Hero’s Journey of Perseus

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Greek Mythology

Greek Mythology - Hero's Journey of Perseus


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Activity Overview

Related to both plot diagram and types of literary conflict, the ”Hero’s Journey” is a recurring pattern of stages many heroes undergo over the course of their stories. Joseph Campbell, an American mythologist, writer, and lecturer, articulated this cycle after researching and reviewing numerous myths and stories from a variety of time periods and regions of the world. He found that they all share fundamental principles. This spawned the Hero’s Journey, also known as the Monomyth. The most basic version has 12 steps, while more detailed versions can have up to 17.

Using the steps of the Hero's Journey, students will illustrate the journey of a Greek hero. The example above uses the story of Perseus, but students can even create Hero's Journey storyboards for Hercules, Theseus, Odysseus, Achilles, Jason, or anyone else.

The Legend of Perseus: An Example of the Monomyth Structure

Stage Summary
Ordinary world The story begins on the island of Seriphus, the home of Perseus and his mother, Danae. Polydectes, the king of Seriphus, wishes to marry Danae, and plots to get rid of Perseus, because he may object.
Call to Adventure King Polydectes tricks Perseus into promising to bring back the head of Medusa, one of the dreaded Gorgons. It is an impossible task that will almost certainly get Perseus killed.
Refusal He does not want to leave his mother, but he must keep his promise.
Mentor/Helper Athena and Hermes guide Perseus to the home of the Graeae. The two gods often give him advice along the way.
Crossing the Threshold The pressure of the task forces Perseus to blackmail Graeae into telling him how to find the Hesperides.
Test/Allies/Enemies Perseus' first task is finding The Hesperides. Having done so, they give Perseus a magic bag that can safely carry Medusa's head. Perseus receives several other items from the gods such as Hermes' winged sandals, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and a reflective shield. Athena offers Perseus some knowledge on how to defeat Medusa. Anyone who looks directly at Medusa turns to stone, so Athena tells Perseus to only look at the monster in the reflection of his shield.
Approach When Perseus reaches the Gorgons' lair, he's has reached the point of no return. From here out dangerous and adventure await him.
Ordeal Perseus finds Medusa, and beheads her. Two Gorgons chase him, but Perseus escapes with the help of the helmet of invisibility.
Reward Perseus has Medusa's head.
Road back Perseus flies back home with Medusa's head. (On the way, he rescues a princess from a sea dragon)
Atonement When Perseus arrives home, he confronts King Polydectes, who's been trying to force Danae to marry him. Perseus kills Polydectes, using Medusa's head to turn him into stone.
Return Perseus has saved his mother, and his journey has concluded. He returns the magical items he borrowed, and gives Medusa's head to Athena. All is restored to its rightful state.

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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Use the story of one of the great ancient heroes and map it to the narrative structure of the Hero's Journey. Choose from Hercules, Perseus, Theseus, Odysseus, Achilles, Jason, or other approved hero.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Depict and describe how the hero's story fits (or does not fit ) into each of the stages of the Hero's Journey.
  3. Finalize images, edit, and proofread your work.
  4. Save and submit storyboard to assignment.



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(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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