Writing: Hero Psychological Function

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What does the archetype of the Hero do for us, the audience, in a story? At first all Heroes are ego, they are the ‘one’, the individual that thinks it is separate from everybody else; the ‘I’. But ultimately a Hero is the one is who able to exceed the constraints and deceptions of the ego. The Hero archetype represents the ego’s search for identity and wholeness.

Think about all of the great heroes from classic and recent films. Luke Skywalker, Frodo Baggins, Captain America.


Christopher Vogler  says that all of these characters start their story on the outside, away from full companionship. It is only in the end they become connected as a whole. We are all Heroes facing internal guardians, monsters, and helpers. In the quest to explore our own minds we find teachers, guides, demons, gods, mates, servants, scapegoats, masters, seducers, betrayers, and allies, as aspects of our personalities and characters in our dreams. All the villains, tricksters, lovers, friends, and foes of the Hero can be found inside ourselves. The psychological task we all face is to integrate these separate parts into one complete, balanced entity. The ego, the Hero thinking she is separate from these parts of herself, must incorporate them to become the Self.

About The Author

Lewis McGregor is an aspiring filmmaker, photographer and online content creator from Wales.