Odysseus and The 12 Stages of a Hero's Journey

Thesis: The quest of Odysseus to return home follows Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey

Topic Sentence: Odysseus, The hero, departs and begins his journey when he must leave Ithica, His home. His call to adventure starts when he is called upon by Agamemnon to help Menelaus rescue Helena, His wife, who has been kidnapped by one of the Trojans, Paris. Odysseus refuses the call, Wanting to stay by his wife and child. Odysseus and Achilles attempt to avoid the war by subterfuge.

Odysseus pretended to be mentally ill by plowing a field and seeding it with salt. But Agamemnon’s envoys took his infant son and put him in the way of the plow, which made it more or less impossible for Odysseus to refuse. Odysseus crosses the first threshold when he goes to fight in the Trojan War. Odysseus makes a plan to build a wooden horse and bring it into Troy which worked in their favor, winning them the war.

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Topic Sentence: The initiation begins when he gets home from Troy after the war ends

Odysseus’ road of trials—the encounter with the Cicones—Upon sacking the town of Cicone, Odysseus and his men loot the village, sharing the spoils of war (women, money, and livestock) equally among themselves. The belly of the whale starts with His encounter with Polyphemus, the Cyclops He must escape Polyphemus’ cave, but he cannot move the great rock that seals the entrance. He cannot kill Polyphemus in his sleep, since the Cyclops is the only one who can remove the barrier.

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He cannot fight Polyphemus one on one—the Cyclops’ strength is far too great, even for Odysseus. Thus, he is forced to use only trickery to escape his death. While leaving the island, after safely escaping Polyphemus’s cave, Odysseus taunts the blinded beast, bragging about his ingenuity. The Cyclops replies by “ripping off the peak of a towering crag, [heaving] it so hard the boulder [lands] just in front of [Odysseus’] dark prow and a huge swell [rears] up as the rock [goes] plunging under— a tidal wave from the open sea.” (Book 9, ll. 538-541).

His next encounter is with Calypso, who starts the stage of the next encounter with the Sirens, Physically restrained, he sails by the Sirens, who entice him with their songs. Only with the help of his men can he pass by the Sirens without being drawn in. Odysseus’s men experience the Cattle of the Sun trial, which represents the “forbidden fruit” that one must resist. The next stage is Women as the temptress. After washing up on the island and meeting the goddess-nymph, he holds him there for seven years. The story continues with the atonement with the father when Odysseus has to travel to the underworld to receive a prophecy from a prophet named Tiresias. When he journeys through hell, Odysseus meets the ghost of his mother, who died from heartbreak because she missed her son so much. His Apothesis starts when he is still being held captive at Calypso’s cave. He realizes that he’d rather go home. The Ultimate Boon occurs when Hermes, commanded by Zeus, to talk to Calypso and release Odysseus.

Topic Sentence: Odysseus finally gets to return to Ithica

Odysseus is shipwrecked on the island of the Phaeacians and he needs their help in order to continue on his journey. The king of the Pheaecians, Alcinous, provides Odysseus with an enchanted ship that protects him and carries him safely to Ithaca—literally Odysseus’s magic flight. The main supernatural aid is Athena, who always intervenes in Odysseus’s journey. Other big supernatural aids include Zeus and Poseidon When Odysseus leaves Troy after the war and begins his long journey home. His magic flight occurs when he reaches Ithica. He is greeted by Athena who makes him a disguise as a beggar due to everyone believing he was dead. Odysseus meets with his old swineherd, Eumaios, and meets his son, Telemachus, for the first time in 20 years. He then reveals himself to his son and later goes on to see his wife Penelope. After unveiling himself -with the help of Athena- Odysseus must prove himself to her as proof that it’s really him. After he passes, His wife embraces him which leads to the next stage of crossing the return threshold. Odysseus kills all of the suitors and which sparks a small war between hm and their families. Thankfully, Athena steps in to stop the fighting before Odysseus gets massacred. Odysseus becomes the Master of two worlds and once everything settles properly, He has the Freedom to live with his son, Telemachus, and his wife, Penelope.

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Odysseus and The 12 Stages of a Hero's Journey. (2020, Sep 11). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/odysseus-and-the-12-stages-of-a-heros-journey-essay

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