The Maturation Of Odysseus: The True Odyssey

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The Maturation of Odysseus: The True Odyssey A hero often undertakes the most difficult tasks and places himself in mortal danger in order to bring back both knowledge and treasure. Their stories follow what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey has six phases: leaving home for a quest, encountering battles and temptations, an all-out struggle that gives the hero a physical or mental wound, and returning home to share the wisdom the hero gained on his quest. One of the most famous tales of all time, The Odyssey, Homer’s epic poem depicting the return home of the hero Odysseus, follows the cycle of the Hero’s Journey. The saga begins with the intervention of Athena on behalf of Odysseus, who has been trapped on the island of the Titaness Calypso for the past seven years. Athena convinces Zeus to let Odysseus go home, only for Odysseus to end up on the shores of the Phaiacians. He is taken to the court of King Alcinous, where he relates the many adventures that have befallen him in the last ten years since he left Troy. The Phaiacians are amazed and extend their help in returning Odysseus to Ithaca, where his faithful wife Penelope waits, and where Odysseus faces his final challenge against the men that wish to take his lands and his wife. He returns home and uses his newfound self-understanding to regain his crown and become a better king, husband, father, and son. Odysseus and his journey closely imitate the Hero’s Journey, both as a physical and psychological undertaking. Each of Odysseus’ physical struggles is a metaphor for a psychological hardship that Odysseus overcomes, and by overcoming these hardships, Odysseus matures – achieving a more complete understanding of himself and his place in the world. At the conclusion of his journey, Odysseus becomes a true hero, having fulfilled all of Campbell’s steps and matured into a man who has

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