Myth Lesson Plans: The Hero’s Journey and Perseus

Start off with something you can use in your classroom right now: Perseus’s Hero’s Journey Handout

This is day 5 of The Odyssey lesson plans. For those who’ve been following the odyssey of The Odyssey Unit, you may be wondering what happened to days 3 and 4. We’ll just say things happen. Day 1 actually took 2 days because I started telling stories about journeys and goals and ended up doing this.

Day 4 was simply a repeat of Day 1, but with a different article. Today’s lesson is an extension of the hero’s journey lesson. It involves another famous Greek myth, that of Perseus.

You can use any myth or any story you wish. I use Perseus because it’s in the text book I use. It’s also here. Here’s the hero’s journey outline for the “Story of Perseus.”

Start by checking out these hero’s journey resources.

Frequent visitors to this site have probably guessed that I like applying the hero’s journey to literature. And as a side note, my students like that I apply the hero’s journey to literature. With this Perseus myth lesson plan, you get to apply the hero’s journey to literature.

My Analysis of the Perseus Myth

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    Status Quo. After being sent away, Perseus learns the trade of a fisherman from a fisherman named Dictys. Everything seems to be going just fine.

  • Call to Adventure. Perseus is tricked into declaring he would get the head of Medusa for the king as a wedding gift.
  • Assistance. Hermes and Athena come to Perseus's aide.
  • Departure. He went straight from the king's hall to the ship that would take him on his quest. It's apparent he realizes his idiocy, for he neglects to even tell his mother of his prideful folly.
  • Trials. He has to visit the Gray Women, who can tell him the way to the Hyperborians. He then journeys to the Hyperborians who tell him how to find Medusa.
  • The Approach. Perseus's greatest trial is Medusa and her Gorgonic sisters. He is helped with gifts from Hermes and Athena. Medusa is the only one of the three sisters who is not immortal.
  • Crisis. The Gorgons pose the biggest threat to Perseus. He dispatches of Medusa and puts her head in a bag.
  • Treasure. He dispatches of Medusa and puts her head in a bag. (He later uses the head to defeat a horrible sea serpent, the Kracken in Clash of the Titans. In the story, however, he simply chops the monster's head off.)
  • Result. After Medusa is killed, her sisters chase Perseus. Perseus escapes.
  • Return. He returns home with the beautiful Andromeda, whom he has rescued from the aforementioned horrible sea serpent. There he finds that his mother has fled and so has Dictys. He uses the aforementioned Gorgon head to defeat the king and his servants. He then frees Danae and made Dictys king of the island.
  • New Life. He goes with Andromeda and Danae to reconcile with Acrisius, Danae's father..
  • Resolution. Acrisius had died on a visit to another king. The official cause of death: discus to the head. Perseus lives happily ever after. Medusa's head is given to Athena.

Hamilton, Edith. "Perseus." Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education. 2002. 214-22. Print.

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