The Matrix Analysis Using Campbell’s “Monomyth” Scheme
The Campbellian “monomyth” scheme has been used in many movies such as Star Wars and Harry Potter. The Matrix is no exception to this and is an excellent example of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth scheme. The scheme is broken up into three main categories with fifteen total subcategories. I will examine all fifteen and make an analysis of them individually.
The first category of the scheme is the Departure. The first subcategory is The Call to Adventure. Neo is summoned by Trinity through the computer to follow the “white rabbit”. A group of people knocked on Neo’s doorstep asking him to come out with them to a nightclub. He notices the “white rabbit” on the woman’s shoulder and agrees to follow them to the nightclub. Trinity contacted Neo in this club and states she has something to show Neo. He plays it off and doesn’t pay any mind to the conversation but shows that he is interested in what she was talking about. This relates to the first part of the scheme by Trinity is the person that is contacting Neo by informing him of his adventure that he has yet to begin. Thus, she is the call to adventure in a sense. “A blunder—apparently the merest chance—reveals an unsuspected world, and the individual is drawn into a relationship with forces not rightly understood.” The second part of this scheme is the Refusal of the Call. This can be depicted in the movie by when Neo is given the phone by the deliveryman and opens it to find Morpheus, at this point an unknown speaker to Neo. He informs him how to escape capture by the Agents. He follows orders until he reaches the side of the building requiring him to jump to scaffolds.
The first category of Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth is the departure category in which has five stages under it. In the movie, The Matrix, the Departure category begins with the Call to Adventure when we see Neo sitting at his computer trying to figure out what is wrong with the world. During this scene we see Neo go to a nightclub where he meets Trinity. In this scene he follows a white bunny that ...
Neo refuses the instructions and is taken into custody by the Agents and is integrated and bugged by three agents. This parallels the scheme by the obvious refusal to take on his adventure and taking the way out with the agents. The third section is “Supernatural Aid”. This comes in two forms during the movie and can be shown by Trinity informing Neo to go to the Lincoln Bridge. He is debugged by Trinity and taken to Morpheus’s safe house. The second form comes in the way of Morpheus informing Neo of the Matrix and how he feels about the life Neo has been leading up until this point in the movie. The representation of the Campbellian scheme in this scene shows Neo’s help and the information given to him by Trinity and Morpheus enlightens him about the upcoming decision he must make. The next category is The Crossing of the Threshold, which is the point of no return. The threshold guardian is Morpheus and this being the point of no return. Neo is to take either the red or blue pill to make a decision whither to stay or to wake up in his bed and forget whatever that has already happened. “The regions of the unknown are free fields for projections of unconscious content.” The final category in this section is the Belly of the Whale. The relationship of this idea and the Matrix can be depicted in the following scene. Neo is reborn into the Matrix where his body has been transformed and his muscles have atrophied. This shows Neo coming into his adventure properly. Campbell is quoted by “The idea that the passage of the magical threshold is a transit into a sphere of rebirth is symbolized in the worldwide womb image of the belly of the whale.”
The second main category of Campbell’s “Monomyth” scheme is Initiation. The first subcategory of this is The Road of Trials which “the hero faces many tests of courage, resilience, resourcefulness and intelligence.” There are three main areas where Neo is tested. The first being when he goes through nearly ten hours of training on the programs to learn all the martial arts movements. The second is the training session between himself and Morpheus. Morpheus teaches Neo to become more in touch with the world he is in and that the Matrix does not rely on rules to govern what is going on. The final test of Neo is when he is taught to jump in the Jump Program. The second part of the scheme which is actually two parts, Meeting with The Goddess and Woman as Temptation. The meeting with the Goddess is the scene with the Oracle and how she informs Neo of the decisions he must make in the coming events. The temptation of woman is the Matrix itself shown by the woman in the red dress or the growing feelings Neo has for Trinity. These distract Neo from obtaining his true transformation. The next scheme is the Atonement with the Father. “The Hero must face his deepest fears, must embrace the very annihilation of body and ego, to complete the ultimate transformation.” Neo refuses Trinity and Tank’s idea to kill Morpheus to save Zion from the information that the Agents were trying to leak out of Morpheus.
In their film, The Matrix, Andy and Larry Wachowski have included many literary allusions and symbols to enhance the appeal of this groundbreaking science fiction film. As incredible as the special effects and cinematography are in this film, the Wachowski brothers have significantly bolstered the appeal of The Matrix by an elaborately constructed story spanning time and reality. These allusions ...
This results in Neo taking on a government complex with guns and weaponry and attacking the three agents that held Morpheus. Apotheosis or “The Hero’s highest self or divinity” is revealed in the scene where Neo’s transformation is complete. He learns to dodge bullets and the agent is defeated by a shot to the head by Trinity. The final section in Initiation is The Ultimate Boon. This is where the hero achieves the purpose of his original adventure and is symbolized by ‘ultimate transformation’. This is show when Neo saves both Trinity and Morpheus from a certain death. He saves Morpheus from the agents in the building and used his skills learned in the training programs. He saves Trinity by taking hold of the rope he is attached to and holds on while Trinity jumps out of the crashing helicopter. Tank states that “He is the One”, with him stating this makes it obvious that Neo has become the ultimate transformation.
The final stage in Joseph Campbell’s “Monomyth” scheme is the Return. The first subcategory is the Refusal of the Return. This is where the Hero is prevented from leaving the world of adventure. Neo is prevented to return by to the ship. He first tells Morpheus to take the phone call to be transported to the ship because of his injuries. Trinity is sent next. Neo is prevented to return by the battle between Neo and Agent Smith. The section that is entitled Rescue from Without/Magic Flight cannot be applied to The Matrix. Neo is forced into battle against Agent Smith after the agent destroys the phone. The return to the other world is not easy. He is not helped by the crew besides when defeats Smith. The crew informs Neo where they he can find the next exit to be taken out of The Matrix. The third section is the Crossing the Return Threshold. This is where the threshold from before is revisited but by the hero in his new changed form. Agent Smith shots Neo to death when he opens the door three hundred thirty three. Trinity speaks to Neo about how she is no longer afraid and Neo is reawakened in a newfound form. “This brings us to the final crisis of the round, to which the whole miraculous excursion has been but a prelude…the paradoxical, supremely difficult threshold-crossing of he hero’s return from the mystic realm into the land of common day.” The Master of Two Worlds where the Hero is now the master of both worlds and he can live within them without being contaminated by the worlds.
Although Captain John Smith and William Bradford, historians and leaders of their respective colonies, Jamestown and Plymouth, wanted to attract settlers to their colonies through their writings, the specific means they took to accomplish their goals varied. First, in spite of the fact each wanted to set an example for the colonists that joined them, Smith strived to attract those with courage and ...
Neo, after his death, is reborn. You can see that he has been transformed by he sees The Matrix in its true form. It is shown by the world being in the green and black letters and numbers that are constantly shown on Tank’s computer screen. Neo defeats Agent Smith very easily after this event happens. Neo plunges into Agent Smith and destroys him from the inside out. The final stage of the “Monomyth” scheme is the Freedom to Live. “The Hero, having transcended his/her ego, can live without fear of anything.” This scene is depicted in the movie with the closing with Neo speaking to the audience about the Matrix and that he is planning to take on the Machine World and the Agents themselves.