The medieval story of King Arthur
An obscure little squire accompanies his master up to London for the solemn ceremonies surrounding the choice of a new king.
A mighty stone has appeared in St. Paul's churchyard, with a sword fixed in it and the inscription that anyone who can pull out the sword shall be king.
All the great men of the nation try and fail. But to everyone's astonishment the unknown young squire steps forward and removes the sword effortlessly. He becomes King Arthur, the greatest king his country has ever known.
RAGS TO RICHES
Early in our lives, most of us became familiar with a story which ran something like this.
Once upon a time there was a young hero or heroine, not yet embarked on adult life, living in lowly and very difficult circumstances. This humble little figure, almost certainly an orphan, was regarded as of little worth by most people around, and may even have been actively maltreated.
But one day something happened to send our hero or heroine out into the world where they met with a series of adventures which eventually brought about a miraculous transformation in their fortunes.
Emerging from the shadows of their wretched former state, they were raised to a position of dazzling splendor, winning the admiration of all who beheld them. The hero won the hand in marriage of a beautiful Princess; the heroine won the love of a handsome Prince. They succeeded to rule over a kingdom. And from that day forth they lived 'happily ever after'.
A Few Examples
Cinderella, Puss in Boots, Joseph-Pharaoh of Egypt, David Copperfield, My Fair Lady, Charlie Chaplin's The Gold Rush, Aladdin and His Enchanted Lamp, Jane Eyre
A young, unrecognized hero or heroine is eventually lifted out of obscurity, poverty and misery to a state of great splendor and happiness. The stages of their climb are recognizable:
1. Initial wretchedness at home and the "Call"--overshadowed by 'dark' figures around them at home, something happens to call or send the hero/heroine out into a wider world.
2. Initial success in new world--marked by new ordeals, the hero/heroine are limited in their success, but may have some pre-vision of their destiny
3. The central crisis--Everything suddenly goes wrong. The shadows cast by the dark figures return. The hero/heroine are separated from taht which has becomes more important to them than anything in the world, and they are overwhelmed with despair.
4. Independence and the final ordeal--As they emerge from the crisis, we begin to see the hero/heroine in a new light. They are discovering in themselves a new strength, and must be put to the final test, usually some battle with a powerful, dark figure, who stands as a dark rival between them and their goal. This is the climax of the whole story. Only when this has been successfully resolved and the shadow over their lives wholly removed, are they at last liberated to move to the final stage.
5. Final union, completion and fulfillment--Their reward is usually a state of complete, loving union with the Princess or Prince. They may also finally succeed to some kind of kingdom, over which they will rule wisely and well. The story resolves on an image which signifies a perfect state of wholeness, lasting indefinitely into the future.