Self Control in the Odyssey and O Brother Where Art Thou

Topics: Odyssey, Homer, O Brother, Where Art Thou? Pages: 3 (1058 words) Published: February 26, 2007
Self Control, a Problem of the Ages

A lack of self control is very evident in O Brother Where Art Thou? as well as in The Odyssey, these stories portray how engrained this problem is, and are evidence to how long lack of control has been pervasive in society. These two sources parallel an idea, however the actual events that take place are much different. The numerous events that show lack of self control occur in both the book and the film, however they are revealed in different fashions. O Brother Where Art Thou? is a modern retelling of the classic book, The Odyssey by Homer. Lack of self control is illustrated in both sources numerous times, and seems to referr to how it was a problem, and still continues to be a problem. The occurrence of the sirens in The Odyssey also is portrayed in the movie O Brother Where Art Thou ?. The portrayal of this scene by Homer occurred as Odysseus sailed to Helios's island, and the sirens attempted to enchant him to stop his ship, and in turn, his overall journey. The crew had their ears stuffed with beeswax, however Odysseus was anchored "lashed by ropes on the mast" (912.195) at his own request, having been told to do so by a prophet, Teiresias. While tied up, he tried to convince his crew mates to stop, even though he knew it was the last thing he should do, displaying a sense of recklessness and powerlessness over himself. In O Brother Where Art Thou? this scene is modernized. There are beautiful women, instead of women with a beautiful song, which seduce the men and make them fall asleep by drinking too much liquor. These are both examples of how a lack of self control can lead to unintended actions and how it has been a problem from before Homer's time to the current age. When Odysseus finally reaches Helios' island in The Odyssey his men show a destructive lack of self control. The crew is told by Odysseus not to harm the cattle of the sun god when they arrive on his island. Odysseus won't even allow his shipmates...
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