Odysseus is the primary hero of the poem Odyssey, an epic poem that was penned by Homer. According to the poem, he was the king of Ithaca with outstanding wisdom, courage, and shrewdness. Odysseus had many adventures during his long journey home from the Trojan War. One of the most famous parts of his story is when he is called to adventure by the goddess Athena. So you may wonder what was Odysseus call to adventure, and what challenges did Odysseus face along the way? Join us as we explore one of mythology’s most famous quests, the hero’s journey in the Odyssey.
1. What is the Hero’s Journey in the Odyssey?
The Odyssey, an epic poem penned by Homer, tells the story of the hero’s journey in the Odyssey to Ithaca after enduring many challenges and adventures. His journey is often categorized into 3 stages which are The Separation, Initiation and Transformation, and the Return.
While discussing what was Odysseus call to adventure, you will get to know about his struggles to return home, as he is constantly confronted by obstacles such as treacherous seas, powerful gods and goddesses, and hostile creatures. But he never gives up and eventually returns to Ithaca, where he reclaims his throne and reunites with his loved ones. (See Can Othello be Considered a Tragic Hero?)
2. What does the Call to Adventure mean?
Before understanding what was Odysseus call to adventure, let us learn about the definition of a call to adventure. The call to adventure means that the hero faces an event, conflict, problem, or challenge that makes them question their current way of life and what they stand for. It’s often a sign that the hero is ready for a change and is destined for greater things.
3. What is the Call to Adventure in Orpheus and Eurydice?
The call to adventure comes when Orpheus and Eurydice are in the middle of a blissful life together. One day, a messenger from the Underworld arrives, interrupts their lives, and delivers an ominous message wherein it states that Eurydice has been bitten by a snake and died. This incident marks the start of Orpheus‘ journey down into the Underworld to bring her back.
4. What was Odysseus Call to Adventure?
Now that you are aware of the definition of the call to adventure, let us look at the same in terms of Odysseus. Homer‘s The Odyssey is one of the most famous works in literature, and its hero, Odysseus, is one of the most iconic figures in all of mythology. The story of his long journey home from the Trojan War has captivated audiences for centuries, and his many adventures have served as a source of inspiration for countless other works.
So, what was Odysseus call to adventure? The call to adventure in his case is found in Book Two of The Odyssey, where we are told the story of the Trojan War. Odysseus is called upon to join Agamemnon and the Achaeans in attacking Troy, where Helen, Menalaus’s wife, is believed to be imprisoned by Paris, the prince of Troy. This call to adventure sets Odysseus on the path that will eventually lead him back to Ithaca and his long-awaited reunion with his wife, Penelope. Check out Odysseus is called to Adventure When He was?
5. Does Odysseus accept the Call immediately?
No, he does not want to leave his family. However, he accepts it because there are rewards, and hopes to gain honor. At first, his main concern was for his family’s safety while he is away which was the reason for his refusal of the call. Consequently, he asks the goddess to protect them in his absence.
6. What is the Point of the Refusal of the Call?
When faced with a difficult decision, it is often helpful to imagine the risks and rewards of both paths. The refusal of the call is an important step in understanding the risks involved in the journey ahead and what was Odysseus call to adventure
Odysseus did not want to leave his family and their safety was his utmost responsibility and this was the point of the refusal of the call. He had been at war for many years, and all he wanted was to go home, spend time with his wife and son, and relax. He had no desire to get drawn back into another adventure.
7. How does Odysseus refuse the Call to Adventure?
Now that you are aware of what was Odysseus call to adventure and the point of refusal of the call, let us learn about how he refused the same. Odysseus spends a lot of time trying to avoid the call to adventure. He doesn’t want to leave his family and knows there’s a good chance he won’t make it back if he goes. He refuses the call by acting as if he was insane by plowing the field with an ox and a donkey, however, his attempt failed when one of the soldiers tested him by using his son as bait to which Odysseus immediately jumped to the rescue.
But eventually, after enduring a lot of obstacles, he decides to go. He tells his wife that he must answer the call and that he will come back to her as soon as possible and also asks her not to remarry while he is gone. Odysseus is one of the most famous heroes in Greek mythology, and his story is full of adventure and danger. But at its heart, his story is about family and love. See What is the Primary Theme of Recessional by Rudyard Kipling?
8. What are the 12 Adventures of Odysseus?
To get an idea of what was Odysseus call to adventure, take a look at the following adventures:
- The Island of the cicones was the first adventure of Odysseus and his men. They looted an island and were attacked when they stayed too long. The island was home to a race of giants who were not happy with the intrusion of the Greeks. The Cicones were defeated, and many of them were killed. The Greeks then sailed away and landed on the Island of the Lotus Eaters.
- The Island of the Lotus Eaters is a beautiful and magical place where men were enticed to stay on the island by eating the lotus flowers. The flowers were so delicious that they didn’t want to leave. Odysseus had to force them to leave and return to their ships. It was a difficult journey, but they made it back safely.
