Literature of the Western World
21 September 2014
A Hero’s Journey with Odysseus
Of all literature works read thus far, the Odyssey full fills the hero’s journey in all aspects of the story. Throughout this story there are vivid examples of how the hero’s journey is outlined. From the beginning of “the hero’s journey”, which is the call to adventure Odysseus will begin his journey when he makes the choice of going into battle in the Trojan War. There will also be specific events in this epic story to display “the hero’s journey” even further. Eventually the end of the journey will be revealed when Odysseus regains ...view middle of the document...
Odysseus leaving Troy after the war and beginning his journey home would be considered the threshold. This marks the beginning of his transformation. It is in this part of the hero’s journey where Odysseus encountered many obstacles and temptations. One example of an obstacle is in book nine when Odysseus and his men sneak into the Cyclops cave to take its food and possessions. One could say this was an adventure within an adventure. This is unknown territory for Odysseus and his men. In order for him to continue on his journey Odysseus must use his wits and fast thinking to defeat the Cyclops and get his men to safety. Another example of an obstacle faced comes from book seven where Circe warns Odysseus about the dangers he will face at sea. One of these dangers is the Sirens. (Scenes in Art based on the Odyssey) The Sirens call was very alluring at the same time it was dangerous and deadly. Anyone who heard the call could not resist it. So in order for Odysseus to overcome this challenge he commanded his men to stuff their ears with wax and tie him to a mast that he couldn’t escape so he could still be able to hear the singing. In doing this he was able to understand just how powerful the Siren call was and the effects it would have had on his men had they had a chance to hear it. Other obstacles were Charybdis and Scylla. Charybdis which was a sea monster would swallow huge amounts of water three times a day and then belch it back out. In doing this it created whirlpools. Scylla was also a sea monster. She had six long necks with heads attached to each neck. Circe informed Odysseus it would be better for him to sail closer to Scylla rather than Charybdis because she could drown his ship. Taking Circe advice Odysseus was able to get pass Scylla and Charybdis, but the fatality was that he lost six of his men because Scylla ate them alive.
The revelation or the abyss of the hero’s journey can be described in the Odyssey as Odysseus going to the underworld known as Hades. Odysseus went there because Circe instructed him to do so. It was there Tiresias, which is a blind prophet tells Odysseus that he will return home. He also tells him he will reunite with his wife and take command of his kingdom from suitors. He then instructs Odysseus that he need to take a trip to a faraway land to appease the god Poseidon. After revealing this prophecy he warns Odysseus not to touch...