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Odysseus's Hero's Journey

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Michelle Garcia

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Odysseus's Hero's Journey

2. Call to Adventure
Odysseus's Call to Adventure starts when he travels to Troy and has to fight in the Trojan War.
Refusal of the Call
Odysseus tries to deny or refuse the call by acting as though he were insane (by plowing a field with an ox and a donkey) so that he will not have to go to war. However, when a soldier uses his son Telemachus to test him, Odysseus jumps to the rescue - showing his sanity and love for his child.

4. Meeting the Mentor
Odysseus never really meets Athena face to face until later on his journey. However, Athena guides him throughout his journey and watches over him by helping the situations around him. She gives him strength to keep going. (I.E. She disguises herself as Mentes to encourage Telemachus to find his father.)

Ordinary World
Odysseus is a brave hero who first starts in the ordinary world. In this story Odysseus's ordinary world is the island of Ithaca where he lives with his beloved wife.
Evidence shows: “It’s no use playing tricks! Odysseus must do his duty. He must leave home and fight in the war”
Textual evidence shows, "But Odysseus, who longed to get back to his wife and reach his home, was being held in a hollow cave by that mighty nymph Calypso, noble goddess, who wished to make Odysseus her husband."
Act I

Crossing The Threshold
By: Michelle Garcia and Margaret Gong
The text states,"Muse, speak to me now of that resourceful man who wandered far and wide after ravaging the sacred citadel of Troy."
(Homer 8).

Approach The Inmost Cave
8. Ordeal
10. Road Back
12. Return with the Elixir
Act II-A


Act II-B
Odysseus disguised himself as a beggar so he can return to the place to seek his revenge
He approaches the inmost cave when he returns to his homeland and finally touches the ground of Ithaca once again
"'At daybreak I must go and try my luck
around the port. I burden you too long.
Direct me, put me on the road with someone.
Nothing else for it but to play the beggar.'" Book 15, lines 381-4

The hero has survived death, overcomes his fear and now earns the reward
Odysseus's homecoming to his wife and son
Notably his mother, Agamemnon, Achilles, and Ajax. The underworld is a miserable place, and it is here that Achilles sates, “I’d rather be a slave on earth for another man some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive than rule down here over all the breathless dead.” (Book 11). This is a notable quote since Achilles is prominent among the dead
Odysseus leaves the ordinary world and travels to the Underworld, where he summon the spirits of the dead through sacrifice.
6. Test, Allies, and Enemies
In the Odyssey Athena states,
"I'll go to Ithaca and urge his son
to be more active, put courage in his heart,
so he will call those long-haired Achaeans
to assembly, and there address the suitors,
who keep on slaughtering his flocks of sheep
and shambling bent-horned cattle" (Homer 11)
Evidence states: 'Yes! You are Odysseus! Ah, dear child! I could not see you until now- not till I knew
my master's body with my hands!' Book 19, lines 549-52

Threshold Guardian
The hero has survived death, overcomes his fear and now earns the reward of coming back home to his wife and son and regaining his power.
“…ripped her golden wand upon the man, making his cloak pure white, and the knit tunic fresh around him. Lithe and young she made him, ruddy with sun, his jaw line clean, the beard no longer gray upon his skin. And she withdrew what she had done.” (1024). Thus, Odysseus has his resurrection.
Odysseus is resurrected when he finally shows himself to the suitors and he defeats this last enemy whi he can now take a reprieve from the constant threat of fighting and danger that has plagued him for two decades.
A threshold guardian or "gatekeeper" must test the hero's readiness. Examples are Cyclops, Polyphemus and Poseidon's monster.

