mythic here Essay

Submitted By adri316
Words: 874
Pages: 4

When one hears the word “hero,” many images may come to mind. Perhaps a popular choice would be a handsome prince, who rescues his damsel in distress from a fiery dragon with only a sword and a shield. Or another image may be that of a superhero, who uses his supernatural abilities to conquer evil and save the world. But what about Snow White? She is often thought of as a weak, delicate princess who is incapable of saving herself and in need of a hero to rescue her. This is not the case in the film Snow White and the Huntsman. By tracing the stages of the mythic hero’s journey as laid out in Joseph Campbell’s book entitled Hero with a Thousand Faces, it becomes clear that Snow White is indeed a heroine, called upon to save not only herself, but the kingdom she loves. According to Campbell, the first stage of the hero’s journey is the “call to adventure.” He says, “…the call rings up the curtain, always, on a mystery of transfiguration—a rite, or moment, of spiritual passage, which, when complete, amounts to a dying and a birth.” For Snow White, it is the death of the peaceful, happy life of hope and promise she once knew, and the birth of her new life as a hopeless captive in a dark and evil world. On their wedding night, Snow White’s father, King Magnus, is killed by his new bride who, unbeknownst to all, is an evil sorceress. Ravenna calls upon her dark army to kill all those in the castle and claims the throne, beginning a reign of terror over the people of Tabor. She throws Snow White into a dank, dark prison cell in one of the castle towers, where she is forsaken for many years. Throughout that time Snow White feels the burning of the call within her to defeat the evil Queen and restore the peace, prosperity, and hope Tabor once knew. When she comes of age, Snow White enters another stage of the hero’s journey by receiving “Supernatural Aid” (Campbell 69) as she finally commits to the quest she has been called upon to take. Campbell describes this stage by stating, “Having responded to his own call, and continuing to follow courageously as the consequences unfold, the hero finds all the forces of the unconscious at his side. Mother Nature herself supports the mighty task” (72). Mother Nature does indeed appear to help her in her quest by providing animals that both guide her and protect her from the forces of evil as she embarks on her journey. Birds, who are present throughout the film, suddenly become Snow White’s helpers by pointing out a loose nail outside her prison cell window. She uses this as a weapon, enabling her to escape her cell and run free. The birds appear again to show her the escape route from the castle just as the guards are closing in on her. Once Snow White is outside of the castle, they guide her to a place where a beautiful, strong, white stallion awaits her arrival to carry her safely out of reach of Ravenna’s dark army and into the Dark Forest. At every turn, the creatures of nature are there to help and guide Snow White, leading her from captivity to a place where she will finally be able to fulfill her destiny.…