[Editor's note: The twelve stages of the hero's journey monomyth following the summary by Christopher Vogler (originally compiled in 1985 as a Disney studio memo). Vogler was inspired by the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, particularly The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Vogler used Campbell's work to create the now-legendary 7-page company memo for Hollywood screenwriters, A Practical Guide to The Hero with a Thousand Faces . Vogler later developed his memo into the late 1990s book, The Writer's Journey: Mythic Structure For Writers. I would be willing to bet that all successful action movies are built upon this twelve stage hero's journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell / Vogler.]
In narratology and comparative mythology, the monomyth, or the hero's journey is the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero going on an adventure, and in a decisive crisiswins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.
A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.
Campbell and other scholars, such as Erich Neumann, describe narratives of Gautama Buddha, Moses, and Christ in terms of the monomyth. Critics argue that the concept is too broad or general to be of much usefulness in comparative mythology.