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In Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey" from The Hero with a Thousand Faces, he talks about the goddess/woman/love interest in a story with a male lead in two ways:

  • The meeting with the goddess, the portrayal of the hero's road to his love interest's heart as a sort of point of the whole story, with her affection being a prime motivator for him.
  • Woman as a temptress, where he describes her as a manifestation of temptation and distraction, being a roadblock that the hero has to overcome in order to progress.

In the "Archetypal Story" (think of it as a story template) is the woman/goddess/love interest of the hero a sublime motivation/reward for the hero to go on his journey, or is she just a temptation to be overcome?

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Either. Both if the story calls for it. It can even be the same woman in both roles, though it can be two. The femme fatale is notorious for filling both roles.

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