This week’s lectures were on the underworlds. I find it interesting how Virgil and Homer had an extremely different view of the underworld off each other. For Homer, he talked about the underworld in the Odyssey with Odysseus as the visitor. Odysseus has no problems going to the underworld he has no issues seen all he had to do was sacrifice a black sheep/ drink blood and is an enlightening experience for Odysseus. He learns about how to go on with the rest of this life thanks to Agamemnon and finds out why Poseidon hates him. Odyssey can talk to anybody he wants to and the underworld is setup as when your dead, your dead (no one is special). In Vigil’s version of the underworld in the Aeneid, Aeneas has a journey where he must first pass
The Homeric epic often foretells of a long perilous journey filled with warfare and trials of the human condition that coincides with the spiritual journey that each human being has to take. How are The Aeneid and The Confessions similar in that they both depict warfare and a long spiritual journey? In The Aeneid, Aeneas’ journey is filled with many trials and temptations both physical as well as spiritual. Aeneas is seen as a model of piety, but he is living in a sinful relationship with his mistress Dido, the queen of Carthage. In The Confessions, St. Augustine tells of his spiritual journey from his adolescence when he had no interest in virtue or Christianity
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
Aeneas is only an instrument of these themes. The themes are the stars in this story, while Aeneas only accompanied it. Odysseus has its own purpose, its own destiny, while Aeneas is an instrument of fate and thus determines the future of a whole nation. Since the Aeneid a story about the foundation of Rome and the rise of the Roman people this seems logical. This difference is reflected in the reason why the heroes descend to the underworld and the message they received there. Odysseus visits the underworld to consult the spirit of the Theban seer Tiresias, resembling Anchises in his prophetic role. Presenting the glorious future, however, the Rome Anchises is totally different from the role Tiresias. These Odysseus namely only advises about the events of their own future of the hero and after returning home in Ithaca. Odysseus so will only predicted his own fate, while Aeneas presented will the future of his descendants and of
Homers complex writing is devoted to the extend he gives on the perspective into the Greek underworld, stories in which were prevailing in the Greek society. The numerous conditions of the reality of the afterlife are deeply described rather than the setting of the underworld. The underworld is described as the House of Hades which is where your death and inevitable fate lies. It is signified in The Odyssey Book XI, concretely in the scenes of Odysseus mother’s death in the Cimmerians, the Greek culture expresses a depressing but inevitable view of death as a complete dichotomy of the fate but shows the indication of more than just one afterlife.
As the precise definition of justice cannot be definitively stated, the line separating just from unjust actions is incredibly obscure. Many factors may influence an individual’s perception of what constitutes justice, such as time period, culture, or personal morals. Thus, while an act may be considered righteous in one context, the same act may be ruled unjust in other contexts. For instance, when Odysseus finally returns home to Ithaca, as retribution for defiling his home and attempting to court his wife, Odysseus murders all of Penelope’s suitors. The extremely graphic depiction of his retribution had appeared almost superfluous, causing the morality of his actions to be brought into question. Therefore, interpreting this scene from a
There are many themes in both O Brother where Art Thou and the Odyssey which seem to be strongly similar. Many similarities between the characters and their actions surface through their actions. In my essay I will not only compare and contrast the most important elements of the mentioned works, but will also discuss the importance of heroic figures and the less favored themes, such as revenge and foolish fearlessness.
In Dante’s Inferno, we are guided through the nine appalling rings of hell. As we make our way through, we see many fallen heroes and heroines from Greek and Roman mythology. In the second ring of hell, we are escorted to the famous lovers, Cleopatra and Antony, Francesca and Paulo, and Helen and Paris. Through the Inferno, we understand the crimes and retributive justice of those condemned in eternal suffering and question if the punishments are appropriate. In the ravines of hell many people are punished; adulterers, suicides, and others who were not grateful for their lives on earth. Were the people in Dante's hell deserving of their consequence or were they unjustly treated?
