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Archetypes in The Odyssey Archetype Definition Greek arche=first, typos=mold Dictionary: Original pattern or first of its kind; a prototype In literature: A symbol, setting, story structure, or character type that recurs in different times and places in myth and literature, suggesting that it embodies some universal human experience Forms: archetypal (adj.) Difference between archetype and motif? A Few Archetypes Character types, places, or symbols every culture shares Campbell’s Heroic Archetype Trickster Archetype God, human or animal that plays pranks or jokes on others and disobeys normal rules of behavior Prometheus (Greek) Raven (Northwest) Loki (Norse) Brer Rabbit (African American) Paradise Archetype A perfect place that once existed and will exist again Garden of Eden, return of Christ or life in Heaven (Christianity) Golden Age, Elysian Fields (Greece) Gold Age of Osiris, Fields of Aaru (Egypt) Paradise by Jan Brueghel (1620) What are archetypes in The Odyssey? The Underworld Archetype “The eye of the sun can never/flash his rays through the dark and bring them light” (Book 11, lines 17-18) Ghosts drawn to the blood—metaphor for life (they want to live again) “unearthly cries” (lines 48, 724) “Three times I rushed toward her (Odysseus’ mother), desperate to hold her/three times she fluttered through my fingers, sifting away/like a shadow, dissolving like a dream” (lines 235-237) “By god, I’d rather slave on earth for another man— some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive—than rule down here over all the breathless dead” (Achilles, lines 556-558) The Greek Underworld and Hell How does the underworld in The Odyssey compare or contrast with modern depictions of Christian Hell? The Journey to Hell and Back Many myths/works of literature have this journey Often metaphorical rather than literal Examples from Levels 1-2 or other works and films? The Works=Flammer, Hell imagery (red brick, summer, “came down here,” David metaphorically dies/sells his soul for a steady paycheck) The Yukon as Hell (“TBAF”) The communities in “Case of the Crushed…,” The Giver, Brave New World, “The Wayfarer,” Fahrenheit 451, Anthem, etc. More Examples of Hell: Sylvester turning into a rock Life outside the A & P summer “sunshine is skating around on the asphalt” “some young married screaming with her children about some candy they didn’t get” “my stomach kind of fell as I felt how hard the world was going to be to me hereafter” Another Journey to Hell and Back: People symbolically dead Don’t truly live Trapped with no escape No knowledge of outside world David and Jennifer are like Odysseus What archetype do the Sirens present? John William Waterhouse, Odysseus and the Sirens (1891) Temptress Archetype: The Sirens Temptress figures—females who seduce or sleep with men in order to cause them harm Sirens: Women with bird’s bodies Enchanting voices Lure sailors to the rocky cliffs Metaphor for the power of women? Metaphor for women who seduce men and keep them from home? What are other temptress figures in The Odyssey? Temptress Figures in The Odyssey The Sirens Calypso Circe Nausicaa Helen Right: Circe Offering the Cup to Odysseus (1891) by J. W. Waterhouse Helen of Troy: Beautiful Evil The first meeting of Paris and Helen 400 BC Harvard University Art Museums Paris and Helen Jacques-Louis David 1788 Louvre, Paris To Helen by Edgar Allan Poe Helen, thy beauty is to me Like those Nicean barks of yore That gently, o'er a perfumed sea, The weary, way-worn wanderer bore To his own native shore. On desperate seas long wont to roam, Thy hyacinth hair, thy classic face, Thy Naiad airs have brought me home To the glory that was Greece, And the grandeur that was Rome. Lo, in yon brilliant window-niche How statue-like I see thee stand, The agate lamp within thy hand, Ah! Psyche, from the regions which Are Holy Land! Modern temptress figures in literature or film? The Young Man in “Case of the Crushed Petunias” Young Man seduces Dorothy to go to Highway 77 and LIVE “you’re charmed, you’re intrigued…” “I’ve got to sell you something first” “If we could substitute wild roses, there wouldn’t be wars! No, there’d be excitement enough in the world without having wars! That’s why we’ve started this petunia-crushing campaign…” “We’ll have a couple of beers at the Starlight Casino…I’ll take you for a ride in an open car.” O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) Veela in Harry Potter Like the Sirens, the veela are magically seductive When angry they turn into birds that throw fireballs Fleur Delacour (left) is part veela and has a magically seductive power over Harry and others Film Noir: The Femme Fatale Journal #11—Archetypes Poem Select either the underworld or temptress figure archetype and write a poem about the archetype. The poem can be about the archetype in The Odyssey or one of the examples in the PowerPoint or another modern example from film, literature or television. The poem can be any length and does not have to rhyme.
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