The Hero Archetypes In The Odyssey And King Arthur

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Archetypes have persisted in literary works through the sands of time and continue to be used to this day. Throughout traditional and modern literature, the formulaic structure of myths and the use of archetypes has been utilized in a consistent manner. Although many would argue that the universal use of archetypes has been erratic and intermittent through time, the use of the major hero and mentor archetypes within the tale of King Arthur and The Odyssey, and the refined usage of archetypes in modern literature, exhibit the universality of archetypes in different cultures and time periods.

The hero archetype in both the tale of King Arthur and The Odyssey exemplify its universal use in British and Greek culture respectively. Although each
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Just as demonstrated through the hero archetype, each mentor depicts its culture’s present values. In The Odyssey, Athena is seen as the supernatural mentor of Odysseus as well as his son, Telemachus. Being a goddess, Athena represents what Greek culture perceived as supernatural and displays the role model figure of Odysseus. In King Arthur, the wizard Merlin is revealed to be the mentor of Arthur, guiding him through challenges and supporting him through peril. With the mentor being a figure of guidance and counsel, Merlin and Athena each show this trait in each of their actions towards their disciple, who carries the hero archetype. Athena expresses her devotion towards Odysseus in her words towards Zeus, “. . . if it is now the pleasure of the blessed Gods that the wise Odysseus shall return to Ithaca . . .” From this, it can be inferred that Athena places her duty as a mentor in front of cultural values of Gods over mortals. This attribute can be seen similarily in Merlin who states towards the nobles, “Indeed, Arthur will long be the king of Britain . . .” This also comes to show how Merlin places his mentorship over cultural values. Through this we can recognize how Athena and Merlin epitomize the universal use of the mentor archetype.

In spite of the fact that both King Arthur and The Odyssey are each traditonal literary works, even through modern literature, archetypes can still be indentified. From the integration of new genres pertaining to 21st century societies, have still been maintained within stories. Applications of archetypes can be seen in famous movie series including Star Wars and Superman, and in books like the Hunger Games and Percy Jackson and the Olympians. This comes to show that through time, archetypes have remained universal within

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