Elements of an Epic

The Odyssey

Epic Hero

The picture of Odysseus shows his magnitude of strength, bravery and fervent determination. It is important for an epic hero to have the ability to have a lot of courage, wit and strength.

Superhuman strength and valor

Odysseus exhibits strength and courage when he faces the cyclops. This picture shows Odysseus with a spear aiming straight for the cyclop's eyeball. Odysseus strategizes to cripple the cyclops instead of killing him.

Broad Settings

Throughout the Odyssey, the setting changes many times. It starts at the island of Calypso and ends at his home in Ithaca. This picture details the multiple locations and challenges Odysseus faces as he returns to Ithaca.

Supernatural Involvement

This picture is representative of the gods from the Odyssey. These gods have weapons, wings, chariots and more that represent each of their individual supernatural powers. These powers are used to either help or go against the Greeks.

Style of Writing

The Odyssey contains epic literary and poetic devices. This picture is an example of an epic simile showing that the narrator uses different styles of writing.

Omniscient Narrator

The picture of the narrator's point of view shows that he/she is using omniscient narration. It has a part of the Odyssey shown and tells what the narrator decided to include.

The Hero's Journey

Part one-Call to adventure

1. The ordinary world: Odysseus is at his home in ithaca with Telemachus and Penelope

2. The call to adventure: Odysseus leaves his home in Ithaca for the battle in Troy

3. Refusal: Odysseus realizes the trip to Troy will be long, therefore he does not want to leave his family


Part two-Supreme Ordeal/Initiation

4. Mentor Helper: Athena the goddess of wisdom helps Odysseus even though she was instructed not to

5. Crossing the Threshold: The Greeks become prideful and cause the gods to become angry. The war ended and a great storm appears and throws them off course.

6. Test/Allies/Enemies: Odysseus faces many challenges as he travels back to Ithaca.

  • Polyphemus
  • Circones
  • Lotus eaters
  • Lastrygonians
  • Sirens
  • Scylla and Charybdis
  • Cattle of the Sun God


Part three-Unification/Transformation

7. Approach: Odysseus and his crew is almost home. They were given a bag from Aeolus, god of the wind. When the crew opens it, there is a great wind that blows them far away from Ithaca.

8. Ordeal: Odysseus seeks information to guide him home in the underworld. This quest to the underworld brings him close to death.

9. Reward: The King of Phaeacia gives Odysseus passage home.


Part four-Road back/Hero's return

10. Road back: Odysseus is not looking for treasure like other heroes. He is trying to find a way home. When Odysseus returns, he finds out that his wife and palace are being stolen by suitors.

11. Atonement: Odysseus wants to know if his wife has been faithful. He decides not to kill the suitors immediately, so instead he devises a plan. Odysseus gets Athena to disguise him as a beggar, so he can enter his house without anyone being suspicious. Telemachus, on Odysseus' signal steals all of the weapons of the suitors. This helps Odysseus string his bow, and kill the suitors.

12. Return: Odysseus completes the task that he planned and is reinstated to normal. He and Telemachus remove the suitors from their house. Penelope tests Odysseus to prove that he is her husband by telling him their bed was moved. He replied that it was impossible, making everything return to normal.

Works Cited

"Six Elements Of The Epic." Six Elements Of The Epic. N.p,n.d. Web. 14 December 2015.

http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/engl257/General%20lit/six_elements_of_the_epic.htm




"The Hero's Journey." StoryboardThat. 2015. Web. 14 December 2015.

http://www.storyboardthat.com/articles/education/literature/heroic-journey


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