The Odyssey versus Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Essay

The Odyssey versus Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Essay

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Tens of thousands of stories fit into the hero’s journey archetype created by Christopher Volger. Out of these, a large number of them are stories with remakes that share notable resemblances in their heroes’ journeys. However, none of these quite match those very strong similarities found between Homer’s The Odyssey and Joel Coens’s O Brother, Where Art Thou? These stories share crucial components of the hero’s journey whether it be “crossing the first threshold,” where the main characters of both stories begin their long adventure that transforms them into heroes; “the supreme ordeal,” where the main characters are both deprived of the opportunity to get home sooner; or “return with elixir,” where Odysseus and Ulysses both return to their homes alive the comfort of their wives. In their major plot points, the novel The Odyssey and the motion picture O Brother convey obvious similarities in key elements of their heroes’ journeys such as “crossing the first threshold,” “the supreme ordeal,” and “return with elixir.”
Firstly, the main characters of both stories, Odysseus and Ulysses, share qualities of the “crossing the first threshold” that quite clearly show the similarities in these stories. These parts of the heroes’ journeys for Odysseus and Ulysses both consist of the two beginning their long journeys and beginning the transformations from ordinary people to heroes. In The Odyssey, this part of the journey is when both Odysseus starts his journey to Troy to fight in the Trojan War and when his transformation from ordinary citizen to hero commences. In O Brother, this section of the journey is when Ulysses and his fellow jail mates break out of jail and begin the long journey home that initiates his character shift from an av...


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... movie, which both fit into “return with the elixir,” are very similar experiences for Odysseus and Ulysses. From these shared experiences, one sees that these stories do indeed resemble each other extremely well and that these three portions of the hero’s journeys are extremely relatable to each other.
In finish, The Odyssey and O Brother are exceedingly alike and have truly similar heroes’ journeys. These stories have three distinct parts of the hero’s journey in common, and those parts are “crossing the first threshold,” “the supreme ordeal,” and “return with elixir.” These similarities clearly show the strong connection between this two-thousand-year-old classic and this thirteen-year-old movie. Because of the similarities and connection between these stories, it is clearly visible that the story in The Odyssey is the story upon which Joel Coen based O Brother.

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