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"o Brother, Where Art Thou?" Film Review

Autor:   •  May 22, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  986 Words (4 Pages)  •  2,334 Views

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The film “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” directed by Coen Brothers, is thought to be a modern adaptation of the “Odyssey”, one of the two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer (Odyssey, 2011). Though, the film could not be described as a complete incarnation of the original masterwork, there are still a large number of similarities between the film and the poem.

In some beginning scenes of the film, we could see strong parallels with the poem. The opening titles of the film: “O Muse! Sing in me, and through me tell the story, of that man skilled in all ways of contending, the wanderer, harried for years on end…” is just similar and connects to the opening lines of the Odyssey: “Tell me, Muse, the man of many ways, who has driven far journeys, after he had sacked Troy’s sacred citadel.” (Lattimore, 1967). It clearly indicates that the film is based on the Odyssey. Also, the leading role’s name Ulysses, which is the Latin version of Odysseus. And his wife’s name, Penny, is derived from the name of Odysseus’ wife, Penelope. Before the journey started, both Odysseus and Everett were imprisoned and managed to escape. One of the most obvious similarities between the film and the Odyssey is the seduction of the Sirens and the magic power of the witch. In “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” Coen brothers turned the two incidents into a whole. The three amazingly enchanting girls sang on the river, enticing Ulysses and his companies so that their journey got paused. The accident fairly matches the content in the Odyssey, in which the Sirens stuck Odysseus and his men, the crying beauty seducing them on the coast. Another similar part in the accident is the power of the witch goddess. In the film, Ulysses’ friend was turned into a toad. Similarly, in Odyssey, the goddess, Circe, turned Odysseus’ men into to a pig. Another inevitable parallel is the Cyclops. It is easily to be figured out because their sharing trait that they both only have one eye, though the big man in the film has an eye mask. And in Odyssey, Odysseus and his men were attacked while they were having the feast, while in the “O Brother” Ulysses and his friend were robbed during the picnic. More similarly, they both fought back and defeated Cyclops.

The film “O Brother. Where art thou” is strikingly similar to Homer’s “Odyssey” in both plot and character description. (Odyssey And O Brother, Where Art Thou Compared, 2007). However, the movie has been added with some special portion that distinguishes itself from the classic poem. Ulysses, as the hero of the movie, turned out to be in the jail because he lacked the lawyer license, but Odysseus was the great hero who put an end to the Trojan War. We could see other contrasts in the movie, for instance, both main character has the same ambition of winning their wives back, but Odysseus wife always loved her while Ulysses’ wife cheated on her daughters that their


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