Broadly defined, a hero can be someone who in the face of adversity, does something that is inspiring in order to help the world. Heroes usually stand for justice and seek to right wrongs as they see them. One way in which we define heroes in literature, cinema, and other art mediums is an individual who goes through the phases of the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey includes many phases, but for the purpose of this comparative essay, the focus will be on just three of these. Both Odysseus and Nelson Mandela go through the phases of the hero’s journey including meeting mentors, leaving the ordinary world, and dealing with enemies. While researching, some people will find  that both Odysseus and Mr. Mandela go through the phase, meeting mentors. In The Odyssey Odysseus speaks with his mentor, Athena on page 401 when Athena tells him he is home and disguises him as a beggar.  According to Mike Bergelson,  Nelson Mandela meets Walter Sisulu in the 1940s “Sisulu was the man who recruited Nelson Mandela into the ANC in the 1940s.” Both Odysseus and Mr. Mandela go through the phase of the hero’s journey meeting mentors. Another phase that Odysseus and Nelson Mandela go through is leaving the ordinary world. In The Odyssey, Odysseus goes from living a happy life with his wife Penelope and newborn son Telemachus to living for the trojan war for ten years and getting put on the long way home for ten more years(Robert Fitzgerald 371). According to http://www.bestmswprograms.com/nelson-mandela/, Mr. Mandela went from being a non-violent protester against discriminatory laws to being thrown into jail for incitement and leaving the country illegally. Both Odysseus and Mr. Mandela go through the phase leaving the ordinary world.The last  phase that both Odysseus and Mr. Mandela go through is enemies.  In The Odyssey, one of  Odysseus’s enemies is Polyphemus the cyclops (Robert Fitzgerald 374). According to Denis Cummings, Mr. Mandela’s enemy was the South African government. Both Odysseus and Nelson Mandela go through the phase enemies.Both Odysseus and Nelson Mandela went through three phases of the hero’s journey: meeting mentors, leaving the ordinary world, and enemies. Both Mr. Mandela and Odysseus are heroes that went through many hardships and trials. There are many heroes in history and they are all similar in the fact that they are all fighting for a good cause and are willing to do anything to do what it takes to reach their goal.

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