In the past few posts I've discussed the themes and motifs that are prevalent in mythic stories. This time I want to discuss something even more fundamental, though inextricably linked - mythic structure. As mythologist, Joseph Campbell asserted, stories wear countless costumes yet there is a fundamental commonality between them. Over time the costumes of stories have changed and certainly in western culture, stories are presented in a more complicated way than they once were. Frequent jumping between scenes and characters, and the juggling of time elements in plots presupposes a sophisticated audience with highly developed decoding skills. However, according to Christopher Vogler in The Writer's Journey, the fundamental structure of stories hasn't changed. Though sometimes more difficult to identify, there is still a three-fold structure in story, as well as the basic components of change and conflict. No matter then, how sophisticated our storytelling has become there remains a basic structure to storytelling that can be traced right back to the earliest stories - and by implication, to blueprints of humanity's common psychology.
Via Gregg Morris