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2. Mythic Journey

Written by Tommy Buteau
November 19, 2012

Another great find in O’Donnell-Allen and St. Romain’s unit plan was this inspirational talk by Bob Shumaker. In it, he talks about resilience and the necessity for communication with others. 

As I was thinking about this in connection with both Hamlet’s soliloquy and Daniel Beaty’s “Knock, Knock,” I began to see that the thing that made these moments so powerful was the lack of communication. Daniel Beaty said he needed to father himself, and who could Hamlet talk to about his plan to drive Ophelia away? 

As I was thinking about these things, I was studying myths for my other classes. Joseph Campbell speculates that there are 12 stages that every hero must go through on the heroic journey. Of those, there are only two really where communication is critical.

In the final stage, the hero must tell his community about what he has learned on the journey. 

But, the begining of the journey also calls for communication. There is a stage where the hero must overcome fears, and it usually happens with the help of a mentor. In both of these situations, however, there was no mentor. What Daniel Beaty and Hamlet are doing is mentoring themselves. This is what must happen where there is no option for the communication that Bob Shumaker feels is critical for resilience.  

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