The Hobbit And The Odyssey

1762 Words Nov 2nd, 2015 8 Pages
Sometimes it is incredibly difficult to tell who is the ‘good guy’ in a story. A hero never begins as the perfect man.. There are stories where the adventurer is a thief or a murderer. However, there are also tales about an average man realizing that he is lacking something or recognizing that it is time to leave the nest. In The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, Bilbo Baggins is nothing extraordinary. He is, like most other hobbits, fearful of the unknown. But, with the prodding of Gandalf; Bilbo leaves the Shire and finds his courage. The first definition of a hero in the Merriam Webster dictionary is, “A mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability.” According to this explanation, Mr. Baggins is not a hero. However, Odysseus, the hero in the epic The Odyssey by Homer, fits the definition to a t.
Both The Hobbit and The Odyssey, follow what Joseph Campbell describes as the “Hero’s Journey.” Campbell’s formula for a hero consists of three parts: separation, initiation, and the return to society. The hero undertakes a difficult journey and suffers hardships in order to return a better person and help his community. Tales that follow the Hero’s Journey have been ever-present in history as seen in varying works of literature from ancient Celtic myths to the movie Star Wars. Stories told by people throughout history are used to try to describe the intricate dance between ideology and theology. There is also something that is…

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