“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time here gone before us. ” (p. 1 A Heroes Adventure). This quote from Joseph Campbell tells you the essence of a hero. Odysseus might be a hero in the book but Telemachus was the one who went through the real journey. Campbell defines a hero one as “who has found or done something beyond the normal range of achievement and experience. A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ” (p. 1 A Heroes Adventure)
Now if you consider he fact that Odysseus was put in this series of predicaments but outside forces that would consider him a hero, wouldn’t you? But, he did not believe in or accept those gods as power above beyond himself. Now if he does not believe as the gods as a higher power then he is not a hero because Campbell specifically states that “a hero is one who accomplishes something bigger than one’s self. ”
If Odysseus does not believe that the gods are a higher power, than he did not accomplish something above and beyond an bnormal adventure by defeating the spite of Poseidon. Campbell defines a hero by the type of adventure as well. “Well there are two types of deed. One is the physical deed, in which the hero performs a courageous act in battle or saves a life. The other kind is the spiritual deed, in which the hero learns to experience the supernormal range of human spiritual life and then comes back with a message. ” p. 1(A Heroes Adventure) So this does say that Odysseus is a hero to some degree, but who is the real hero?
Telemachus is the real hero. He went both through the physical journey searching for Odysseus and the spiritual journey. He went on the spiritual journey of becoming a man. Facing the hardships of keeping his mother safe from freeloaders and somewhat of keeping a kingdom in order until the return of his father. With juggled his period of adolescents, he showed that he had the strength not in his muscles because one on one he would get beaten badly, but in his heart to overcome his hardships to the best of his ability.
Campbell yet again flat out says that Telemachus is a hero on page 129, “Odysseus’ son Telemachus was told by Athena, “Go find your father. “That father quest is a major hero adventure for young people. That is the adventure of finding what your career is, what your nature is, what your source is. ” This quote directly states that Telemachus went on an adventure and became a hero. It also states that he went in search of not only his father, but something more. Like a spiritual journey.
Telemachus while on the hysical journey of searching for Odysseus he went through the spiritual journey simotaneously making him more of a hero than Odysseus. In conclusion the real hero according to Campbell is actually Telemachus. It was not Odysseus because he did not go through the physical and spiritual journey as his son did. Telemachus went through the spiritual journey with Athena mentoring him through adolescents. the physical journey obviously seeking his father. So the real hero that lives on in this book the Odyssey is actually Telemachus.