Archetypal Characters In Odysseus's Journey To The Underworld

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Odysseus’s journey to the underworld, better known as “The Odyssey Book XI”, explores archetypal characters such as the hero, the antagonist, and the sage. Our hero in this myth, firstly, is Odysseus. Most of the plotline follows him, because he is the hero. While in the underworld, Odysseus questions his own mortality after meeting the shades of the dead. They tell him about how horrible the afterlife is, and Odysseus begins to have second thoughts about his life as he knows he will, one day, become a forgotten shade. He is searching for his identity, but the antagonist gets in the way after he hears about the afterlife. The antagonist is a figure who provides conflict with the protagonist, but is not always necessarily a person. In this case, it is the thoughts going through our hero’s own mind that…show more content…
But to leave his mark, and find his identity, he must complete his journey. And he can only reach his final destination with the help of a sage. The sage is Tiresias. He is the prophetic shade who foretells Odysseus’s future and gives him advice. Tiresias’s role in the myth is to give Odysseus a path to follow as his journey continues, and help him find his identity. Without Tiresias, Odysseus may be lost as he continues his adventure. Each of the archetypal characters serves a purpose: to make the reader relate to the thoughts, feelings, and main idea expressed in the myth. Each is a universal character, and therefore, the reader already knows about them without explanation. The reader can understand the content more easily because they already know the path the characters will take, and their roles in the myth. The reader may also be contemplating their existence, and may relate to Odysseus in the sense that they fear they will be forgotten. The archetypal characters help convey the message that may resonate with the reader, and that is to live life to the fullest and make a mark in order to be
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