Odysseus’s crewmate, Elpenor, dies tragically, and when visiting the Underworld, Elpenor implores that Odysseus “do not abandon me unwept, unburied, to tempt the gods’ wrath, while you sail home”(XI.81-XI.82), which is what Odysseus exactly intended to do, a violation of ancient Greek ritual. According to Greek culture, the dead are to be given a proper burial, and if they are not, they will never be able to reach the Underworld; the ultimate disrespect to the Greeks is leaving the dead dishonored by leaving them unburied. Odysseus is a Greek warrior who nearly violated his own customs; to elaborate, this gesture by Odysseus confirms his complete disregard for people's wellbeing. Elpenor’s soul could wander eternally without ever reaching the afterlife, but Odysseus nearly leaves him unburied; he is inconsiderate of what happens to even the closest of friends, revealing the true extent of Odysseus’s disregard. The actions of Odysseus are both inconsiderate and disrespectful to the honored tradition of his ancestors, proving yet again, that Odysseus is no
The movie O' Brother by the Coen brothers is a modern story based on the ancient Greek story of the Odyssey by Homer. In each story, the main character is a man facing challenges and trying to return to his wife. There are vast similarities and differences between these stories such as the theme, settings, characters and the relationship between these characters.
In both Homer’s, Odyssey and Vergil’s, Aeneid, the presence of Creusa and Achille, create a link between the living and the dead. Despite Creusa and Achille conflicting views toward death, Odysseus and Aeneas given emotional guidance in coping with death and learning what life is like after
During Odysseus’ decade-long journey to his home, he encounters many forms of suffering, the most prevalent being transformative in nature. Transformative suffering, which is typically caused by mortals, themselves, alters a mortal being; albeit physically, mentally, or emotionally. In the first few years of his journey, Odysseus suffers the loss of much of his crew. He loses men while plundering a small island; he loses some to the lotus esters; and a few to Polyphemus. Throughout all these sufferings, Odysseus learns that he should listen to the advice of others; thus, transforming him mentally and emotionally through these sufferings. Odysseus eventually learns that wisdom comes from long thought, suffering, and experience. As a result
Themes are fundamental and universal ideas that are explored in literary works. The epics of The Inferno by Dante and The Odyssey by Homer are two different stories with themes that that have some similarities while others have distinction. In The Odyssey, the central point is Odysseus struggling to go back home. In Inferno, Dante is the main character who is fighting between good and evil, which translates to be the theme of the story. Dante explores deeply the Christian hell and heaven, which includes the immediate Purgatory. This experience makes him cast his allegiance to good and God. The differences between these two stories are depicted when comparing the epic conventions, epic characteristics, and when comparing the various religious backgrounds of the times in which these two stories were written.
Odysseus and Aeneas visit the Underworld at crucial points in each story. They both seek answers and knowledge not available in the mortal world. Odysseus’s and Aeneas’s experiences had many differences, and some similarities as well. Odysseus visits the Underworld after his grueling experience at Troy, and is confronted by his past. Odysseus sees Elpenor, and is hit with the guilt of her body being unburied. The emphasis of The Odyssey is to exemplify the woes of men, whether it be sex, marriage, murder, lust, stealing, or lying. Odysseus travels to the Underworld to be cleansed for his return home. A lot of the details of the Underworld in The Odyssey are left to the audience’s imagination. We are led to believe that it is much worse than the physical world by Achilles’s quote in Book 11. He says, “I’d rather be a slave on earth for another man--/some dirt-poor tenant farmer who scrapes to keep alive--/than rule down here over all the breathless dead.” This is very intriguing to me because Achilles is in a position of power over the Underworld, and is still in agony. Homer’s idea of The Underworld is pretty similar to the ideology of the
There are many similarities and differences between the Greek mythological epic, “The Odyssey”, and the Mesopotamian mythological epic, “The Epic of Gilgamesh” when you talk about death and the underworld/afterlife. I will be talking about the comparison of both encounters with the underworld and how the both take on the topic of death. From what we know the underworld and afterlife is a major part of a lot of religious cultures around the world such as the Greeks and the Mesopotamians.