Comparing "The Odyssey" And "O Brother Where Art Thou"

736 words - 3 pages

"Tell me, O muse..." (Page 1), is a quote used in the beginning of both The Odyssey and "O Brother Where Art Thou". The funny thing about this is that the directors of the movie "O Brother Where Art Thou" (Joel and Ethan Coen) never even read The Odyssey before making this film. Though not identical the movie contained several similarities to The Odyssey. Examples of these can be seen by the interactions with the sirens, encounters with one-eyed opponents and the initial shunning of our heroes by their wives upon their return."First you will come to the sirens, who enchant all who come near them. If anyone unwarily draws in too close and hears the singing of the Sirens, his wife and children will never welcome him home again."(Page 163)This is the warning foretold by Circe to Odysseus in The Odyssey. Circe explained to Odysseus that the only way to escape the Sirens was by putting wax in his crew's ears and having his crew tie Odysseus up to the mast of the ship until they pass the Sirens. Odysseus follows Circes advice and passes the Sirens unscathed. Just like in The Odyssey the Sirens use their singing to lure in Everett, Pete and Delmar down by the lake in "O Brother Where Art Thou". The difference between the Sirens in the book verses the movie is that in The Odyssey, Odysseus is able to pass the sirens. In "O Brother Where Art Thou", Everett and his "crew" are unable to escape the sirens temptations. Pete was unfortunately captured and sent back to prison.Another similarity between The Odyssey and "O Brother Where Art Thou" are the Cyclops. In The Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew lands on the Island of the Cyclopes and discovers a large cave. They enter into the cave and feast on food they find within. This cave is the home of Polyphemus, an evil Cyclops, who soon returns and traps Odysseus and his crew in the cave. This monster proceeds to eat several of the crew members. Fortunately Odysseus constructs a plan to trick Polyphemus by getting him drunk. Once Polyphemus is sound a sleep, Odysseus takes a large olive branch from the fire...

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