What is an archetype and how do archetypes apply to the Odyssey.

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stolperia eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An archetype is a symbol that has been used so frequently and effectively as to become universally recognized and understood in its meaning. Archetypes may be found in any form of communication because of their effectiveness at conveying understanding of the symbolism they carry.

The Odyssey is filled with symbolic references and devices. Odysseus himself illustrates the great power and authority of the heroic figure, but also shows that such persons have weaknesses and difficulties. Additionally, he is sneaky, which may be good or bad depending on the situation!

The sea plays an enormous role in Odysseus's life. It is not only a means of transportation; it is also symbolic of the challenges, opportunities and trials he faces in life. It allows him to return home as well as giving him access to war.

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