The Odyssey and O Brother Where Art Thou? Compare and Contrast
“Sing in me, Muse, and through me tell the story of that man skilled in contending, the wonderer, harried for years on end,” – Homer
Between the Epic poem by Homer and the paralleling movie by the Coen brothers, this quote or similar was used as the invocation of two long and difficult journeys. Altho two different stories and settings, the charters and and events are very similar. Even with the humorous nature of the film it dose have important themes similar to the dramatic and epic poem telling the long and difficult journey after a great war.
Both main characters are very similar, Both are intelligent skillful and sly. Odysseus’s talents made him a war hero, using the trojan horse as a trap to destroy Troy. But for Ulysses of “O Brother With Art Thou”, his talents made him end up in a chain gang and escape as a convict with two other men. Even thou these two are completely different situations, the main characters objectives and morals are almost the same, as well as there encounters. At one pointe In the Odyssey, Odysseus and small part of his crew were trapped by the Cyclops in his cave. He had to think quickly to escape with what few men he had left. They couldn’t kill the Cyclops because no one was able to move the stone door that sealed them in. Odysseus introduced himself as “Nohabudy” and offered the Cyclops some of his mysterious, powerful wine that quickly put the Cyclops to sleep. Then they gorged out his eye with a steak. In panic, the Cyclops opened the door in cry for help, Screaming that “Nohabudy” ruined him. There they escape by hiding under the flock of sheep that the Cyclops tended to. At one point in O’brother With Art Thou, Ulysses encountered a Klan ceremony where they were going to lynch one of his friends. Quickly, him and his two friends take out three Klan members stationed as color gard and stole there uniform to get close. It wasn’t long until they were reveled and managed to run off with the rescue and dismount there fiery cross to slow them down.
In the beginning of “O Brother With Art Thou” Ulysses encounters a blind man on a track seesaw. He prophesied the journey that Ulysses would partake with his companions. Odysseus received a very similar prophesy from the blind prophet from the underworld. But unlike the railroad prophet He told Odysseus the monsters he had to face and overcome and the cattle that would kill his men. When Odysseus traveled into the underworld in search of the blind profit he had to sacrifice a goat as tribute and he had to go alone. Along his journey he say many dead spirits, and among them he found his mother that committed suicide due to her grief. Odysseus leans Of the beasts the block his path that will devour his men and the cattle that will make Zeus destroy them all. In O’Brother With Art Thou, They prophecy was a bit more vague. All three of the main character were there to hear it while on the run from prison. The prophet told them of a “Long and difficult road” He even told them of the treasure they were in search for, but when they come to the end they will find a fortune but not the one they seek.
Even thou these two stories are very similar they take place in two completely different settings. In “O Brother With Art Thou”, It takes place in America during the 1900’s great depression. everyone is in desperate need of money and will do anything to get it. People in the time were also very interested in “Old timey music”. Often times they were in the woods, railroads or in small towns. In the epic poem “The Odyssey”, It takes place in 1200 B.C. in the southern region of Europe and in the Mediterranean sea. It was after the grate trojan war that Odysseus made is 20 year voyage back home. Most of the time, Odysseus travels the sea but there was a time he was trapped on Calypso’s island for 10 years.
In terms of production of these stories, The Odyssey was crated by a blind poet in 800 B.C. along with other stories following called the Iliad. Often times theses stories were sung or told as poems. Before telling the story, The poet had to make an invocation to the Muse to help him tell the story. In O Brother With Art Thou, the Coen brothers crated a story using the Odyssey as a guide. Using tales of the south they collaborated to make an epic journey of man similar to Odysseus. Soon they had it made into a film portraying the south in depression.
Even though these are two different stories they are both very similar. Almost Pareall. With some names and events, even the personalities and behaviors of characters.
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