Out of all Greek legends, perhaps the best-known story is Oedipus Rex, who is identified as a “hero.” Of course, some wouldn’t agree on it and don’t identify him like that, but still, he fulfills all the criteria of a hero.
In the beginning, his actual birth may not be remarkable, but the surrounding circumstances are. The oracle tells Laius, Oedipus’s father, who is the king of Thebes, that his son will kill him, so his father ties his legs and hands and lives him to die. Oedipus is then saved by a Shepherd and taken to the king of Corinth. When an adult, Oedipus goes on his journey, in which he kills an old man, along with his servants. In addition, that old man turns out to be his father. Later on, on that journey, he meets Sphinx, a creature that guides the gates of Thebes, she gives him a riddle to answer, and when Oedipus gives the right answer, Sphinx kills herself out of anger. When in Thebans, he is offered to marry Jocasta the Queen, and he does that and has four children with her, not knowing that he is his mother. After finding out the truth, Jocasta kills herself, and Oedipus puts his eyes out.
All in all, it is an amazing hero’s journey book, and it is often implemented in college and university education. Moreover, students are constantly writing about it when assigned to write a hero’s journey essay examples. In addition, from those essay examples, we can learn that Oedipus fulfills the requirements for a hero because he overcomes many obstacles. The first is the one about his father, then Sphinx, but nothing can compare to the painful discovery that he killed his father, got married to his mother, and had children with her.
What is the hero’s journey, and why is it important?
The hero’s journey is a common story template about a hero who adventures and learns an important lesson. Thanks to the newfound knowledge, he wins a victory and returns home completely transformed. In addition, it is important because it shows that change is possible for everyone. It demonstrates to us that a regular person can overcome big challenges and defeat their fears or enemies. Also, it is important because it explains to us how popular myths and stories work.
What are the three main stages of the hero’s journey?
A literature professor named Joseph Campbell reveals his theory that all mythological narratives have the same structure, known as monomyth or hero’s journey. He lays out 17 total stages of the structure, and all of them are grouped into three main stages.
- Departure– The hero is living in an ordinary world before receiving the call to a journey. Most of the time, the hero is unsure about it but is then helped by some kind of mentor figure convincing him to follow the call.
- Initiation– in this section, the hero is in a different world, where he has to face many tasks until he reaches the end of the story. The biggest obstacle is the enemy, and the hero uses everything he learned to defeat that enemy.
- Return — this is the part where the hero comes back to his world, and once back, he realizes how his journey changed him.
What does the hero’s journey teach us?
The hero’s journey reminds us that we have a purpose, a mission, or a quest in life that will invoke our real potential. It teaches us that the path will not be easy, ad that we will have to overcome many obstacles in our lives, but it is all worth it in the end. In addition, if you confront all the missions in front of you just like the heroes do, you will be transformed and ready to share your lessons with the world.
Why is Oedipus Rex a great book?
Oedipus Rex is a great inspiring book because it incorporates all of the important and big themes that can be found in the best literature. Such as Revenge, Love, Family, Fate, Anger, and Freewill.
Conclusion: To say it simply, the hero’s journey is a character’s evolution. It is their process of overcoming challenges to become a better person. Hero’s journey can be found in every genre of literature, such as science fiction, mystery, romance, thriller, etc. In addition, learning to understand this literature element will help you better understand the stories you experience and read.