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Character Analysis: The Hero's Journey

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When creating a story, many great minds will use a pattern to enthrall readers and shape them into a hero. Established by Joseph Campbell, The Hero's Journey is the iconic template many utilize to plan their imaginative tale. The Hero’s Journey is the cycle in which a hero ventures into an unknown world where the protagonist combats fear and learns moral lessons. Heroes in ancient myths such as Homer's epic poem, The Odyssey clearly follows this formula as the hero, Odysseus, faces hardships throughout different regions that ultimately change his once arrogant character. As a result, Homer's version of the Hero's Journey illustrates how Odysseus came to learn and experience the significance of humility.
Even though Odysseus’ wits save lives,
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One can perceive a change in character midway through the journey, during his trip to Helio's island. Prior to the trip, the crew was deliberately told not harm Helios’s, cattle, for they will suffer the consequences. However, hunger grew in all their bodies leading them to eat the sun god’s cattle. While the crewmen indulges in the cattle, Odysseus goes for walk in solitude, for he abids the rule of eating the cattle. He reaches out to Zeus, “ For hope that one might show me some way of salvation” (Homer 625) and in replication, the god, “ closed [Odysseus’] eyes under slow drops of sleep” (Homer 625). Although the quotes display amnesty, they have a deeper meaning than just finding salvation. In despair, Odysseus cries to Zeus explaining how he needs a god to save him from starvation. In response to the hero’s call, the god puts Odysseus to slumber, preventing him from eating the cattle. Moreover, Helios messages the thunder god to kill those who ate his cattle. It was this decree that made Zeus throw a bolt at Odysseus’ men, killing them all. Nevertheless, Odysseus’ prayer shields him from death. The cry to Zeus conveys that the hero needs help from the gods and is unable to do everything himself, thus showing Zeus he is learning humility. This shows progression because in the beginning of the journey Odysseus announces his successes and obstacles whereas, on Helios island, the hero calls for help knowing he can not surpass famine/every challenge. This change in philosophy is classified under crisis, where the character has an epiphany and starts to learn his lesson. These signs of progression demonstrate Odysseus’ journey in finding modesty. In short, Odysseus’ experiences teach him the importance of
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