The Oddysey V. O Brother, Where Art Thou

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Two Journeys Home

When movies are made out of books there are many differences, but also many similarities. The director has a very difficult job; he or she has to make sure that parts of the film are recognizable as being in the book as well. The epic poem the Odyssey is a book about the Greek hero Odysseus’s journey home from the Trojan War. So, it is hard to believe that a book so very old can be made into a modern day movie. Though the film and the book have some different things in the plot, they both have to do with the same traditional Greek beliefs. In Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey Odysseus, the epic hero, travels to many different places and completes some very herculean tasks such as going to the Underworld, battling the suitors, and getting away from Polyphemus, the Cyclops. Though portrayed in different ways, Everett, Delmar, and Pete go on similar journeys in Coen’s film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

In The Odyssey, Odysseus goes down into the Underworld where Agamemnon warns him about the dangers of women. Agamemnon told Odysseus his story and warns Odysseus of “women’s twisted wiles” (Book 11 Ln 496). Agamemnon tells about how women are untrustworthy and that Odysseus should “never reveal the whole truth” to his wife (Book 11 Ln 501). This scene is very similar to when Everett and Delmar were in the movie theatre and Everett tells Delmar to “never trust a female” (Coen, O Brother). Everett gave this advice to Delmar because of his past experiences with fickle women. Agamemnon gave this advice to Odysseus because of his experience with his wife and his wife’s lover that he did not want to happen to Odysseus as well. Not trusting women is a recurring theme throughout not only the book but the film as well.

The battle with the suitors was an unforgettable event in The Odyssey. After returning home from his long, troublesome journey, epic hero Odysseus...
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