Comparing Homer's The Odyssey And O Brother Where Art Thou?

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Two stories, set in completely different timelines, may not have striking parallels at first glance. However, with closer inspection, Homer’s The Odyssey and the film O Brother, Where Art Thou? have obvious similarities, from the characters to the themes shown. The Odyssey depicts the epic hero, Odysseus, as a man who had much to be proud of, being the king of Ithaca, entrusted in the gods, and having conjured up the winning strategy that defeated the Trojans. Despite this, it soon takes a turn for the worst when he ends up taking a ten year long journey through murky waters during his sail home. He faces each and every challenge in hopes to return home to his faithful wife and son. On the other hand, O Brother, Where Art Thou? tells the story…show more content…
In the eyes of many, he was seen as a hero, contributing to the defeat of the Trojans with his strategic thinking, being favorable in the eyes of the gods, and possessing strength. Yet, he was one that dealt with suffering. He was away from home for over ten years. Those ten years spent longing for his wife and son, wasted on clinging to the last thread of his life, constantly battling creature after creature, and just barely evading death. An example of his yearning for home is when he is trapped on Kalypso’s island, “But when day came he sat on the rocky shore / And broke his own heart groaning, with eyes wet / and scanning the bare horizon of the sea” (V.163-165). The fact that Odysseus goes to the rocky shore and begins to ‘scan the bare horizon of the sea’, comes to show that he’s searching for something beyond his grasp. Although he gives in to Kalypso, his actions show that there is a slight sense of regret. His eyes are wet with tears, under a state of suffering, as he watches the sea. In other words, he’s wishing to leave Kalypso’s cave, and return home. Here is where he clearly states his longing for home to Kalypso, “Yet, it is true, each day / I long for home, long for the sight of home” (V. 228-229). This confirms that he is homesick. Odysseus openly mentions how he misses home and his frustration with idly sitting in Kalypso’s cave all day. When she confronts him with the question as to why he would go back to a mortal when a goddess is right in front of him, he is still convinced that his place is at his home. Being apart from his family brings him suffering, even though he could simply bask in immortality without a care in the world if he stayed with Kalypso, he refuses to do so. It shows where Odysseus’ true feelings lie and how sad he feels to be away for so

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