes the hero forward.

Or take tunnels. Often heroes are seen moving through tunnels, which symbolise movement from one state to another.

Or bridges, gates, rivers and railroads - all of which mark boundaries between states and thresholds.

Or the colour red - signifying blood, damage to the Physical Self and transmogrification to the New Self.

Symbolism is just another way of communicating the physical and psychological stage of the Journey / Transformation - there are quite a few of these tools, and you should use them. Coppola and Scorsese et al do. Even Shakespeare did.


Go to for more info on the 188+ stage Hero's Journey....