O' Brother Where Art Thou Compared to the Odyssey

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O Brother Where Art Thou v. The Odyssey

Who would have thought that a prison escapee would be modeled after a hero from the ancient Greece era? The movie is both similar to the book in plot line, themes and character traits, although there are also many differences and during certain scenes the movie somewhat mocks the novel. Ulysses (Odysseus’ Latin name) Everett, the hero in O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?, travels a Homeric journey through the Mississippi bible belt. Thus, we find the modern day film depiction of the troubles of a man during the depression is molded by the ancient struggles of Odysseus in Homer’s Odyssey. Though O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? is not and exact reincarnation of the original masterpiece, there are still a vast amount of similarities between the two.

The first parallel in the movie takes place after Everett, Pete and Delmar are walking through the woods after being chased by the law. They are sitting down eating some sort of rodent when suddenly a mass amount of people, all dressed in white, start passing by them and head towards a lake. This is a similarity to the Lotus-Eaters Odysseus’s men encounter. When you eat the intoxicating fruit of the lotus the thought of home, purpose of voyage, and memories of the past are no longer important. Odysseus and his men arrive at the land of the Lotus-Eaters and become addicted and drawn to the fruit. They are so drawn to the fruit, that it becomes a mindless obsession. “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” becomes parallel to the story of the Lotus-Eaters when Ulysses and his men are baptized. Webster’s dictionary defines baptism as, “The Christian sacrament of sin and spiritual rebirth as a Christian.” Both the “Odyssey” and “O Brother Where Art Thou?” describe a rebirth and new thinking. The things of the past are no longer important. Rebirth of the soul and becoming filled with the spirit are identical to the intoxication of the fruit. Therefore, the producers of O Brother, Where Art Thou? are...
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