Archetypes in the Odessey

Topics: Odyssey, Odysseus, Homer Pages: 2 (704 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Ms. Downey

English 9
Archetypes in The Odyssey
In Homers epic poem “The Odyssey” there are many archetypes, many of which were the origin of the archetype. An archetype is a character type, place, or symbol, every culture shares. In “The Odyssey” Homer uses archetypes to evoke meaning to the story. Some examples of archetypes in “The Odyssey” are the temptress, and the father-son conflict. In the story “The Odyssey” there are a couple temptress’. Two examples are Calypso and the sirens. In “The Odyssey” Calypso keeps Odysseus on her island for seven of the years the he was gone. She kept him away from his beloved spouse Penelope. In book 5 it says, “But he saw nothing of the great Odysseus, who sat apart, as a thousand times before, and racked his own heart groaning, with eyes wet scanning the bare horizon of the sea...” (Homer, 5, 39-42). Odysseus cries for Penelope, even though she is a mortal and he is on an island with a beautiful goddess, he still longs to be with her. She is his wife and he loves her and would rather be at home with Penelope and his son, than be on Calypso’s island any longer. And despite Calypso’s efforts Odysseus wants to return home. Another example of a temptress is the sirens. Circe warns Odysseus of the sirens before he continues his journey home, “Square in your ships path are Sirens, crying beauty to bewitch men coasting by; woe to the innocent who hears that sound! He will not see his lady nor his children in joy, crowding about him, home from the sea; the Sirens will song his mind away on their sweat meadow lolling” (Homer, 9, 4-10). Sirens are creature wit the head of a women and the body of a bird. To lure men in they sing a song to enchant them and lead their ships to the rocks, and ultimately their death. Sirens are basically the staple of “the temptress” because they lure men to their death. Circe warns Odysseus on his way home about the Sirens to keep him away from danger.

Another example of an...

Cited: The Odyssey
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