Comparison of Homer

Surname 1
Comparison of Homer's "The Odyssey" and Coen's "O Brother, Where Art Thou?"
The Odyssey”, which was written by Homer is an epic poem that is based off a true
journey of a hero who moves back home (Homer. and Fagles 2). The writing of the story took
place in the 8
century. However, the tale has been told throughout generations. On the other
hand, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” was created in 2000 by the Coen brothers (Coen, Coen and
Homer. 17). It is a comedy film that is based off the Odyssey. Coen’s movie, O Brother, Where
Art Thou?” and Homer’s epic The Odyssey” has got remarkable similarities. However, several
differences between the two are evident. Among the most notable differences are; the number of
primary characters, the setting as well as the main characters history. The numerous similarities
that come out clearly include the nostos theme, the varying adventures array and the pursuit for
material award.
The main character in Odyssey is Odysseus who leaves his family as well as land to go
and battle for a kidnapped wife of an ally in the battle of Troy (Homer. and Fagles 11). Odysseus
spends ten years in his attempt to return home. During that period of time, he struggles with evils
and ills for him to be able to move back home. During the long period of absence, his wife
continues battling her own battle in an attempt to resist the suitors who gather at her home trying
to win her for marriage. Telemachus their son also has been battling an internal war for missing
Surname 2
the father. On the other hand, the central characters in O Brother are McGill, Hogwallop and
O’Donnell. However, the story follows McGill as the main character who is held captive and
jailed. However, the company of the three struggles to get back to their families.
In the epic by Homer takes place a couple of centuries ago. On the other hand, Coen’s
movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" took place not long ago in the 1930’s. The difference in
time comes along with varying cultures as well as values. For instance, in Odysseus’ time, there
is high valuing of honor. Homer shares a story of highly valued men who dies in a battle and it is
considered good as well as a respectable death. Coen’s movie, Hogwallop and O’Donnell lived
in a period when honor is not valued (Coen, Coen and Homer.). The three are considered
escaped convicts other than being treated as good people who left for battle. Holding of honor
comes out clearly when Everett McGill returns home only to find his wife already engaged to
another man.
In Homer’s epic, the wife to Odysseus waits for her husband for a decade remaining
faithful to him despite the many challenges that she goes through. Together with their son
Telemachus, she shares the good name of her husband (Homer. and Fagles 112). Upon receiving
the information of Odysseus death, they refuse to accept that possibility having not received
irrefutable proof. On the contrary, McGill’s wife Penny lies to her daughter that their father is
long dead after being hit by a train as she tries avowing the stigma as well as the shame of being
married by a criminal. Thus, Penny gets engaged to another man and thus becomes unfaithful to
McGill. However, despite the differences, the two, Odysseus and McGill struggle a lot to to
move back home and be reunited with their families. The two men has got varying family
dynamics but are both dedicated to their wives abs children as well.
Surname 3
The Odyssey story focuses on three characters; Telemachus, Odysseus and Penelope
(Homer. and Fagles). However, it only follows Odysseus as the main character. O Brother,
Where Art Thou? on the other hand has three central characters McGill, Hogwallop and
O’Donnel that are always together in most of the instances. It also follows one main character
McGill. However, the two has got a difference in the depiction of the important characters. The
characters are presented to have varying histories and stories. For instance, Odysseus is a noble
guy who lives and owns a large property that is used to support his in-laws. He is such a
respected person with his name being well known as a result of his social status that is quite
high. On the contrary, the three central characters in O Brother are criminals. Their possessions
are just equal to those of the average person. That is even better before they are put in prison
where it deteriorates. They are known for their disobedience to the law in addition to being
escaped criminals. While Odysseus is well known for the good deeds the three are known for
their bad deeds.
The two stories have got extensive similarities as well. To begin with, both tales’ main
characters are following the theme of nostos, which is the dire need to return home. In The
Odyssey”, Odysseus battles with monsters and gods not to forget visiting Hades all in an attempt
to return to his family. McGill, on the other hand convinces his other two friends to break out of
jail so that he can to return to his family (Coen, Coen and Homer.). Moreover, the two stories
begin with the heroes being in captivity. Odysseus is in captivity on a certain Island with
Calypso. Similarly, the three in O Brother are in jail. However, both are later able to escape
captivity by application of different means.
Even though it is at the opposing ends, Odysseus, McGill, Hogwallop, and O’Donnell
are seen ending up floating on driftwood as a result of the violent waters. The waters are
Surname 4
extremely intense for Odysseus since he had angered Poseidon the god of the sea. Thus,
Poseidon did everything he could to prevent him from going back home. That leads to tearing
down Odysseus handcrafted raft leaving him floating on the broken pieces. Similarly, McGill
and his company are left floating on coffins after flooding of the valley that they were in (Coen,
Coen and Homer.). However, they were able to avoid death since the local sheriff together with
his men is after killing them.
The other similarity is the foretelling of their future by a blind clairvoyant. In O Brother,
the future is foretold by blind clairvoyant who offers them a ride in a handcart. Odysseus is
foretold of his future by the prophet Theoclymenus (Homer. and Fagles 232). Another similarity
is evidence when Odysseus together with his crew meets Polyphemus who terrorizes them but
are able to escape. However, some of Odysseus’ crewmates are smashed and eaten. In O
Brother, the company of the three meets Big Dan Teague that mugs them in addition to luring
them with food and ends up killing one of their men (Coen, Coen and Homer.). Therefore,
Homer's "The Odyssey" and Coen's "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" has got extensive
similarities. However, their differences should not be underestimated.
Surname 5
Work Cited
Coen, Ethan, Joel Coen, and Homer. O Brother, Where Art Thou?. London: Faber and Faber,
2000. Print.
Homer., and Robert Fagles. The Odyssey. New York: Viking, 1996. Print.

Place new order. It's free, fast and safe

550 words

Our customers say

Customer Avatar
Jeff Curtis
USA, Student

"I'm fully satisfied with the essay I've just received. When I read it, I felt like it was exactly what I wanted to say, but couldn’t find the necessary words. Thank you!"

Customer Avatar
Ian McGregor
UK, Student

"I don’t know what I would do without your assistance! With your help, I met my deadline just in time and the work was very professional. I will be back in several days with another assignment!"

Customer Avatar
Shannon Williams
Canada, Student

"It was the perfect experience! I enjoyed working with my writer, he delivered my work on time and followed all the guidelines about the referencing and contents."

  • 5-paragraph Essay
  • Admission Essay
  • Annotated Bibliography
  • Argumentative Essay
  • Article Review
  • Assignment
  • Biography
  • Book/Movie Review
  • Business Plan
  • Case Study
  • Cause and Effect Essay
  • Classification Essay
  • Comparison Essay
  • Coursework
  • Creative Writing
  • Critical Thinking/Review
  • Deductive Essay
  • Definition Essay
  • Essay (Any Type)
  • Exploratory Essay
  • Expository Essay
  • Informal Essay
  • Literature Essay
  • Multiple Choice Question
  • Narrative Essay
  • Personal Essay
  • Persuasive Essay
  • Powerpoint Presentation
  • Reflective Writing
  • Research Essay
  • Response Essay
  • Scholarship Essay
  • Term Paper
We use cookies to provide you with the best possible experience. By using this website you are accepting the use of cookies mentioned in our Privacy Policy.