Similarities And Differences Between Odysseus And Theseus, Jason, Hercules, And Perseus.

1071 words - 4 pages

In The Odyssey, the act of heroism and storytelling plays a significant role in portraying the story of Odysseus. According to the standards of the Greek society, The Odyssey depicts a different aspect of a hero in which an older, more established man already starts off as a hero, but must regain his dignity after falling into a crevice of turbulent times . When pieced together, each aspect that is told becomes part of a whole however, each with a different unique function within the epic to express the Greek's view of a perfect hero. In modern societies' terms however, The Odyssey is comparatively different from other hero myths, nevertheless, it is still distinguished as one of the most dramatic and well crafted novels of all time (Griffin 46). Because of this, some would call the story of Odysseus inferior and subservient, but in realit, it really is a unique work of literature that is uncommon for its time. The Odyssey contains numerous examples of a hero's journey which can be compared and contrasted with other Greek myths such as the stories of Theseus, Jason, Hercules, and Perseus. However, Homer's Odyssey doesn't contain and follow some of the classical rules of a hero's journey by telling the story of a older, well established hero, yet it is considered far superior compared to other hero myths through its vivid character development of using real-life characters and an adventurous plot to tell the tale of Odysseus, the godlike mortal man.Several characters in The Odyssey refer to Odysseus as a god or in their mind think that he is immortal because of his incredible, unique qualities and assistance from Athena which makes him taller, larger to the eye, and more clever by inspiring him as well as Telemachus. He also changes moods and reacts to certain events very quickly as well as announcing his intention of testing his servants by moving among them in disguise. The king of the Phaeacians even asks the concealed Odysseus if he was a god, and the nervous suitors were alarmed as the violent spirit of Odysseus emerged from his beggar's tattered rags (Fagles 439). Even Penelope, hearing of the slain suitors, refused to believe that her husband has returned and slaughtered them all single handedly. "But the story can't be true, not as you tell it, no, it must be a god who's killed our brazen friends-up in arms at their outrage, heartbreaking crimes (Fagles 457)." Goddess Athena makes Odysseus taller and more handsome, which is characteristic to the gods, to overcome many of his obstacles and to gain the favor of many of his accountancies. These godlike depictions show how the Greeks exemplify ones appearance, thus to gain the approval of others, even when their appearance is of a common class citizen.One of the most enticing qualities of The Odyssey is its ability to bring in common, everyday characters to help the more fabricated characters like Odysseus. Several servants, maids, and farm workers add to the story's overall authenticity and...

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