Homer’s Odyssey And O Brother, Where Art Thou?

1289 words - 5 pages

In both Homer’s The Odyssey and the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? the audience is given an opportunity to experience a spectacular adventure, filled with not only the sense of journey, but also the senses of peril and excitement. A tale about a Greek hero being compared to a film set in Middle America starring three jail-escapees seems rather far-fetched. However, upon closer inspection, both actually share a lot in common. The Odyssey stars Odysseus, a man famous for his heroics in the Trojan War. O Brother, Where Art Thou? shows a bit of a contrast by starring Ulysses, a former convict who escaped and began looking for “A Treasure”. So by default, one would assume that that these two stories would be completely different. However, it ends up being quite the opposite. The two stories are so remarkably alike that it is almost staggering. However, it may not just be simple similarities that make the two so alike. The main reasons why the two characters are so alike are not so much the actions that they take, as oppose to the overall human emotional aspect of the two pieces of work. For example, we see that both Odysseus and Ulysses are invested in their lives with their families, and as such, they never have a moment where they stop thinking about the lives they used to live. Both characters are extremely alike in terms of thoughts, skills, and experiences. They are both profound tacticians, as well as being rather strong and good looking men. So in the end, both of these men have plenty in common on the emotional and psychological levels.


“The bold are helpless without cleverness.” -Euripides
As mentioned before, both characters are remarkably strategic in the decisions that they make, as well as the actions that they take. Ulysses is keen at making decisions, and he could very much be considered a “People’s Person.” He is social, intelligent and set on how his appearance should be. This is quite similar to Odysseus, who is able to weave his way through countless situations due to his incredible sense of psychology and tactics, a lot of which is based off of his good looks and social personality. One noticeable moment from the Odyssey was when he fooled the Cyclops, Polyphemus, into telling the other Cyclops that “nobody” was bothering him. This ploy was the reason that Odysseus managed to escape a horrible fate. Moments like these are what set these two men apart as both keen, and just flat out smart. Intelligence is something that is key to have when dealing with the world, and these characters show true talents by possessing it. But one thing that seems to be quite intriguing is how that intelligence is used. Odysseus first uses it in order to escape fighting the Trojan War, however, in the end; it is his love for his son, Telemachus which forced him to play his part in the battle. Of course, from what we have read in the Odyssey, Odysseus also shows extreme talents on his way back to Ithica, where he fought not only people and...

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