Artful VS Artless
Both famous heroes from antiquity, Jason and Odysseus have much in common and just as much not. It has been said that The Voyage of the Argo, written centuries past The Odyssey, is an imitation or some form of plagiarism of the primary epic poem of ancient Greece. I like the other train of thought; it is more an acknowledgement or tip of the hat, so to speak, specifically to The Odyssey. Both tales center on a hero and a fantastic voyage. Jason was less the virtuous demi-God we see in Odysseus. At first glance, he appeared an unlikely hero. Not so Odysseus, who embarked on what, should have been a short journey home following the fall of Troy, but became an epic journey with many obstacles and delays along the way. Odysseus is unique among epic heroes in that his strength comes not from inhuman powers or exceptional physical ability, but mainly from his mind. Odysseus regularly uses cunning, guile, and superiority of intellect to overcome obstacles. In this paper I will compare Odysseus to Jason, both in terms of character and in terms of responses to crises, comparing his reactions with those of Jason placed in similar situations. Enter the hero Jason of Apollonius’ Voyage of the Argo. His adventure was made to claim a throne that was rightfully his, just like Odysseus' adventure to get home to Ithaca and regain his throne. They both faced many perils on the sea, and both persevered to reach the end of the journey and gain the throne. Jason's uncle Pelias had usurped the throne of Iolchus (much as Penelope's suitors threatened to do), which Jason had a legitimate claim to. Pelias wanted to get rid of him, but dared not to kill him outright. So, he agreed to abdicate the throne if Jason would journey and get the Golden Fleece, which was at a temple in Colchis. Pelias expected the voyage to be fatal, for it had danger at every turn. However, Jason called for and received an impressive roster of heroes to aid him on his journey....
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