Mythology is the study of myth. A myth can be defined as a traditional tale or story, which is spoken or written down which are passed down by generation. These stories help recall events that have happened in past and create lessons cultures live by. These tales also contain hidden significance, which help cultures understand life lessons and explain the unknown and teach them through the stories. Finally myths create a connection between the past and present by establishing a basic pattern everyone can relate to. This pattern was discovered by Joseph Campbell and is called monomyth. Campbell proposes that, “all myths are essentially hero-quest stories, each of which rings a unique change on a universal pattern…” Campbell analyzed a number of myths and discovered that every hero travels through the same journey. These journeys consists of three main steps the departure, initiation, and the return which breakdown into 17 stages. These stages have been used in both ancient and modern day stories. After watching The Matrix it is clear to see that Joseph Campbell’s 17 stages of monomyth was used in making this film. The Call to Adventure
Joseph Campbell describes this stage as the beginning of the journey. It is at this time where the Hero is summoned and asked to leave everyday life. “Destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown” Campbell. In The Matrix the theme of The Call to Adventure is very strong. This connection is shown throughout the movie by the phone call that is used to bring them in and out of the matrix. This is more of a literal use of the theme Call to Adventure since they could only enter and leave the matrix by a phone call. Another use of this theme starts at the beginning of the movie. We see Neo the hero living everyday life until one day he sees the phrase “follow the white rabbit” come up on his computer screen. Two seconds later someone is at the door and one of them has a tattoo of a white rabbit on their arm. He follows the white rabbit and meets Trinity. This is the beginning of his journey and things will never be the same for Neo. Refusal of the Call
Joseph Campbell states, “The hero may refuse or contemplate refusing the adventure.” The hero may have fears or have anxiety about taking this adventure. The scene that describes this stage is when the Agents were tracking Neo and Morpheus called to help him. Morpheus helps Neo get past the agents in the office but when he is asked to climb out the window and escape by using the window scaffolding he refused by saying “I can’t do this.” The fear and anxiety caused him to refuse the adventure eventually leading to him getting caught by the agents. Supernatural Aid
“For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero-journey is with a protective figure…who provides the adventurer with amulets against the dragon forces he is about to pass” Campbell. At this stage the Hero is normally helped by a higher power, this helps the hero continue his journey. The supernatural aid Neo received was Trinity removing the bug the agent used to track him. Without this the journey could not have been stopped short. The Crossing of the first Threshold
During this stage the Hero finally crosses the threshold. Which can be translated to the start of a new life, leaving all the fears and doubts behind. Once the hero crosses, there is no turning back. Campbell stated, “The hero adventures out of the land we know into darkness; there he accomplishes his adventure, or again is simply lost to us, imprisoned, or in danger; and his return is described as a coming back out of that yonder zone. Nevertheless…the two kingdoms are actually one. The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know.” In The Matrix this is illustrated when Neo finally meets Morpheus and is taken out of the Matrix. "You take the blue pill the story ends, you wake up...
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