Odysseus's journey back to Ithica tests to see who is loyal to him and who isn't. For example, his crew members are his allies, he is tested by the Gods (especially Poseidon) , and he encounters enemies like the cyclops and the suitors who want him dead.
Odysseus is met with many challenges and faces enemies.
Odysseus encounters many tests throughout his journey.
Sirens- He had to rely on his crew members to hold him back instead of giving in to temptations.
"'...we should guard against the wondrous voices
of the Sirens in their flowery meadows.
She said I alone should listen to them.
But you must tie me down with cruel bonds,
so I stay where I am and cannot move,
standing upright at the mast. You must fix
the rope at both its ends onto the mast.
If I start ordering you to set me free, you have to tie me down with still more rope.’" (Homer 240)
who gives him advice and helps his get through his journey back to the ordinary world.
Odysseus also encounters allies along his journey like
"With her she brought servants carrying bread, plenty of meat, and bright red wine. Then the lovely goddess stood in our midst and spoke to us: '... I'll show you your course and tell you
each sign to look for, so you'll not suffer,
or, thanks to vicious plans of sea and land,
endure great pain.’" (Homer 235)
The Cyclops-
"‘Hear me, Poseidon, Enfolder of the Earth,
dark-haired god, if I truly am your son
and if you claim to be my father,
grant that Odysseus, sacker of cities,
a man from Ithaca, Laertes' son,
never gets back home. If it's his destiny
to see his friends and reach his native land
and well-built house, may he get back late
and in distress, after all his comrades
have been killed, and in someone else's ship.
And may he find troubles in his house.’"
(Homer 183)
Odysseus's main ordeal is when he returns home to face the suitors who've done him wrong and attack them.
"'You dogs, because you thought
I'd not come back from Troy to my own home,
you've been ravaging my house, raping women,
and in your devious way wooing my wife,
while I was still alive, with no fear of the gods,
who hold wide heaven, or of any man
who might take his revenge in days to come.
And now a fatal net has caught you all.'" (Homer 430)
Throughout The Odyssey, Odysseus has always wanted to go back to Ithica. However, seeing Telemachus in search of him is when he really realizes that he must get home.
"'...But I am your father, on whose account
you grieve and suffer so much trouble,
having to endure men's acts of violence.'
He spoke, then kissed his son. A tear ran down his cheek onto the ground—till then he'd held himself in check." (Homer 319)
Odysseus has reclaimed his home at last and is reunited with his family!
"'He's come himself,
to his own hearth while still alive—he's found
you and your son inside these halls and taken
his revenge on all suitors in his home,
men who acted harmfully against him.'” (Homer 451)

The First Archetype
The Second Archetype: Mentor
One of the Archetypes is the hero - or the central character.
Odysseus's Mentor is Athena.

Odysseus is hero, and to prove Odysseus is a great hero he uses his wisdom to achieve his goals. There are also times when all the men are afraid, but here Odysseus lets nothing stop him.: "We all felt pressure in our hearts, but I spoke up in reply." He was fearless enough to take such risks. Odysseus said: "Friends, have we never been in danger before this? More fearsome, is it now, then when we faced Cyclops?" This quote shows that in time of danger Odysseus is willing to sacfice himself for the well being of others.
Her function in the story is to guide Odysseus and "watch over" him. She tries to help him return to Ithica by trying to persuade the Gods and Telemachus to help him.
" But my heart is torn for skillful Odysseus, ill-fated man, who has had to suffer such misfortune
for so many years, a long way from friends" (Homer 10)
4th Archetype- The Herald

Odysseus's main messenger/ announcer is Athena
"Stranger, you must be a fool, or must have come from very far afield, to preach to me of fear or reverence for the gods. We Cyclopes care not a jot for Zeus with his aegis, nor for the rest of the blessed gods, since we are much stronger than they. It would never occur to me to spare you or your men against my will for fear of trouble from Zeus. Now, where is your ship?......
The Shape shifter Archetype
The 6th Threshold-Shadow
Odyssey's Shadows include internal conflicts such as being suicidal.
Its function can be to symbolize that Odysseus has weaknesses.
The shape shifter is usually of the opposite sex, in this story it is Circe She is one who can not be trusted, and has mixed personalities. When she is first found on her island, she is described as , “[a] nymph with lovely braids… they heard her singing, lifting her spellbinding voice,” (10. 241-3) This shows her beautiful and goddess-like side, but then her evil side is exposed and happens to be related to dolos. She is a symbol for temptation.
"We sailed on from there with heavy hearts,grieving for dear shipmates we had lost..." (Homer 191)
"But the gods are still preventing him
from getting back. For there's no chance
that brave Odysseus has died somewhere.
No. He's still alive but being detained
on an island, surrounded by the sea,
with wild and dangerous men restraining him,
holding him back against his will."
(Homer 15)
The seventh archetype- Trickster
The trickster is Poseidon because he disrupts Odysseus's world. (However, he doesn't use humor)
"The gods pitied Odysseus,all except Poseidon, who kept up his anger against godlike Odysseus and did not relent until he reached his native land."
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