Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Athena Pages: 4 (1574 words) Published: July 25, 2009
The word “archetype” today means a stereotype; a definition of something that comes to us naturally and that is plugged into our consciousness. So where did we get these archetypes from? What society began the main traits that our characters have followed ever since? Our society has followed behind Greek influences since the beginning, probably because Greece is one of the oldest known civilizations to humans. Literature as well, has been followed up to today. Homers’ epic poem, The Odyssey, presents us with a story following what we would call a typical hero, Odysseus, who is on the journey home to Ithaca from the Trojan War. Although it would seem easy and rapid for him to reach Ithaca where his beloved wife and son are waiting for him, he is cursed by the gods Zeus, and especially Poseidon who plague him with obstacles that prevent him from reaching home for ten years. To deal with these obstacles, Odysseus transforms into more than just a war hero, but the ideal hero who uses wisdom and practicality to find his way home. Although the epic poem of a war hero's journey is over 2,500 years old, there is textual evidence that even today we still use the types of characters mentioned in the poem. In the poem it is obvious that “without the nature of strife [obstacles], everything would stagnate in a paradisiac state” (Zeruneith). The journey that Odysseus takes presents us with the archetypes in action, from the merciful and powerful goddess to the lovesick wife at home. The journey begins with the wise goddess Athena, who tells Odysseus’ son Telemachus that “’[Odysseus] is plotting a way to journey home at last; he’s never at a loss”’ (84). According to The Hero’s Journey by Joseph Campbell, this stage in the journey would be the “call to adventure...which is the point in a person’s life when they are first given notice that everything is going to change”(Campbell). This is the step that begins the story in order to reach the climax. Although this is at...
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