Critical Lens Essay on Archetypes

Miranda E. Remenar Per. 1 Bickmore Senior English 2/9/2012 Critical Lens Essay One might be angered that most of their child hood and lifetime stories are all based on archetypes. A simple skeleton of all tales, novels and stories alike. Until Discovering what an archetype was, you may have though that The Odyssey and Harry Potter were completely different tales, however this assumption would be wrong. Odysseus, a true hero destined by society to have the falls and triumphs of a hero, as well as “the chosen one” That was Harry.

Both chosen by society, both had ambushed plans as well as successful adventures. Analyzing this story using a thought process based on archetypical example and themes, you can clearly see the naked structure of the ‘Willing Hero’ Archetype. Harry Potter, being a hero to all of society faces times in which society also hates him. Where the ministry of magic turns the entire world against a 16 year old boy. He deals with it and lives on to deal with more of the world’s problems. Odysseus has the same problem.

He ventures to Troy, and whilst not many came home from such a war, he however survives… No-one can claim the life of Odysseus though, because no one has seen him for seven years. When his son sets forth to seek his dad, the Gods throw him a bone and breath wind in his favor. While on the mission of coming home, little does Odysseus know that all the men of his city are set on marrying his wife. Harry Potter and his friends are just like Odysseus and his crew. Harry relies on his allies for mental support and ideas. While Odysseus relies on his crew for physical support, to get him from place to place.

They are with him through thick and thin, so maybe a few of them get sacrificed to a Cyclops, but harry loses and gains a few friends here and there as well. When Harry is fighting the Dark Lord Voldemort, his allies are there for moral support, giving him advice but only he can slay Voldemort in the end. Same goes for Odysseus, while he is planning his attack on the imposters in his house when he returns from the long journey home from Troy, he finds his most loyal crew members, and friends to help him rid of the sinners occupying his hall.

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Both Harry and Odysseus have allies that they rely on till the very end. Without them, they probably would not have succeeded in the end. Growing up a mortal, Harry never experiences magic, until his eleventh birthday. He struggles with relying on his natural talents, just as Odysseus relies on praying to the Gods for help. When the Gods finally come through for Odysseus nobody seems to believe him. But Harry, he is the only one that can’t seem to rely on something that everyone else around him can’t live without.

Odysseus finally gets his wish when the Gods answer his prayers. He begs to the sky like he had been doing his entire life, then finally, Hermes flies in, talks Calypso into releasing him and he was on his way. This scene seemed like an eye opener for Odysseus, probably because Hermes just flew right in, knew his name and did him a huge favor by releasing him from the wrath of Calypso. Without the God’s help, Odysseus never would have gotten released, he never would’ve been on his way home at all… And he never would’ve been able to take back his hall from the hands of sinners.

Odysseus’ faith in the seemingly non-existent God’s paid off in the end when he saved his wife, his city and was reunited with his adoring son, whom he had not seen nearly his entire life. Through analytical application of archetypes throughout this graphic novel, The Odyssey. Several archetypes, The Willing hero, The allies, The wise on looker, and several that have to do with the Gods strong role in this book were made clear. Some I found more distinct and more prompt than others.

Understanding how archetypes make books and epic poems seem more pleasing to our minds eye is a hard idea to grasp, especially when everything that you read, watch or listen to has to do with some sort of archetype. Comparing Harry Potter, wizard in the world of magic, to a Demi-God in the world of Greek mythology and Gods was eye opening. Both alike in many ways, while the story was completely different. As well as the ideas behind both and several of the archetypes involved.

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