- Island of the Cyclops is the third adventure in Homer’s Odyssey. In this adventure, Odysseus and his men journey into the cave of Polyphemus, the cyclops. There, they are confronted by the cyclops, who proceeds to eat four of Odysseus’ men. The rest of his men escape by blinding the cyclops and tying themselves to the bottoms of sheep. The island of the Cyclops is an important episode in Homer’s Odyssey as it reveals much about Odysseus’ character. Odysseus can defeat the cyclops and protect his men through his cunning and resourcefulness.
- Aeolus is a figure from Greek mythology who plays an important role in Homer’s Odyssey. Aeolus was the king of the winds and lived on the island of Aeolia. Aeolus presented Odysseus with a bag of winds, which his crew opened while they were sailing home from their adventures. The winds blew them back to Aeolia, and Aeolus refused to help them further. This story highlights the dangers of underestimating Aeolus and his powers and also serves as a warning against greed and recklessness. Aeolus represents the forces of nature that can never be fully controlled, and his story serves as a reminder of humanity’s place in the natural world.
- Lastergonians were a race of giant beings who inhabited an island in the Mediterranean Sea. According to legend, Lastergonians once attempted to eat Odysseus and his men when they landed on their island. However, the Greeks could escape, and Lastergonians were never seen again. While the existence of Lastergonians is disputed, some scholars believe they may have been inspired by real-life cultures such as the Philistines or the Carthaginians.
- Circe was an enchantress on an island in the Mediterranean Sea who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Circe was often associated with Hecate, the goddess of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft. Witches and sorcerers worshiped Circe.
- Land of the Dead is a 7th adventure where Odysseus went to see Tiresias. While there, he saw his deceased mother and many famous women and heroes from the Trojan War. Land of the Dead is an important story because it teaches about death and the afterlife. It also shows the importance of family and friends and how they can help us even after they die.
- Sirens were creatures from Greek mythology who were said to lure sailors to their island with enchanting singing voices. In the eighth adventure of Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus and his men encounter Sirens while sailing through the treacherous waters off the coast of Italy. To prevent themselves from being entranced by the Sirens’ song, Odysseus’ men stuff their ears with beeswax while Odysseus tied himself to the mast of the ship. While Sirens may only be mythological creatures, their story highlights the dangers of being lured in by something that seems too good to be true.
- Scylla and Charybdis are two sea monsters that appear in Greek mythology. Scylla is a six-headed creature that resides in a caldera on one side of a narrow strait, while Charybdis is a large whirlpool on the other. To reach his home, Odysseus had to sail between these two dangers.
- Cattle of the Sun God is the tenth adventure in Homer’s Odyssey. In this adventure, Odysseus and his men visit the island of the Cattle of the Sun God. Odysseus instructs his men not to devour any of the cows, but they do, which leads to their death. This adventure teaches the importance of obeying orders and respecting the property of others. It also teaches that one should be careful when visiting new places, as they may be home to dangerous creatures.
- Ogygia is an island in Greek mythology best known as the home of the nymph Calypso. According to Homer’s Odyssey, Ogygia is a remote island in the Mediterranean Sea. After being lost at sea for ten years, Odysseus washes up on Ogygia’s shores where he is then taken in by Calypso, who keeps him captive on the island for seven years. However, Hermes eventually persuades Calypso to release Odysseus so that he may return home to his wife and son.
- The Island of the Phaecians is a mystical place home to a race of supernaturally gifted sailors. The island was blessed with abundant natural resources, and its people were known for their generosity and hospitality. One day, a stranger arrived on the island bearing gifts from the gods. The stranger, who turned out to be Odysseus, regaled the Phaecians with tales of his ten-year journey home from Troy. The Phaecians were so impressed by Odysseus’ story that they decided to help him complete his journey. They provided him with a ship and crew and were delighted to escort him home. The Island of the Phaecians is a place of wonder and hospitality, and it will always be remembered for its role in helping Odysseus get home.
9. Why is Odysseus a Hero?
After getting an overview of what was Odysseus call to adventure, you can consider Odysseus a hero because of his strength and his fight against the Trojans. He was able to sail back home after being lost at sea for 10 years. Must read Was Beowulf a Good King?
10. What was Odysseus Quest?
Odysseus’ quest was to return to his island and eject the suitors. He traveled for many years, facing many challenges, before finally reaching Ithaca. There, he killed all of the suitors and reclaimed his home.
So, what was Odysseus call to adventure? Odysseus’ call to adventure was a challenge that would test his strength, cunning, and determination. While the hero’s journey in the Odyssey may have been difficult, it was ultimately worth it for him and his crew. What is your personal or professional challenge? How can you make it feel more like a calling and less like a burden? Moreover, what are your thoughts on what was Odysseus call to adventure? (Also read What is Frankenstein Themes Analysis?)