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Supernatural: Archetypes and Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

The television show Supernatural and how it fits archetypes and Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

Anita Punja

on 19 October 2012

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Transcript of Supernatural: Archetypes and Joseph Campbell's Monomyth

Hero's Journey + Archetypes Supernatural The Call to Adventure Rescue from Without Sam Winchester's life is completely changed forever when he first encounters Lucifer, who has escaped from his cage in hell (more on that later). He is an angel, and angels need human bodies to take form in, or vessels. Lucifer believes that Sam Winchester is his ideal vessel, and wants to use him to bring about the Apocalypse. To send Lucifer back to his cage in Hell, Sam must first acquire the rings of the four horsemen. These rings, when put together and cast a spell upon, open a portal directly to Lucifer's cage in Hell.

Sam fights, overcomes, and obtains the rings belonging to War, Famine, and Pestilence.

Death, the oldest and most powerful creature in the universe (arguably older than God), willingly hands over his own ring, provided it be used solely to trap Lucifer, then promptly returned. The Road of Trials When Dean goes to hell, Sam starts drinking demon blood, and forms an unhealthy addiction. He feels alienated and monstrous.
When Dean comes back and makes up with Sam, he finally has the strength and support really needed to take on Lucifer. Atonement with the Father This is a god-like state; the person is in heaven and beyond all strife. Apotheosis Archetypes in Supernatural Young, handsome, muscular, courageous, selfless.
Rebels against father- whose authority is previously unquestionable!
Endures pain and sorrow for the greater good. Sam Winchester: Hero Dean is Sam's brother, but also so much more than that. He helps Sam through his journey and is an important part himself! Dean Winchester: Sidekick Bobby is the boys' family friend and the closest thing they have to a dad. They constantly ask him for help, and he never refuses. Bobby stays up night after night to help the Winchester boys and they would be nowhere without him. Bobby knows the answer to nearly everything the boys have ever asked him, and if he doesn't he looks it up. Bobby Singer: The Wiseman Lucifer is the devil personified! Satan escapes from his cage in Hell and temporarily takes this form. The Devil: Evil Personified (literally!) Castiel plays the role of the angel- and not only metaphorically. He introduces himself to the Winchester boys as "An Angel of The Lord" and is always looking over Sam and Dean, interfering and assisting when necessary (often). Castiel: The Savior When angels need vessels, they must first obtain permission from the human whose body they would like to use. Sam wholeheartedly, unconditionally refuses to allow Lucifer to use his body to start the Apocalypse. Refusal of the Call The Apocalypse Storyline Centuries and centuries ago, man trapped Satan in a "cage" in hell, locked with 66 locks, or "seals." Sam Winchester knows of these locks, and hears that a demon named Lilith is breaking them. When Lilith breaks the 65th seal, Sam, against his brother's wishes, uses his psychic ability* to kill Lilith. Immediately afterwords, he realizes that the death of Lilith was the final seal on Lucifer's cage, and that he has set Lucifer free. It is his responsibility to take on the impossible task of trapping Lucifer into the cage again. The Crossing of the First Threshold Supernatural Aid The Angel Castiel, whom the Winchester boys affectionately call Cas, aids the boys along their journey. *Dean, Sam's brother is against Sam using his psychic ability because it is powered by Sam ingesting demon blood. Dean wants his brother to remain as human as possible. Departure Initiation Castiel, "an Angel of the Lord," expresses deep, deep concern and almost *love* for the Winchester boys. The concept of having emotional attachment or feeling sentiments at all is entirely unheard of in Angel culture, but Cas forms a profound bond with the boys. Castiel accepts, supports, and helps Sam immensely, despite it going against not only his nature, but also his higher purpose. The Meeting with the Goddess Very soon after Sam Winchester learns of his psychic ability (fueled by demon blood), his brother Dean is trapped in Hell. Frustrated that he cannot save his brother, despite numerous attempts, Sam decides to dedicate his time to hunting demons and monsters using his psychic ability. (He prefers this over using knives and swords because the power exorcizes demons from the bodies of humans without harming the humans.)

His psychic power is fueled by the ingestion of demon's blood. He meets an attractive demon named Ruby who says she will allow Sam to drink her blood. He develops a strong addiction for her blood and forms an intimate bond with her.

She later betrays him and admits her allegiance to Lucifer. Woman as the Temptress Not for Sam!: Sam Winchester's life is so utterly tragic, he does not get to enjoy this peaceful state. At this point in his journey, he is at the literal opposite of the traditional Apotheosis. Sam is stuck in a CAGE in HELL with LUCIFER torturing him. [[Irony!]] Sam Winchester allows Lucifer into his body, opens the portal to the cage in Hell, and finds just enough strength to overcome Lucifer's hold on his body for a few seconds.

He jumps in.

With Lucifer still in his body.

Sam Winchester is stuck in Hell, for what may be eternity. The Ultimate Boon: Averting the Apocalypse
and Saving the Planet Sam Winchester miraculously appears on Earth. Nobody understands how this happens. He seems a bit different, unlike himself. Less warm, less kind.

He's not back, not REALLY. Refusal of the Return Return It's later revealed that the angel Castiel has raised him out of perdition. Cas accidentally forgets to rescue Sam's soul. It's still in the cage with Lucifer, being tortured.

Sam says that his monster/demon hunting skills are a million times better without his soul. He doesn't have to worry about keeping any humans safe- he doesn't care about them.

He doesn't want his soul back. He almost commits patricide (father-figure Bobby) to scar his body badly enough that his soul would reject it. Castiel risks his life once more for Sam Winchester, reaching into the pits of Hell, past an angry Lucifer, to rescue Sam's soul.

Soul-replacement is painful. Excruciatingly, agonizingly painful.

It's been badly damaged. The torture Lucifer inflicted upon it has nearly torn it to pieces.

Castiel builds a wall in Sam's mind, blocking out all memories of his time in Hell with Lucifer.
The Magic Flight Sam's soul The angel Castiel cannot eradicate Sam's trauma but he can and does do the next best thing: transfer it.

Castiel now suffers from hallucinations and mental problems, and is institutionalized. The barrier in Sam's mind, withholding his memories from Hell breaks. Sam suffers from hallucinations and breaks down completely. He is institutionalized. Sam lives a healthy life, free of Lucifer, with no more mental issues. His belief in angels and God, though never present in his journey, is stronger than ever. He leads a successful life. Before Sam really understands what is happening in his life, his fiance Jess is murdered, by "monsters."

She was a damsel in distress before the hero knew he was supposed to be the hero. Everything Sam does is for her.
Jessica: The Maiden
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