Characteristics of an Epic and Hero's Journey By Eli Belue


6 Characteristics of an Epic

-Epic Hero

-Superhuman strength and acts of courage

-A very vast, open setting

-Written in poem form

-Help from the supernatural

-Overwritten elevation of style

Epic Hero

Odysseus is the epic hero in this epic because of his amazing strength and courage.

Superhuman Strength and Acts of Courage

In this epic, Odysseus had superhuman strength and he commited several acts of courage and bravery. Such as when he was brave enough to go between Scylla and the whirlpool or when he was hit in the shoulder with the stool and it broke and he did not even flinch

Vast, Open Setting

This story has a very vast setting. It goes from Troy, to the open sea, to the cyclop's home, to the island with Calypso, and then to Ithica.

Poem Formatting

The Odyssey is written in poem form with lines and homeric similies. These similies occur in Homer's poems.

Supernatural Help

Odysseus had help and trouble from supernatural figures. Zeus was the reason it took him so long to come home. Circe gave him helpful advice on how to get home. Athena helped him off of Calypso's island and in battling the suitors in his house.

Overwritten elevation of style

In this epic, Homer exaggerates and goes into amazing detail describing the littlest of things. Such as the popping noise that is created when Odysseus stabs the cyclop in the eye.


The Call to Adventure

In the Odyssey, Odysseus is called to leave his home and fight in the Trojan War.

Refusal of the Call

The Odyssey does not state that Odysseus refused to fight in the Trojan War, but with his son Telemachus just being born, one can assume that he wanted to stay home with his family.

The Crossing of the First Threshold

Odysseus travels to Troy to fight and this is unfamilar land.

Belly of the Whale

Coming home from the war, he got blown off course which led to this 10 year journey home.

The Road of Trials

Odysseus faces trials like the Trojan War, the cyclops, the sea monster Scylla, Poseidon keeping him away from home, the lotus flowers, the sirens, and his own curiosity and pride.

Meeting with the Goddess

Odysseus meets Circe and she gave him advice on how to get home.

Woman as Temptress

Odysseus land on Calypso's island and they share this love, but Odysseus claims he stayed true to Penelope in his heart.


Odysseus has a time of rest before he fnishes his journey home. This happens when he tells the Phaeacians about his long journey.

Rescue From Without

Athena helps Odysseus kill all the suitors in his house and get his wife back.

Freedom to Live

Odysseus makes it home and clears out all the suitors. He gets his wife back, and does not have to worry about the suitors family. At this point in the story Odysseus is clearly as a point of rest and peace.


"Six Elements Of The Epic" Six Elements Of The Epic. N.p,n.d. Web. 07 Dec, 2015

"Writeworld." WRITEWORLD. Web. 11 Dec, 2015.

Homer. "The Odyssey." Prentice Hall Literature. Upper Saddle RIver: Pearson, 2013. 1089-1114