The Odyssey: Archetypes

The Quest Odysseus is trying to return to his kingdom and homeland of Ithaca.
The Task Win the Trojan War. When returned to Ithaca, Odysseus must win back his position as ruler of the kingdom and love of his wife.
The Initiation King Menelaus and Agamemnon draft the unwilling Odysseus to war.
The Journey Odysseus sails from Ithaca to Troy to help the Greeks win the Trojan War. After his success, his voyage back home consists of many struggles after his ship blows off course and lands on various islands.
The Fall Odysseus’ men and ship all die at the wrath of Zeus’ lightning bolt after his crew ate the sacred cattle of Helios.
Death and Rebirth After being gone for so many years, Odysseus’ mother commits suicide from depression and grief. Odysseus then finds her soul in the Land of the Dead.
Nature vs. Technology Besides brain power, Odysseus and his crew utilize hand made weapons like his great bow to overcome monsters and challenges.
Good vs. Evil Athena was helping Odysseus proceed throughout his journey while Poseidon cursed him with a rough voyage.
Hero Odysseus is the hero of Troy and Ithaca.
Hero’s Group of Companions His crew mates.
Hero’s Sidekick Athena, disguised as his mentor.
Devil Figure Poseidon goes out of his way to make his voyage back to Ithaca challenging, especially after Polyphemus curses Odysseus.
Friendly Beast Circe turns his men to pigs then houses him for many years. The Lotus Eaters give them a gift, the Lotus Plant, but it drugs his men into wanting to stay.
Satanic Animal Polyphemus, the cyclops.
Bird of Paradise The boat given to Odysseus by the Phoenicians. Aeolus traps storms in a bag.
The Outcast Odysseus must regain respect from his Kingdom after being gone from Ithaca for 20 years. Argos is no longer wanted by anyone when Odysseus leaves. Polyphemus does not stay with the other cyclops.
The Scapegoat The suitors are blamed for destroying Ithaca. Poseidon is blamed for the harsh voyage.
The Earthmother Gaea, goddess of the Earth?
The Temptress The sirens attempt to persuade the men to crash their ship into their island. Lotus Eaters. Circe, the enchantress.
The Ideal Woman Penelope, honest and loyal wife to Odysseus. Cares for the kingdom while he is gone.
The Unfaithful Wife His female maids/ servants sleep with the suitors.
The Divine Child Telemachus is the child of Odysseus, great king of Ithaca and hero of Troy.
The Wise Old Man Tiresias, blind man in the underworld. Can be compared with or a symbol of Homer. Also Mentes.
The Ghost Ship The Land of the Dead (Underworld), where Odysseus meets Tiresias for advice, is full of lost souls and ghostly features.
The River The last thing Odysseus has to cross/ accomplish is killing the suitors in Ithaca. Just before that, he also had to bypass Scylla and Charybdis.
The Ocean Literally the Ocean. Odysseus is stuck in it for a majority of his voyage. It is not a pleasant ride because his enemy, Poseidon, is the ruler of the sea.
The Garden The most majestic place in the Odyssey is Ithaca, Odysseus’ homeland. In this paradise he is respected as a king and man by his fellow villagers.

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