Essay on A Space Odyssey and The Odyssey

Essay on A Space Odyssey and The Odyssey

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Metis in 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Odyssey
The movie 2001: A Space Odyssey by Steven Kubrick and The Odyssey by Homer have underlying themes that have relationships to each respectively. However, Greek mythology often attributes strength as the ultimate virtue, and even current day movies do too. The attribute of being clever or cunning is seen during 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Odyssey seen by Odysseus and David Bowman as the dominate theme throughout both titles. Metis, the Greek word meaning clever or being cunning, is prevalent throughout Bowman’s and Odysseus epic trials with their ability to reason to gain the outcomes they desire.
Odysseus traversed his epic by using his mind to deceive his enemies in order to make it through his trials and tribulations. A key trial was the way in which Odysseus deceived the Cyclops Polyphemus, Poseidon’s son. Polyphemus was considered god-like according to the text so overcoming this monster was no easy task for Odysseus and proving how cunning he was. Odysseus emotionally reacts to the Cyclops initially eating two of his comrades, but realizes that if he takes revenge he loses his only means out of the cave which is the Polyphemus’ strength to remove the doorstone. Odysseus realizes that in order to gain freedom he must methodically take down the Cyclops by getting him drunk, branding his eye with a hot iron, and then escaping under using the disguise of Polyphemus’ sheep. Getting the Cyclops drunk was a means for Odysseus to build rapport with the monster and this trust can be seen by Polyphemus falling asleep near his prisoners. During this encounter Odysseus tells Polyphemus his name is Noman essentially removing his name from himself. After, Odysseus and his men brand Polyph...


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...neys. David Bowman and Odysseus were simply men who were at an immediate disadvantage because they were up against ‘Gods’. However, these individuals realized their strength relied upon their mind and these super-beings often underestimated the heroes because their arrogance had blinded them, but Polythemus had let his blind him physically too. Both individuals were cunning, but they may have become cleverer because of their desire to survive. Homer created an individual who was not a God, but he created Odysseus who could be seen as a master of his own mind. Stanley Kubrick created the unlikely hero of David Bowman who was able to outsmart HAL by his own cleverness and using his own human reason which HAL lacked. These heroes were put against trials that seemed impossible, but never gave up and used their mind to devise plans to overcome seemingly impossible trials

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