Study Guide

The Trojan Horse The Hero's Journey

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The Hero's Journey

Monomyth/ The Hero's Journey:

The Hero's Journey is a framework that scholar Joseph Campbell came up with that many myths and stories follow. Many storytellers and story-readers find it a useful way to look at tale. (That's actually putting it lightly. Some people are straight-up obsessed.) Chris Vogler adapted Campbell's 17 stages of a hero's journey, which many screenwriters use while making movies. Vogler condensed Campbell's 17 stages down to 12, which is what we're using. Check out a general explanation of the 12 stages.

"The Trojan Horse" doesn't fit perfectly into the Hero's Journey structure, but we're giving it a shot. As the gross old saying goes, there's more than one way to skin a cat. This myth probably works the best from Odysseus' prospective, so we'll go with that.

Ordinary World

Odysseus' current Ordinary World is totally sucking. He's been stuck fighting the Trojan War for years, and it's no fun. Oh, if only there were a way to get through those pesky walls of Troy.

Call to Adventure

The O-man kind of creates his own Call to Adventure by coming up with the whole plan for the Trojan Horse.

Refusal of the Call

Nope, there's no refusal here. Odysseus comes up with it himself, so it'd be kind of hard to refuse it (unless he were like Gollum/Smeagol in Lord of the Rings and argued with himself, but he's not).

Meeting the Mentor

Instead of meeting a mentor, Odysseus is the mentor for the rest to the Greeks and teaches them the ways of his awesome plan.

Crossing the Threshold

After the rest of the Greeks are cool with the Trojan Horse stratagem, Odysseus gets everybody to work.

Tests, Allies, Enemies

Odysseus enlists the artist Epeius to build the horse and signs Sinon up to hang out and sell their enemies on the ruse.

Approach to the Inmost Cave

Sinon convinces the Trojans to haul the horse into the city. Odysseus and his buddies are hauled through the gates of Troy.


The ensuing battle isn't much of an ordeal for the Greeks. They take the Trojans totally by surprise, so the bloody massacre that ensues is pretty darn one-sided.


Yay, the war is finally over! Odysseus and his fellow Greeks are rewarded with all the pillage and plunder they can possibly handle.

The Road Back

Ha! Yeah, Odysseus definitely stretched out this part. Homer wrote a little book about it. You might have heard of it. It's called the Odyssey and it tells all about the O-man's incredibly long journey home. (Really, this part is a Hero's Journey all to itself.)


Well, we're kind stretching beyond the confines of this particularly story now, but Odysseus definitely has a resurrection when he gets back home to Ithaca, kills all the suitors bugging his wife, and reclaims the throne of Ithaca.

Return with the Elixir

Yay, Odysseus gets to chill in Ithaca, happy in the knowledge that he's the reason the Greeks won the Trojan War. (Yeah, yeah, Mr. Smarty Pants.)

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