Literature has many forms, and each form has its own unique structure for telling a story. When studying, teaching, or learning about narration in literature, it is also important to understand its underlying arrangement. How is it created? What are the parts of a story? What aspects differ from one form to another?
Study Odysseus Heroic Journey - Homer Odyssey | Narrative Structure Example from Literature
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CALL TO ADVENTURE
MENTOR / HELPER
King Odysseus is at home, in Ithaca, with his wife, Penelope, and newborn son, Telemachus.
CROSSING THE THRESHOLD
Odysseus is called to fight the Trojans by King Menelaus.
TESTS / ALLIES / ENEMIES
He does not want to leave his family and sail to Troy; he knows it will be a long trip. He pretends to have gone mad, until Palamedes, sent to retrieve Odysseus, put Telemachus in front of Odysseus' plow. Odysseus had to reveal his sanity in order to save Telemachus.
Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, crafts, and war is Odysseus' guide. She wants to help Odysseus, though she has been instructed not to by Zeus. She takes pity on him while other gods forsake Odysseus, constantly saves him from death, and gives him guidance.
After the war, the gods become angry with the Greeks for their prideful ways. A great storm emerges and throws them off course.
Odysseus is thwarted with many tests as he travels back to Ithaca.
Odysseus nearly makes it home, but his crew opens a bag, given to Odysseus by Aeolus, god of the winds. When the bag is opened, it releases a wind that blows them far away from Ithaca.
Odysseus is sent to the underworld seeking information from the blind prophet Tiresias to guide him home. This quest brings him to the verge of death.
The King of Phaeacia gives Odysseus passage home.
Unlike other heroes, Odysseus was not in search of treasure. Instead, he was desperately trying to reach his home. Once he returns, he finds out that his house has been overrun with suitors trying to steal his wife and palace.
Instead of rushing in and killing the suitors, Odysseus is patient, wishing to learn if his wife has been faithful.
Odysseus, dressed as a beggar, completes a final challenge, and is restored to his rightful place.