|The Hero's Journey||Psyche's Journey||Rapunzel's Journey||The Rumpelstiltskin Journey||Sleeping Beauty's Journey||Cinderella's Journey|
|The call to adventure.||Psyche, the youngest of three daughters of a king and queen, is so beautiful that men begin worshipping her instead of Venus.||A man and a woman are without child. One day the woman upon seeing rampion (rapunzel) in an enchantress' garden starts pining away for it. Her husband to keep her from dying sneaks into the garden to steal some.||A man brags to the king that his daughter can spin straw into gold.||A king and queen are without child, then one day they have a daughter. To celebrate they invite all the fairies of the land to join them.||A widower with one daughter marries a widow with two daughters. His new wife treats his daughter contemptibly, calling her "Cinder maid", and has her do all of the drudge work of the household while spoiling her own daughters. (Ill-treated due to poor parentage)|
|The refusal of the call.||Cupid is sent to punish not the men, but Psyche, by making her fall in love with some low, mean person. (Punished for the sins of foolish men)||He is eventually caught by the enchantress and begs mercy. She agrees provided he brings her his first born child. He agrees and soon delivers the child to her.||The king puts the daughter into a room full of straw and tells her that if she does not turn it into straw, then she (not the father who made the claim) will die. (Threat of punishment for her father's sins)||Seven fairies arrive and are given gold settings for their meals, then an eighth fairy turns up that was not invited because no one knew that she still lived. The king and queen do their best to give her a nice setting as well, but it is not gold and she feels slighted. One of the fairies notes this black fairy's mutterings and hides herself in case of mischief.||A ball is declared and Cindermaid must help her sisters get ready. Once ready her father, his wife and her step-sisters drive off to the castle, leaving her to cry at the hazel tree grown over her mother's grave.|
|Supernatural aid.||Cupid accidentally charms himself by wounding himself on one of his own arrows and falls in love with her. Though her less beautiful sisters marry, because of Cupid's magic, she does not.||Rapunzel grows into a beautiful child and at twelve is locked up in a tower by the enchantress who comes and goes from the tower by climbing up and down Rapunzel's supernaturally long hair. (She is punished for the sins of her parents)||A little man appears and asks the daughter what shall she give him if he spins the straw into gold. She gives him her bracelet.||The time comes for all of the fairies to bestow gifts upon the newborn princess. Each gives her superlative (and primarily superficial) qualities until it is the old fairy's turn and she curses the princess with death by pricking her finger on a spindle. (Punishment for the sins of the parents) The hidden fairy cannot remove this spell, but she softens it, so the princess will merely fall asleep for a hundred years when a prince will come and awake her.||The tree magically produces from a nut a beautiful gown, coach and coachmen, so that Cindermaid may attend the ball. When the prince sees her he will not dance with any other. At midnight she leaves, magically keeping anyone from following her. When Cindermaid's family comes home they can speak of nothing else than the strange lady at the ball. This happens again for two more nights.|
|Moving beyond the bounds of the ordinary world.||Her parents learn from an oracle that she is not to marry a mortal, but some monster. Psyche accepts this and is taken to a mountain where she is magically transported to a beauteous land and a home divine.||After two years the king's son rides by and hears Rapunzel's beautiful singing. He wants to meet her and finds out how by espying the enchantress' method.
He climbs up and immediately wants to marry Rapunzel. She agrees since she believes he will love her more than the enchantress does, and tells him to come at night with skeins of silk so that she can weave a latter to escape by.
|The king bans on pain of death the ownership of spindles. Nevertheless, one day when the king and queen are gone to one of their houses of pleasure, the sixteen year old princess is playing at running up and down the palace. Soon she comes to a little room at the top of a tower where a woman who did not know of the king's proclamation is spinning with spindle and distaff. The princess asks to give it a try and pricks herself into a deep sleep.|
|The road of trials.||Each night her husband comes and speaks lovingly to her such that she comes to love him as well. However, she is never allowed to see him. He says that he would rather by his invisibility be loved as an equal rather than adored as a god.
She eventually becomes lonely for her family who Cupid agrees to bring for a visit. Her jealous sisters tell Psyche that she must know whether or not she is married to a monster. Does she trust her family or a man she has only just met? She takes a lamp to bed with her and finally sees that Cupid is not a hideous monster, but a beauteous god, who then flies off. He tells her that Love cannot dwell with suspicion (how about without honesty?). Psyche goes in search of her husband and faces many trials put upon her by Venus. Nevertheless, Cupid and the other gods find ways to help her.
|Rapunzel accidentally lets slip that the prince is lighter and swifter coming up her hair than the enchantress while speaking with her. In a fury the enchantress cuts off Rapunzel's hair and puts her in a desert. When the prince comes the enchantress uses Rapunzel's shorn hair to draw the prince up and tell him that he has lost the princess forever. In a despair he leaps from the tower and survives, but not without having his eyes scratched out by thorn bushes below. He wanders blind for a number of years, eating only roots and berries until he comes to the desert where Rapunzel had given birth to their twins, a boy and a girl.||The next day when the king sees all of the straw turned to gold, he becomes greedy and puts her in an even larger room with even more straw. The little man comes again and the young woman gives him the ring on her finger. On the third day the king tells her to turn yet another room full of straw into gold and he will marry her (in a loveless marriage based on greed). This time she has nothing to give the little man, so she promises him her first born child.
