Though The Odyssey and Paradise Lost are penned during completely separate time periods–with a span of roughly nine centuries between the writing of each–the two works still share many similar themes and subject matters. Some are more vital components for the genre in general, necessary for a piece of literature to be considered an epic; others remain less conspicuous, though with just as great an impact on the overall story.
Heroism and the Hero’s Journey:
One of the most defining elements of an epic work is the presence of the Hero’s Journey, also known as the monomyth. Introduced by Joseph Campbell, the Hero’s Journey describes the typical narrative pattern that accompanies many forms of storytelling, most commonly and most easily seen in classical literature. “The standard path of the…show more content… The main character of a story is oftentimes the one who receives the title of the hero, yet the protagonist in this case is Satan. Labeling him as such typically yields controversy, as one side struggles with moral and religious connotation, while the other applies a more literary interpretation. If this is construed as being the character at the center of Campbell’s monomyth, then Satan would be the hero, as his journey greatly parallel’s that of the Hero’s Journey. Therefore, outside of religion, many may agree that throughout this poem, Satan acts as the hero–regardless of one’s standard definition of that word. The separation stage of the monomyth is marked by Satan’s banishment to Hell, and his decision for revenge towards God. His attempts at bringing about the downfall of Adam and Eve, as well as his encounters and interactions with the rest of God’s creation, address the initiation stage. The return is depicted in Satan’s venture back into the underworld, as well as the consequences that fall on everyone, following his actions