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Archetypes in The Odyssey

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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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posted:1/19/2012
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