Soon after her marriage the young woman gives birth and the little man comes for his recompense. She begs that he leaves her the child and she will give him great riches. He says that he will return in three days and if she cannot guess his name, then he takes the child. The queen is beside herself because she cannot think what his name may be.
|No one can wake the princess and the king upon returning recognises the workings of the curse. So he has her put in the finest apartment upon a bed embroidered in gold and silver. A dwarf with seven league boots immediately informs the saving fairy of the princess' fate. The fairy comes on a chariot drawn by dragons and puts the whole castle to sleep and surrounds it with thorn bushes.||On the third night the prince puts tar on the stairs to catch Cindermaid. One golden shoe is caught, but the other goes with her. The prince swears that he will only marry the woman whose foot fits the golden shoe. So the shoe goes out to be tried on the feet of all the noble women of the land.
When the herald comes to Cindermaid's house the oldest sister finds the shoe too small, like every other woman had, but takes it up to her room and cuts off her toe and part of her heel to fit. When she comes downstairs the herald has the prince come immediately. He recognises that it is not his beloved, but the sister insists that he said he would marry the woman whose foot fit the shoe. So, he takes her on his horse to the palace, but upon passing the hazel tree he hears a voice telling him to look at the shoe. When he looks back he sees blood pouring out and knows that he has been deceived. The same happens with the second sister.
|The mastering of the divine female both good and evil.||Finally she is given a task that will take her to Proserpine in the underworld. She feels this is impossible, so she prepares to commit suicide, but a voice stops her and tells her how to complete the task of getting a box of beauty from the goddess of the underworld. In bringing back the box, Psyche's curiosity gets the better of her and she opens it and is overtaken by a Stygian sleep.|
|Atonement with the father.||By now Cupid has recovered from his arrow wound and is missing his wife. He finds her asleep and so removes the sleep from her body and puts it back in the box. He tells her to complete her task as bidden. (Finally, saved by the efforts of her husband)||He hears her familiar voice and finds his beloved Rapunzel.||After two days the king returns from a hunting trip and tells of espying a little man singing about taking the queen's child since no one knows that Rumpelstiltskin is his name. (Saved by her husband)||After a hundred years a prince while hunting sees the old castle. He asks what it is and is given many different gory stories until one countryman tells him of the princess. On fire with passion he believes he must be the one to complete this adventure and heads toward the palace. The brambles fall away before him into a clear avenue. He makes his way to the princess and upon kneeling at her side, she and the whole palace awakes. (Saved by fairy and husband)||The herald then asks if there is no other sister living in that household who could try the shoe. The step-sisters cry not, but the father insists that Cindermaid should have a go.|
|Apotheosis.||Cupid goes to heaven and begs that Jupiter take pity on the lovers. Jupiter then convinces Venus to allow the lovers to re-unite. Psyche is then brought up to Olympus and the heavenly assembly where she drinks ambrosia and becomes immortal.||She cries at their reunion and the tears that drop on his eyes clear them so that he can see again. (Saves her husband)||When the little man comes the queen at first pretends not to know his name, but finally gives it, Rumpelstiltskin. He stamps his foot and cries out that the devil told her, then disappears never to be seen again.||Cindermaid puts on the shoe and it fits. She then produces its match, thus proving that she is the true bride.|
|The ultimate boon: absolute security.||She and Cupid have a daughter named Pleasure and they all live happily ever after.||He then takes them to his castle where they live happily ever after. (Brought to final joy by her husband)||They fall in love and are married on the spot.||The prince then carries her away to be married and live happily ever after. (Saved by father and husband)|
|Refusal of the return.||The prince returns to his parents, but does not tell them of his wife, though he is frequently gone "hunting". After two years his mother suspects that he is secretly married. In the meantime he has two children by the princess. He will not tell his mother because she is part ogre, his father only married her for her riches. When his father dies he publicly announces his marriage. However, when he must go to war he leaves his wife, children and the government with his mother, the queen. She then arranges to eat her grandchildren and daughter-in-law.|
|The magic flight.||They are hidden by the cook at his home as he serves up other animals in their place. Then one day the ogre queen hears the king's wife and children and realises she has been deceived. She has a pit filled with poisonous reptiles in order to throw in her daughter-in-law and the children.|
|Rescue from without.||The king returns before his mother can follow through on her intentions. She goes into such a rage that she jumps head first into the pit and is eaten up. (Saved by husband)|
|Moving back into the bounds of the ordinary.|
|Master of the two worlds.|
|Freedom to live.|
Usually, through no fault of her own, the heroine must bear the burden of her parents' mistakes. She is then presented with humanly insurmountable challenges that require supernatural aid to overcome. Other women are almost always adversarial, except supernatural helpers. Her worth is usually defined by her beauty and patience. Her skills tend to be equally as decorative in value as herself. Her usual character flaw is curiosity. She is saved or experiences an upturn in fortune through marriage and the efforts of her lover.
Though, some similarity presents itself between "The Hero's Journey" and "The Heroine's Journey". As should be made apparent above, it is by no means a close parallel. "The Hero's Journey" has been described as archetypical, inherent to the human psyche. However, with the examination of "The Heroine's Journey" and how radically women's stories have changed in the last decades, such descriptions need to be called into question. If "The Heroine's Journey" is inherent to the female psyche where do such popular stories as Pippi Longstockings, Mrs Marple or Star Trek: Voyager come from? What have been called archetypes may be recognised as stereotypical roles frequently developed by societies at certain stages of cultural evolution. These roles may have served their purpose at the time, but we are free to outgrow them.
"The Hero's Journey" does not provide sufficient breadth or even depth to provide the basis for all plot structuring for all time. It is only useful for working within the genre of heroic myths. Other genres also have their structuring patterns such as the murder mystery or the romance.