Lancelot and Odysseus

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Lancelot and Odysseus

"Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good (Romans 12:9)." This principal seems to be markedly evident as one closely examines the actions and thoughts behind the character of Sir Lancelot in The Knight of the Cart. When one encounters the adventures of Odysseus in The Odyssey, however, the values of a completely different and slightly opposing culture present themselves. In the medieval times of Sir Lancelot, an ideal man would tend to follow the teachings of the Bible and live a relatively mild- mannered life. On the other hand, in the culture of the Ancient Greeks, the "perfect" role-model for life would be Odysseus and his perspicacious adventures involving grandiose plots against him and his crew. The ideals exemplified by Lancelot and Odysseus greatly and eloquently reflect the morals and aspirations evident in the literature of their respective time periods. This idea is demonstrated when one examines the similarities between Lancelot and Odysseus, their differences, and the consequences of their actions on their lives.

Although Lancelot and Odysseus lived in completely different and somewhat opposing time periods, their heroic and "larger than life" personalities share some quite distinguishing characteristics. I say that their time periods were somewhat opposing because the views of the culture regarding the afterlife and any supernatural occurrence represent the conflict present between monotheism and polytheism. One mutual characteristic of Lancelot and Odysseus is their physical prowess present when they do battle against anyone opposing their divine quest. Odysseus tends to take a more militaristic and pitiless attitude toward this combat as shown during his battle with the suitors. Not only does Odysseus slay the entire lot of suitors, but he kills any servant or maid that has been unfaithful to him in his absence. Lancelot, on the other hand, pursues his ultimate goal with an...
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