Paradise Lost Hero's Journey Analysis

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In his introduction to ‘Paradise Lost’, Philip Pullman relates an anecdote in which a country squire listening to Milton’s poem being read aloud suddenly exclaims: ‘”By God! I know not what the outcome may be, but this Lucifer is a damned fine fellow, and I hope he may win!”’ (Milton, 2008, 1). It is this effect Roman Polanski aims for in The Ninth Gate by presenting the anti-Christ, another aspect of the unholy trinity, as heroic, and his means of achieving it the utilization of the model of the hero’s journey as formulated by Joseph Campbell. Whether or not we consider this aim achieved, such is the film’s subversive use of the hero’s journey, its tropes and its character archetypes, we may consider it in conversation with and critique of the model itself, be it Campbell’s original model or that further refined for writers by Christopher Vogler. Dean Corso (Johnny Depp), an authenticator of rare books, leaves the ordinary world and for an advance on his fee accepts a challenge laid down by a collector of occult books, Boris Balkan (Frank Langella), to travel to Europe and authenticate Balkan’s copy of ‘the Nine Gates of the Kingdom of the Shadows’ by comparing them with the two other extant copies in Portugal and France. Individually, the books contain cryptogrammic engravings with supposedly gnostic Satanic properties. Following the mysterious murder…show more content…
Corso, having approached and entered ‘The inmost cave’ of Kessler’s library, wherein his theory as to the division of the cryptogrammic engravings between the three copies is confirmed and important information conveyed, begins his hurtle towards the ordeal that borders the end of act two and the beginning of act three.
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