The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey book cover
Start Your Free Trial

Archetypes In The Odyssey

What archetypes exist in Homer's epic poem The Odyssey?

Expert Answers info

Jennings Williamson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseTeacher (K-12)


calendarEducator since 2016

write6,741 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Arts

This epic poem makes use of the Warrior Hero archetype through Odysseus himself. The Warrior Hero seems almost superhuman, achieving feats of strength and cunning and overcoming significant personal challenges in order to succeed. Odysseus has great strength of purpose: his desire to return home to his family carries him through a twenty-year absence from home, including a war followed by many harrowing and tragic adventures and events. His loyalty to his family is notable, especially because there are goddesses who would prefer that he remains with them. He is incredibly aware and adaptable, vigilant and clever. While the warrior is often brawny (and not brainy), Odysseus is both.

Penelope, his wife, is the perfect Faithful Wife. She does everything possible to hold off the suitors who would take her husband's place, and she does not give up hope that Odysseus is still alive (despite the length of his absence). Notice that her name is often preceded by the epithet , "heedful," showcasing her...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 680 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Verdie Cremin eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write2,994 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial