Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hero's Journey: Odysseus

  1. Departure
    1. The Call to Adventure-  Odysseus' call to adventure takes place while he is still in his ordinary world. Hermes travels from Mt. Olympus to tell Calypso that Zeus has declared that Odysseus is to be set free from her detainment of him. She assents to what her fellow immortal has told her, and she grudgingly relates the news to Odysseus that he is at liberty to finally leave her.
    2. Refusal of the Call-  At first Odysseus refuses this invitation because he does not want to leave his quiet and peaceful homeland and leave behind his wife and his newly born son.
    3. Supernatural Aid-    Pallas Athena, the bright-eyed goddess. Athena helps Odysseus innumerable times throughout his travels. The daughter of Zeus endows Odysseus with advice for which he is greatly faithful and devoted to her.
    4. The Crossing of the First Threshold- Odysseus' first threshold is agreeing to leave the island of Calypso, after he has collected her binding oath, and as he sets sail for Ithaca. The strong and just Prince begins his voyage home with the thought in mind of stopping off at some benevolent land and making friends and peace with those people, who will then help him furnish a ship and crew to finally assist him in his voyage home. 
    5. The Belly of the Whale-  Odysseus shows the Belly of the Whale archetype when he is on the island with Calypso.  The goddess said, “Every day for the last seven years he’s sat on the same rock gazing out to sea, weeping for home and Penelope.”  This shows he’s hit bottom and there’s no where for him to continue his journey.  Odysseus just stays and wishes for home and his wife.  The light in his darkness comes when Hermes gives the message of freeing Odysseus.  he is finally able to continue on his journey home.
  2. Inititation
    1. The Road of Trials-  Odysseus' trials segment of his journey does not consist of many events. Although he faces many enemies and feats that he must overcome throughout his struggles getting home from Priamís city of Troy, at this point he faces only one major foe whom definitely provides a non-superficial test for him to pass, and only one entity, being the Phaecians, as his ally. As he begins his journey, Odysseus travels safely for many days, however the immortal curse bestowed upon him by the relentless and unforgiving Poseidon, god of the seas and earthquakes, is yet to befall him.
    2. The Meeting with the Goddess-  He has his wife in mind and doesn't really meet any other but Athena who is his aid and is protecting him from bad Goddesses like Calypso.
    3. Woman as the Temptress- Odysseus was protected by the love that he held for his wife Penelope back home. Even though there was Calypso, and the siren mermaids he would not fall in order to reach his destiny back with his true love.
    4. Apotheosis-   At around the 29th day into the story of the "Odyssey", Poseidon is seething up on high about the release of Odysseus from the caption of Calypso, and still upset by the transgression that the hero waged against his son Polyphemus the Cyclops, he wrecks his raft and Odysseus drifts to the shores of Scheria. He is then helped to get back home by the Paecians.
    5. The Ultimate Boon-  Odysseus approaches his inmost cave when he returns to his homeland and finally touches the ground of Ithaca once again. As he wakes up, after being dropped off by the Phaecian sailors, he is immediately confronted by Athena and she drapes him in the guise of an old man, and advises him to first go to the swineherd Eumaeus' field and home. He is now back finally on his own land, the homecoming that he has longed for intermittently, for the past twenty years!

  1. Return
    1. Refusal of the Return- In this story there is no refusal to return. This whole journey was taken upon so that Odysseus could get back home and be able to go back to his wife and his son. 
    2. The Magic Flight-  It must be with great concentration and self-control that he can keep himself from running to his palace and proclaiming his return, an act which would probably have been fatal for him. So he learns from his loyal Euameus all that has befallen his kingdom during his absence, primarily the troubles of the suitors lying in wait to marry his bride Penelope. After learning all this, and meeting his son Telemachus for the first time grown-up, these two lay a plan and trap so that they may slowly test the suitors and all the servants of the palace for their loyalty and their resolve before finally slaying all that have wronged the great and now returned Odysseus.
    3. Rescue from Without- Od ysseus' supreme ordeal is obviously facing the suitors and all those that have wronged him. He scrupulously and painstakingly draws out the time between when he first arrives and when he will attack. He remains under the guise of the old man, even up until the time when he kills the first suitor. Only he, the hero, knows when the time will come for the attack. The only other person that knows it is coming is Telemachus, and he is only told to be ready for the sign from Odysseus, whenever he decides that he will wreak his ultimate revenge and unfurl his rage. Eventually Odysseus finds out who is loyal to him and who is not, then finally decides to do the deed that he has waited for with thoughts of blood for about two or days. He kills all of the suitors in a battle in the main courtyard of the palace, then has the disloyal maids also executed.
    4. The Crossing of the Return Threshold-  His reward is winning back his place of power and being able to be with his wife again, his son, and his surviving father.
    5. Master of the Two Worlds-   I believe that Odysseus' road back can be symbolized by his journey on the road to see his father Laertes and bring him back so that he may live with him finally in peace in the palace. Odysseus has to face his last enemy in this denouement section of his journey in the object of the suitor's angry fathers who come after him with a hord from the city to kill Odysseus for his slaughter of the suitors. Odysseus, Telemachus, and even Laertes, of course with the help of the mentor Athena, fend of these aggressors and kill them too.
    6. Freedom to Live-  The return with the elixir is when Odysseus and his loyal friends finally defeat his last threat to their survival, and peace is wrought over the entire place of Ithaca by Athena and the rest of the immortal gods up on high.

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