Character Archetypes In Homer's The Odyssey

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“Home is where the heart is,” has been a quote that has been reiterated through generations and has proven to be true. In several myths the main character leaves home, but always returns. An example of this would be The Odyssey, a story that was written down by Homer in the 750 B.C. In this story the main character Odysseus leaves Ithaca to fight in the Trojan war and then makes it his priority to return back home (Holt McDougal 1204-1265). Another example would be John Carson from the folktale The Three Advices, written by Crofton Croker. John leaves his home in Ireland to obtain a new employment in England in order to provide for his family, and when he accomplishes his goal, he also makes it his mission to come back home (Crocker 1). The…show more content…
In The Odyssey, Odysseus requires the aid of a mentor who says, “Listen with care to this now, and a god will arm your mind” (Holt McDougal 1230). In this instant we see Circe giving advice to Odysseus about what is to come and how he should deal with it. With this example, Circe fits the mentor character archetype, since she guides Odysseus to take the best decision. Likewise, in The Three Advices John’s master acts as a mentor to him when he says, “Then listen attentively to my words, first I would teach you this” (Crocker 1). This shows how John’s master is guiding him and acting like a fatherly figure to him, and making him fit the mold of a mentor. The meaning of having the same archetype of a mentor is to express that the heroes need a person to aid them and lead them in the right direction, like any human does when times are difficult. In The Odyssey, the character archetype of a temptress is present when Odysseus is trying to get home after consulting with Circe. Later, while they are navigating the sea, they encounter sirens who try to lure Odysseus to his death by using their lovely voices, but being the hero that Odysseus is he resists (Holt McDougal 1234). This makes the sirens fit the temptress archetype because they lure men to their death and veer them off their goal. At…show more content…
In The Odyssey, Odysseus goes to help fight in the Trojan war and leaves behind his family and his new born baby, Telemachus. Therefore, Odysseus is selfless in his call to adventure and is driven to help others (Holt McDougal 1204). In The Three Advices, John leaves his family to get a new employment in order to help his family get their basic necessities (Crocker 1). John’s call to adventure is to care for his family and to give them a better life. This exhibits his reasons of being selfless and shows that these two myths both have a main character who undergoes a stage in which they have to leave their home to benefit others. This proves that characters in many cultures have the urge to go out to explore the world and the urge to help others. In addition, in The Odyssey the reward that Odysseus gets is to be reunited with his family again: “So she too rejoiced, her gaze upon her husband, her white arms round him pressed as though forever,” (Holt McDougal 1265). The books then ends with Penelope and Odysseus being joyous after all the adversities that Odysseus went through to get back home, making the treacherous journey worthwhile. In The Three Advices, John’s reward is, “A nice new-slated house, which the squire had furnished and made ready for him” (Crocker 1). John obtains his dream of giving his family an extraordinary life, due to his strong
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