One of the most important abilities for a person to have is to be able to show respect towards others. Respect towards strangers, and even more importantly respect towards your enemies could be the difference between a mere rivalry, and complete disaster. This idea is demonstrated in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Homer’s The Odyssey. The protagonists of each of these novels share a similar archetypal role, yet because they handle their conflicts differently, their outcomes are opposite of each other. While both Odysseus and Victor have powerful arch enemies, only Odysseus is respectful towards his, enabling him to reunite with his family and regain his throne while Victor and his loved ones die tragically.
Throughout the course of his journey, Odysseus is haunted by the thought of his enemy, Poseidon, who has far more power than Odysseus and strives to keep him from returning to Ithaca. Poseidon still holds a grudge against Odysseus for blinding Polyphemus at his cave. Soon before Odysseus reaches Phaeacia’s shores with hope of rescue, Poseidon notices that “he’s [Odysseus] fated to escape his noose of pain” if he makes it to Phaeacia, and threatens to “give that man [Odysseus] his swamping full of trouble” to prevent him from reaching his destination (Homer 5:318-320). While Odysseus is among the most powerful mortals, he is not comparable to Poseidon. This is why, in a situation like this, it is an important skill to know your strengths, and act intelligently.
As like Odysseus fears Poseidon, Victor is fearful of his creation because he possesses the power to destroy Victor’s life completely unless Victor supplies him with a companion. The moment that the creation came to life, Victor feared him solely for its appearance. As soon as the creation took his first breath, Victor expressed how “the beauty of the dream vanished, and breathless horror and disgust filled my [his] heart” (Shelley 43). Even later, Victor was haunted by the creation after he had learned how vicious he can be. When hiding from the creation soon after tearing the companion apart, Victor says that no one could “relieve me [him] from the sickening oppression of the most terrible reveries” (Shelley 156). The relationship between them very much resembles that of Odysseus and Poseidon because in most cases, the creation has leverage over Victor. This causes major conflicts between the two.
Although Odysseus is fearful...