Troy: A Heroic Tale Essay

1809 words - 7 pages

Question answered: What is the connection between Joseph Cambells book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, and the Movie TROY? Joseph Campbell defined what he believed to be the archetypal hero in world history. It is strikingly similar how the hero in the 2004 film, Troy, meets these standards. In Greek mythology, Achilles was known as a great warrior. He was the son of a mortal named Peleus and of Thetis, a daughter of the sea god. Woven into mythology is the tale of how Thetis attempted to make her son immortal. When Achilles was a young boy, his mother held him by the ankle and dipped him into the sacred waters of the river Styx. Everything that the water touched on the boy became immortal, unable to be harmed. Unfortunately, the ankle that Thetis held him by remained dry, therefore becoming Achilles only weakness.The story of the epic Greek battle at Troy and the heroes who fought in it is a fantastical tale. None of the events of mythological stories have been proven factual. The tale of Achilles is legend; it is a story that has been passed on through the course of many years.The first part of a hero's voyage, as defined by Joseph Campbell, is the "call to adventure" (Campbell, 49). In the film, the call to adventure is represented when Odysseus, King of Ithaca, approaches Achilles, asking him to join the war. Achilles is not sure if he is willing to fight a war for a selfish king. The call to adventure is shown in one of the strongest lines in this scene. Just before exiting, Odysseus leaves Achilles with this quote: "This war will never be forgotten, nor will the heroes who fight in it" (Troy)."For those who have not refused the call, the first encounter of the hero-journey is with a protective figure. What such a figure represents is the benign protecting power of destiny" (Campbell, 49). The figure representing supernatural aid to Achilles is his mother, Thetis. After he receives the call to adventure, Achilles goes to speak to his mother and tells her that he must make his decision whether or not to fight. Thetis is considered supernatural because she is a god, the daughter of Nereus. She is a protective figure because she is Achille's mother, and loves her son very much. However, Thetis also knows Achille's destiny. When they meet, Thetis tells Achilles, "If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. Stories will be written about your victories. The world will remember your name. But if you go to Troy, you will never return. For your glory walks hand in hand with your doom." (Troy).The next step in a hero's journey (and in the journey of Achilles) is the crossing of the first threshold. Campbell describes this as "the regions of the unknown, such as alien land, are free fields for the projection of the unconscious content" (Campbell, 79). In the film, Achilles and his crew are the first ship in the fleet to reach the beaches of Troy. Achilles instructs his men on why they should attack these foreign shores before any other soldiers arrive....

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