Odysseus

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Jonathan Tran
Mrs. Kravchak
Honors humanities; Per. 6
September 6, 2012
Odysseus’s Journey
All Greek myths are crazy adventures with all-powerful gods and deadly monsters. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, the king of Ithica, Odysseus, is trying to get home to his family after a ten year war conquering the city of Troy. Odysseus encounters numerous perils during his journey home. Some of his impediments included Calypso, a god, Polyphemus, a giant Cyclopes, and the suitors. Calypso trapped Odysseus on her island for seven years because she loved him. The Cyclopes only saw Odysseus and his crew as food. Then, when he finally gets home, he learns about the suitors who have been tarnishing his home and courting his faithful wife, Penelope. Many people think Odysseus’s journey was heroic but Odysseus is, in fact, not a hero by the standard of Joseph Campbell’s “hero’s journey.” The hero’s journey is a man passage to heroism. It consists of six steps; leaving home, deciding upon a quest, overcoming obstacles, fighting an all-out battle, getting a scar from the fight, and gaining great wisdom. Odysseus is close to being a hero by completing most of the phases but because he did not learn to correct any of his flaws, he did not gain any wisdom in his journey; Odysseus is not a hero. Although Odysseus is not a hero, he accomplished many aspects of the hero’s journey. Odysseus completed the first two steps of his journey at Calypso’s island where Odysseus “was sitting in his usual place on the shore, wearing out his soul with lamentation and tears”. (pg. 63) This is when he realized he is not in power anymore. On his trip to Troy, Odysseus was a brave and powerful king. His bravery diminished and his power belittled after being trapped on Calypso’s island. It is when he lost the hope of getting back to his kingdom does he theoretically left home for his journey. Just as Odysseus was about ready to kill himself, Calypso was forced by Zeus to set Odysseus free....
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