The Odyssey Essay

Submitted By lsfurey
Words: 2082
Pages: 9

Five Hundred Pages of Greek Mythology
Mrs. D’s class used The Odyssey as an example of Greek mythology. The Odyssey shows all thirteen steps of the hero’s journey and the four functions of Greek mythology. Even though this book is five hundred pages long, it is an exemplar of Greek mythology, which is in contrast to most other Greek mythology stories that tend to be short.
In the book The Odyssey the main character Odysseus is an exemplar of the hero’s journey. To begin, the initiate is Odysseus. He is uncomfortable with leaving his new born baby, Telemachus, home with Penelope to go fight in the Trojan War because Telemachus might not believe that he will ever come home. “"Mentor,"” answered Telemachus, “"do not let us talk about it anymore. There is no chance of my father's ever coming back; the gods have long since counselled his destruction. "” (,Homer 206). He lives in the known world of Ithaca. Odysseus’ mark for greatness is the scar on his knee. Homer illustrates “Odysseus sat by the fire, but ere long he turned away from the light, for it occurred to him that when the old woman had hold of his leg she would recognise a certain scar which it bore…she began washing her master, she at once knew the scar as one that had been given him by a wild boar when he was hunting.” (398)
Odysseus’ call to adventure is when the gods come to tell him that he needs to report to Troy. He had many helpers; they were all of his men. Odysseus emphasizes “I could have borne it better even though he was dead, if he had fallen with his men before Troy.” (127)
The threshold guardian is Poseidon. Homer writes “Nausithous used to say that lord Poseidon was vexed with us because we escorted all mankind and never came to grief. He said that one day, as a well-built ship of ours sailed home on the misty sea such from a convoy, the god would crush it.” (150)
Along his journey one of the struggles he encounters is Scylla. “Inside it Scylla sits and yelps with a voice that you might take to be that of a young hound, but in truth she is a dreadful monster and no one--not even a god--could face her without being terror-struck. She has twelve mis-shapen feet, and six necks of the most prodigious length; and at the end of each neck she has a frightful head with three rows of teeth in each, all set very close together, so that they would crunch any one to death in a moment, and she sits deep within her shady cell thrusting out her heads and peering all round the rock, fishing for dolphins or dogfish or any larger monster that she can catch, of the thousands with which Amphitrite teems. No ship ever yet got past her without losing some men, for she shoots out all her heads at once, and carries off a man in each mouth.” (270) Homer illustrates.
Odysseus also was blessed with many supernatural aids. An exemplar is the scarf from the sea nymph Ino. “His body was all swollen, and his mouth and nostrils ran down like a river with sea-water, so that he could neither breathe nor speak, and lay swooning from sheer exhaustion; presently, when he had got his breath and came to himself again, he took off the scarf that Ino had given him and threw it back into the salt stream of the river, where on Ino received it into her hands from the wave that bore it towards her.” (386) Homer points out.
Odysseus’ mentor is Athena. Homer notes “That very moment great Odysseus woke from sleep on native ground at last- he’d been away for years-but failed to know the land for the goddess Pallas Athena, Zeus’s daughter, showered mist over all, so under cover she might change his appearance head to foot as she told him every peril he’d meet at home.” (450)

The abyss for Odysseus is when he goes into the underworld to find out how to get home. On the contrary the revelation is when Odysseus finally realizes how to get home. He exclaims “I should have got home at that time unharmed had not the North wind and the currents been against me as I was doubling Cape Malea,