The Archetypal Hero In Homer's The Odyssey

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Despite the date of its composition, The Odyssey, an epic poem by Homer, relates not only to lives of ancient Greeks but to those of the 21st century. Archetypes found in The Odyssey provide a sense of reality when applied to the relationships in our daily lives, whether it be our heroes, like Odysseus, or our mentors, like Athena; these characters are not as fictional as they seem. The archetypal hero, Odysseus in The Odyssey, is passionate about fighting for justice in a world that lacks it. Odysseus uses his courage and resilience to “Let peace and wealth come cresting through the land”(437-438: 483) he calls home. “Though not even there would he be free of trials,”(21: 78) for his native land is not how he remembers it. As we encounter life’s challenges and complexities, we search for a hero to inspire us “in words and actions both”(2: 305), similar to the “Great Odysseus, who excels all men in…show more content…
The role of “Calypso, the bewitching nymph and lustrous goddess,”(16-17: 78) interrupts the course of the quest to display the hero’s battle with self-restraint. “Calypso holds (Odysseus) back, deep in her arching caverns,”(377-378: 466) although he does not succumb to the common temptations of women “forever trying to spellbind his heart with suave.”(67: 79) Even when offered a gift “to make him immortal, ageless, (for) all his days,”(379: 466) the hero “Odysseus, that seasoned veteran cursed by fate so long” controls his urges. Instead, Odysseus has “his heart set on his wife and his return,”(16: 78) longing for “the native land he loves, not even if iron shackles bind (him) down.”(236-237: 84) Calypso “never won the heart inside him, never.”(380: 466) The consistent appeal of The Odyssey can be accounted for by archetypal characters. When using representations of common personas in literature, life can be mimicked through
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