The Odyssey: A Hero's Journey

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The Odyssey, one of the world’s most famous stories, has been under debate on whether on whether or not it conforms to be a hero’s journey, a type of pattern theorized to be at the core of many myths. To understand its potential monomyth-hood, the story has be understood, as well as the different phases of a hero’s journey. A hero’s journey, by definition, must include a few characteristics: a phase where the hero leaves their home and decides on a quest, a period marked by a discovered conflict, an all-out struggle, the development of the hero, and the hero bettering the lives of those back at home. In The Odyssey, Odysseus, the protagonist, journeys to his home, in Ithaca, from Troy, where he waged and won a war. Along the way, Odysseus …show more content…

To illustrate this, one needs only to look towards his character flaw, his hubris. So prideful was he at the beginning of his journey that he calls out his name to a Cyclops he blinded, “I shouted to him: ‘Cyclops, if ever anybody asks thee who put out thine eye, tell him it was Odysseus, the son of Laertes, conqueror of Troy.’” (Homer 117). He shouted his name because he couldn’t stand the thought of the Cyclops not knowing who blinded him, when before Odysseus knew that doing so would have repercussions, like taking a ten year detour. At the end of his journey, Odysseus once more demonstrates his pride by slaying all of his wife’s suitors because they’ve insulted his pride by taking advantage of his hospitality, “Odysseus searched up and down the hall to see if any suitor could be found alive… Not one survived” (Homer 279). His pride here is shown by his overreaction to the suitors’ attempts at, what they thought was, a widowed woman by slaughtering them all, even those who spoke for Odysseus and tried to support him. Through the course of his journey, from beginning to end, Odysseus showcases his pride, once by shouting his name at a mad Cyclops, and once more by killing the innocent and guilty alike in the massacre at his home hall. This violates the monomyth by its absence of a character change and the hero’s continued

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